The growing demand for sustainable energy drives the need for a local workforce to fulfill the demand for experienced and skilled technicians and professionals at various levels, who are capable of designing, developing, installing, operating, advising about, maintaining, and managing the aforementioned energy related systems. Many Caribbean countries have goals to diversify their energy matrices (to reduce fossil fuel dependency and comply with Intended Nationally Determined Contributions). In addition, it is expected that increased training and education in information and communication technologies (ICT) is crucial, as ICT skills are particularly important for the development of a “green” and “smart” economy. Evidence suggests that low skills in the workforce make it difficult for firms to innovate. In the Caribbean, the private sector has reported weak linkages with universities and difficulties in collaboration with research institutions and other companies…
Together for Prosperity is a macro-fiscal and social overview of how OECS member countries jointly faced challenges and achieved greater welfare over the past decade. By operating as a single currency union, countries achieved per capita GDP growth three times higher than the Latin American average (1980-2016). Growth was volatile and testament to the vulnerability of small island developing states to external shocks. Monetary policy was conducive to growth and maintained price and exchange rate stability. Despite the deterioration of public finances after 2009, which resulted from a combination of loose fiscal policy and the impact of natural disasters, the OECS countries would be on track to meet their public debt target of 60% of GDP by 2030 with additional fiscal consolidation efforts. In health, the OECS made remarkable progress in maternal and childcare and in education outcomes at the primary and secondary levels. Private sector performance was mixed despite having an investment-friendly environment. The six independent member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This paper’s primary goal is to determine the size of the informal sector in the heterogeneous Caribbean countries. The informal economic activities of a country have several implications for their sustainable economic management. First, they have implications for tax revenue and determining what the optimal tax burden should be. Second, unrecorded activities distort national income accounts and any policies that derive from these statistics. The results of the study are based on two methodologies: the electricity consumption method and the currency demand method. In making a final evaluation, the study also considers results and information obtained in other studies. The findings suggest that the size of the informal sector is 20–30 percent in The Bahamas, 30–40 percent in Barbados, 29–33 percent in Guyana, 35–44 percent in Jamaica, 35–45 percent in Suriname, and 26–33 percent in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean countries have experienced positive economic growth rates and significant increases in their exports, but GDP remains relatively low, and indicators of poverty, productivity, and innovation reflect significant lags. Incorporating knowledge and technology through technological extension policies could help increase productivity and competitiveness, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)…
Crowdfunding is a financial alternative that has exhibited sustainable growth over the past decade. Further, it has been positioned as a promising mechanism for LAC countries to improve their financial conditions. Therefore, regional governments need to understand the key enablers of crowdfunding to foster this financial alternative. The main objectives of this report are to identify the key conditions that should be present in a country and to assess the current status of crowdfunding in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. To accomplish this, we designed a model based on current state-of-the-art techniques for this field and tested it with data retrieved from 718,264 crowdfunding campaigns from 2013 through 2015. The main results are that social media engagement and the reliability of the associated e-commerce are key enablers of crowdfunding. These results provide useful insights for policymakers in developing countries.
Caribbean governments need to make significant investments in high quality infrastructure assets. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) offer a mechanism for governments to procure, finance and implement public infrastructure projects that can leverage the private sector's knowledge, financial capacity and efficiency. The implementation of PPPs requires careful risk management and mitigation, as these long-term contracts are complex to structure, and require specific knowledge and experience…
This document presents strategy for developing geothermal potential through public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the Eastern Caribbean. The five countries of study are Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The objective of this study is to perform the required analyses to recommend a strategy for developing geothermal energy projects through PPPs in the Eastern Caribbean (the region), considering legal and financial issues.
The Caribbean has promising resources and land, it is shocking to acknowledge that this region faces many development challenges that threat its magnificence and its sustainable development. This sourcebook ‘’Three are better than one: Civil Society, Government, and Private Sector: Joint efforts in Caribbean countries toward sustainable development’’ seeks to create a common language and to share information, promote constructive dialogue, improve consultations, foster collaborations and partnerships among the main actors of sustainable development: Governments, Private Sector and Civil Society.
Over the past two decades, national and local governments in Caribbean and Pacific Small Island Development States have partnered with the donor community to implement over $55 billion in development programs, many of which focused on climate change adaptation. The coastal cities of the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS are among the world's most vulnerable cities to rising sea levels and coastal erosion….
“While citizen security has become an ever-increasing concern for many Caribbean countries, the magnitude of the problem has not been matched with an equally robust response in terms of research. This volume analyses new data collected in household and business victimization surveys. These surveys allow us to understand crime from a primary source – the victims themselves. As such, this study goes beyond much of the existing literature, which relies primarily on police data. It contributes new information to our understanding of crime patterns, victim profiles, drivers of particular types of crime, and directions for crime reduction in the region.”
"The aim of this paper is to map Caribbean clusters and identify their specific characteristics based on existing literature and available empirical evidence. A desk review of 32 clusters distributed across the Caribbean looks at natural resources (agriculture, agro-processing, forestry, aquaculture, and energy), manufacturing, and services (tourism, creative industries, and business services) industries. Three groups of clusters are identified: rising, innovative, and sluggish. Based on this classification, policy recommendations are provided considering the diverse characteristics of the investigated clusters.”
“This monograph explores productivity, innovation, and firm performance, important issues that affect private sector development in the Caribbean region. Using unique and recently available datasets consisting of more than 4,000 surveys at the firm level, and covering 13 Caribbean countries, it examines a set of variables that affect productivity and innovation in the region. The chapters provide a unique perspective on the barriers to innovation, and on how access to finance, competition, foreign direct investment, gender, access to electricity, and public programs affect productivity and innovation at the firm level. The publication culminates with a review of the policy interventions that could have the most impact in increasing firm performance within the region.”
The rise of successful female agriculture entrepreneurs in the Caribbean region is welcome. Combining profits and passion, in an otherwise male-dominated sector, women are creating jobs, empowering others and providing food security by producing locally-sustainable food products.
Fathers' and mothers' cognitive and social engagement and their associations with preschoolers' literacy and social skills were assessed in Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname using the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 and 5. The sample consisted of 11,473 preschool-aged children and their parents. Mothers were far more likely to engage in cognitive and social activities with children than were fathers across all countries. Associations between maternal and paternal cognitive engagement and children's literacy skills were not consistent across countries. Preschool enrollment, number of books in the home, and household wealth were variously associated with maternal and paternal engagement and children's literacy skills across most countries. Associations between maternal and paternal social engagement and children's social skills were less clear. Data are interpreted in terms of the importance of early parental engagement relative to preschool enrollment and literacy resources in the home environment for childhood development in Caribbean countries.
Physical punishment has received worldwide attention because of its negative impact on children's cognitive and social development and its implications for children's rights. Using UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys 4 and 5 data, we assessed the associations between positive discipline, harsh physical punishment, physical punishment and psychological aggression and preschoolers' literacy skills in 5628 preschool-aged children and their caregivers in the developing nations of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname. Caregivers across countries used high levels of explanations and psychological aggression. There were significant country differences in the use of the four disciplinary practices. In the Dominican Republic and Guyana, physical punishment had negative associations with children's literacy skills, and in the Dominican Republic, positive discipline had a positive association with children's literacy skills. Findings are discussed with respect to the negative consequences of harsh disciplinary practices on preschoolers' early literacy skills in the developing world.
Urbanisation, climate change and natural hazards present serious challenges for the Caribbean which Habitat III brought into focus. This paper critically examines problems associated with these complex challenges, to propose a relevant Caribbean specific New Urban Agenda and suggest implementation mechanisms which are essential to forge ahead. It reviews urban issues for fifteen countries that constitute the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). These problems are investigated from the perspective of four pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability, and governance. The paper reveals that with the application of these main components and related thematic elements, many countries in this grouping are underperforming in achieving the sustainable development goal of safe, resilient and sustainable urban settlements. The main conclusion drawn is that countries of the CARICOM Caribbean should not adopt an imported blueprint to resolve critical urban issues. This is an opportune time for crafting a relevant indigenous New Urban Agenda for CARICOM Caribbean countries and finding the right implementation mechanisms to be at the frontline of change.
A review of air pollution, the impact of climate change on air pollution, and the population health impacts of these in the Caribbean region are discussed. Air quality standards are not usually enforced in many Caribbean countries thereby increasing the risks of morbidity and mortality from exposure to air pollutants. Among people living in the Caribbean, an increase in respiratory diseases such as asthma has been linked to exposure to air pollutants resulting from natural events and especially human activities…
The structure of the Caribbean region testifies to the extremely unstable condition of the terrestrial crust of this intercontinental and simultaneously interoceanic area. In the recent geological epoch, the Caribbean region is represented by a series of structural elements, the main of which are the Venezuelan and Colombian deep-sea suboceanic depressions, the Nicaraguan Rise, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles bordering the Caribbean Sea in the north and east. There are 63 sedimentary basins in the entire Caribbean region. However, only the Venezuelan and Colombian basins, the Miskito Basin in Nicaragua, and the northern and eastern shelves of the Antilles, Paria Bay, Barbodos-Tobago, and Grenada basins are promising in terms of oil-and-gas bearig. In the Colombian Basin, the southwestern part, located in the rift zone of the Gulf of Uraba, is the most promising. In the Venezuelan Basin, possible oil-and-gas-bearing basins showing little promise are assumed to be in the northern and eastern margins. The main potential of the eastern Caribbean region is attributed to the southern margin, at the shelf zone of which are the Tokuyo-Bonaire, Tuy-Cariaco, Margarita, Paria Bay, Barbados–Tobago, and Grenada oil-and-gas-bearing basins. The rest of the deepwater depressions of the Caribbean Sea show little promise for hydrocarbon research due to the small thickness of the deposits, their flat bedding, and probably a lack of fluid seals.
This paper focuses on the financing of health care for the elderly in small countries. Apart from the usual vulnerability characteristics of these small countries, fiscal difficulties have made it more important for appropriate measures to be taken to protect the quality of life of the elderly population. The paper examines the demographics of ageing in these countries and after recognizing that the elderly is not a homogenous group with homogeneous health needs and capabilities, the paper makes specific recommendations for putting the financing of the health needs of the elderly on a robust track. A case is made for a greater emphasis on the efficiency with which public resources are used, consideration of a mixed model of financing health care services for elderly persons, as well as, a greater contribution by non-governmental agencies toward caring for elderly persons.
Long-term and short-term (seasonal) migrations from Caribbean countries have been strategies for enhancing the livelihoods and assets of individuals and families for many decades. The greatest challenges to food security are felt by the populations below the poverty level, most of whom are rural dwellers. Taking two Caribbean countries – Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this article assesses whether in rural, characteristically small-farming areas, the financial and social remittances resulting from migration are used to improve food security, through either supporting agricultural production or providing money to purchase food. The findings show the contrast between Jamaica and St. Vincent. Whereas migration generally benefits small-scale farming and domestic food production, increasing food accessibility in Jamaica, migration has been variously used by the rural poor in St. Vincent to replace farming. Food security in St. Vincent is heavily dependent on purchasing food and, in this regard, migrant remittances play an important role.
The literature on immigrant health has repeatedly reported the paradoxical finding, where immigrants from Latin American countries to OECD countries appear to enjoy better health and greater longevity, compared with the local population in the host country. However, no previous meta-analysis has examined this effect focusing specifically on immigrants from Latin America (rather than Hispanic ethnicity) and we still do not know enough about the factors that may moderate the relationship between immigration and mortality. We conducted meta-analyses and meta-regressions to examine 123 all-cause mortality risk estimates and 54 cardiovascular mortality risk estimates from 28 publications, providing data on almost 800 million people. The overall results showed that the mean rate ratio (RR) for immigrants vs. controls was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.84–1.01) for all-cause mortality and 0.73 (CI, 0.67–0.80) for cardiovascular mortality. While the overall results suggest no immigrant mortality advantage, studies that used only native born persons as controls did find a significant all-cause mortality advantage (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76–0.97). Furthermore, we found that the relative risk of mortality largely depends on life course stages. While the mortality advantage is apparent for working-age immigrants, it is not significant for older-age immigrants and the effect is reversed for children and adolescents.
The Caribbean, as a collection of Small Island Developing States, has been a hotspot for climate change research. Many studies have examined the consequences of climate change. However, few studies have examined the ways in which marginalized groups in the Caribbean view climate change. What are the levels of knowledge, concerns, and behavioral practices among marginalized groups in the Caribbean? This paper begins to explore this question using Caribbean fishers as a case study. The survey study of 241 fishers is done in one of the largest fish-landing sites in Jamaica. Fishers are asked about levels of knowledge about causes of climate change, concerns and the consequences, and actual adaptation behaviors. Using descriptive and inferential statistical tests, the paper explores the actual levels of knowledge, concerns, and specific strategies used to adapt. However, its goes further by examining the factors that drive the aforementioned variables. This study begins to not only contribute to the environmental psychological literature on the Caribbean, but it also helps to better understand ways in which marginalized communities might be assisted in the adaptation to climate change.
For some four decades governments in Commonwealth Caribbean (CC) countries have been introducing interventions in their school systems to provide quality education for all. Examples of these are learner-centred teaching pedagogy and the integration of technology into teaching and learning. The data for the paper is based on published research and evaluation studies of these interventions…
The authors, through a consultancy with the Caribbean Child Development Centre, the University of the West Indies Open Campus, sought to identify comprehensive parent support programmes and policies in the healthcare sector in non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries.
This thematic issue on Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) focuses attention on a major geographic area of the world, where the goods and services of 10 LMEs are serving the needs of a population of over 500 million people inhabiting the region. The stressors affecting the sustainable development of the LAC-LMEs are negatively impacting the economies of the bordering countries from overfishing, pollution, nutrient overenrichment, habitat degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change. The papers presented in this issue represent a cross-section of assessment studies underway by marine scientists, policy makers and resource managers in the region in a movement to introduce ecosystem based management (EBM) practices for stressed LMEs. This movement is supported in part by an independent international financial entity, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which exists to help meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements. The movement has been organized to advance a United Nations effort to assist economically developing nations in the LAC region and in other regions around the globe towards sustainable development of the oceans.
The purpose of this regional spotlight is to consider the state of Caribbean tourism and changes that are needed to improve the benefits to be derived from the tourism sector in the region. For a region that is heavily dependent on tourism, the Caribbean has been lagging behind in spreading tourism benefits across the region's economies. A politically stable region, with world-class accommodation stock and declining oil prices, means that the Caribbean tourism industry has a very positive outlook. However there seems to be a disconnect between the fortunes of tourism and the development of largely small-island states in the region. Tourism in the Caribbean region requires re-assessment and change for sustainable benefits.
There have been sustained calls related to the need for countries to improve public service delivery as well as the methods by which governments interface with citizens. E-government strategies have been proposed and developed with the aim of transforming the operations and effectiveness of public bodies. As a grouping of small island states, the Caribbean region is faced with unique institutional and structural challenges to the adoption and implementation of these measures…
Laura Crosby, Caroline Perreau, Benjamin Madeux, Jeanne Cossic, Christophe Armand, Cécile Herrmann-Storke, Fatiha Najioullah, Ruddy Valentino, Guillaume Thiéry
International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Available online 18 May 2016
Climate governance in Small Island developing States (SIDS) is a pressing priority to preserve livelihoods, biodiversity and ecosystems for the next generations. Understanding the dynamics of climate change policy integration is becoming more crucial as we try to measure the success of environmental governance efforts and chart new goals for sustainable development. At the international level, climate change policy has evolved from single issue to integrated approaches towards achieving sustainable development. New actors, new mechanisms and institutions of governance with greater fragmentation in governance across sectors and levels (Biermann and Pattberg, 2008) make integration of policy in the area of climate change governance even more of a challenge today. What is the Caribbean reality regarding policy coherence in climate change governance? Are the same climate change policy coherence frameworks useful or indeed applicable for environmental governance in developing states more generally and for SIDS in particular? What are the best triggers to achieve successful climate change policy integration in environmental governance—especially as the complex interconnectivity of new actors, institutions and mechanisms make the process of integration even more challenging? What facilitates and what hampers climate policy integration in the regional Caribbean context? This article reviews the debates around policy coherence for climate change governance, creates a framework to test or measure policy coherence and examines how relevant this has been to regional climate change governance processes in Commonwealth Caribbean States. The study found that though at the regional level, there is substantial recognition of the importance of and mechanics involved in climate policy coherence, this has not translated to policy coherence at the regional and national levels. There is a large degree of fragmentation in the application of climate policy in each Caribbean Island with no mechanism to breach the gap. Silos in public environmental governance architectures, unwillingness to share data, insufficient political will; unsustainable project-based funding and lack of accountability among actors are the main challenges to climate policy coherence. The findings fill a gap in the literature on the elements of climate policy coherence from a SIDS perspective.