Some say countless opportunities may come at once in a life time, but small opportunities surround us every day. Don’t waste it. Grab it and make the most of it. Otherwise the sun will set on your time, then you’ll look back and say, such is an unrewarding life journey.

Hailed from Chichinge village, Malango Ward in Central Guadalcanal, Graeme Risoni, 30, is a Public Officer.

He works as a Senior Statistician within the Economics Unit in the National Statistics Office (NSO), Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT).

Mr. Risoni is a determined young man.

He see’s challenges as a highway to accomplishment.

“I joined the workforce with very little experience. A challenge really for me.”

Though, it’s tough for him, Mr. Risoni never regarded (his) challenges as hurdles but determined to explore fresh opportunities to hone his statistical skills and knowledge.

Mr. Risoni landed an opportunity! His dream to secure at least an opportunity to boost his statistical skills and knowledge has come true.

In 2019, based on his submission, he was selected by his office (NSO) to attend the United Nation Statistical Institute for Asia and Pacific (UN SIAP), in alliance with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of the government of Japan, training programme.

Held in Chiba, Japan, the programme runs for three months (21st May to 13th July 2019).

It focussed on Statistical Analysis of Disaggregated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators for Inclusive Development Policies.

“The training has offered me a great learning opportunity and a good experience.

“The training has improved my statistical skill to be more effective.

“I am pleased to participate in the training. It’s really an eye opener for me,” Mr. Risoni said.

There are diverse ways of learning that one could take to groom its skills and knowledge.

Others good at theory while others learn best through hands-on practical.

But for Mr. Risoni, learning is about ‘self-exploration’.

“When you think about it, learning is a personal experience. It’s about self-exploration, gaining knowledge, building confidence and expanding skill sets.

“Regardless of how it occurs or whether it’s for personal or professional growth, learning is about the individual,” the young and enthusiastic Statistician, Mr. Risoni attested.

The training involved two chores. Theory and hands-on (practical) task with 22 statisticians from 21 countries including Solomon Islands attended.

The training aims to strengthen capability of agencies comprising the national statistical system in developing countries to produce disaggregated SDG indicators and relevant economic, social and environment statistics that enable analyses of disparities in development outcomes.

“The lessons taught really boost my statistical knowledge to be more effective and capable in serving the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the country as a whole,” Mr. Risoni said.

The Knowledge acquired from the training will help his work colleagues in producing official statistics and indicators, interpret and use these for monitoring progress in SDGs and also to produce official statistics that would help policy-makers for future planning.

The training also involved field work/site visits.

Field visits involved observation and making courtesy visits to the Japan Statistics Bureau and the Office of Policy Planning (Statistical Standards) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the National Statistics Centre, industrial establishment, academic institutions, other Japan’s statistics divisions and have talks on Japanese Statistical System.

Other sites visited including Chiba prefecture, Other Japanese Major ports, factories and industrial site.

Mr. Risoni thanked UN SIAP in cooperation with JICA and the Japanese Government for the opportunity and for all the support rendered to him during the course of the training.

He also extended his greatest gratitude to the Government Statistician and Census Commissioner, Douglas Kimi for the trust and confident he has placed on him and the support the NSO management and staff rendered that makes his study program a success.

Participants from; Asia & Pacific- Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Mali, Mongolia, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Vietnam attended the programme.

Many NSO staff has gone through the same participation process with the Statistical Institutes for ASIA and Pacific SIAP – JICA arrangement in previous years.