Wed | Jan 23, 2019

IDB launches road map for development

Published:Thursday | December 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
JONES

In trying to make sure that Jamaica and five other Caribbean Community nations are not lagging behind socially and economically by 2040, the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Caribbean Country Department, has published a road map in the form of a book, titled Nurturing Institutions for a Resilient Caribbean.

The publication, which was launched on Monday at IDB's offices in St Andrew, places great emphasis on institutions that govern and impact the rule of law, politics/economics as well as human capital development, like education and health. These areas have been identified as being in need of improvement as the region looks forward to becoming sustainable and resilient by 2040. The other five countries are The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

According to General Manager of IDB's Caribbean Country Department, Therese Turner-Jones, the region currently has "a good story"; however, growth is occurring much too slowly compared to other regions in the world.

Mega Threats

"We still have massive, mega threats affecting our region, but there are things that countries can do individually to motivate, stimulate and engender change by looking at what aspects of the various institutions are working well. One big aspect that is affecting growth is the use of technology. We are really behind the ball.

"I am actually happy, though, that Jamaica has a road map, and we would like to see that take shape. The National Identification System (NIDS) is key to that. Once all the issues surrounding NIDS are resolved, that will be the first step in ensuring that Jamaica becomes a modern administration and country, where investors and citizens can access any government service with ease," she explained.

The publication indicated that Jamaica outperforms Latin America and other smaller economies in the category of judicial independence. However, the country has three judges per 100, 000 of the population, which is one of the lowest globally. Luckily, the Government has made numerous announcements of plans to digitise and transform the justice system.

In the category of human development, the research found that too many Jamaicans fail to complete secondary and tertiary education when compared to other regions in the world. Also, highly skilled individuals continue to migrate in droves.

As it relates to healthcare, Jamaica was rated good. According to the publication, the island dedicates almost the same amount of expenditure to healthcare as do other countries, but experiences a lower infant mortality rate. Also, Jamaica has fewer doctors, but produces better results with less or the same level of expenditure.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com