March 20, 2019
The Planning Institute of Jamaica’s Growth Inducement Programme (PIOJ-GIP) Research Report 2019, with eight research papers written by leading academics and economic development practitioners, is now available on its website. The papers provide data and examine topics that impact inclusive and sustained economic growth. Among the topics discussed in the report are: improved support structures for the deployment of mobile money; high-level technical education and foreign language training to match the labour market demand and opportunities; and the importance of blending social and economic intervention strategies that will deliver inclusive growth that improves the lives of all Jamaicans.
The GIP’s Research Report 2019 was presented at the Growth Inducement Programme’s inaugural Economic Growth Forum on March 14 in Kingston where Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Wayne Henry said, “The recurring theme emerging from these studies is the importance of the Government of Jamaica creating a strong enabling environment for doing business, as embodied in the National Competiveness Council (NCC) and the many initiatives thereunder.”
The Research Report 2019 and the Economic Growth Forum sought to examine and share lessons from recent research on growth initiatives in key areas to improve the design and execution of future efforts.
In the paper, Has the Finance-Growth Link been Broken? Panel Data Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean, Development Economist and Research Fellow at UWI, SALISES, Dr Kevin Williams, uses econometric modelling to examine the impact that private sector credit has on economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) over the 1970–2014 period; and the effect that economic growth has on private sector credit.
The evidence is that there is a disconnect between economic growth and private sector credit; and Dr Williams makes suggestions on how that situation can be resolved.
A Review of Jamaica’s Mobile Money Ecosystem by Private Sector Development Specialist at the PIOJ, Mrs Kamesha Blake, comprehensively describes that ecosystem and its potential, gives case studies on private sector entities that have launched products in that market, and offers suggestions on the type of support this sector requires to develop and, thereby, have a greater impact on the economy. This was one of the three papers from the Research Report that was presented at the Growth Forum.
Dreams of Financial Inclusion Confronting the Fetters of Information Communications Technology by Associate Professor, Department of Economics at Texas Christian University, Dr Dawn Richards Elliott, examines the global issues around mobile money and suggests a role for government in delivering social protection services.
Country Director for the multinational development NGO, FHI 60, Ms Ruth Chisholm provided an assessment of the demand for technical education graduates and the supply of qualified workers with her paper, Jamaica Labour Market Sector Assessment and selected the creative industries, tourism and agri-business sectors for value chain analysis. Her conclusion was that more sectors needed this type of mapping and analysis so that areas of growth can be identified.
Ms Chisholm also wrote Study of Barriers to Access and Completion (SBAC) of Technical Tertiary Education Programmes, throwing the spotlight on courses that receive support under the LAC Regional Workforce Development Programme (Advance Programme). Her conclusions include the importance of mainstreaming a culture that fosters tertiary achievement across both able and disabled participants; and acknowledging the need for participants to be able to earn a living as they go to school.
Foreign Language Education and Development in Jamaica: Assessing the Landscape by Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, UTech, Dr R Anthony Lewis, urges the adoption of a language policy in education, as this has an impact on education outcomes. He also noted that language services have been among the fastest growing employment sectors globally.
Former Director General at PIOJ, Professor Gladstone Hutchinson, wrote Social Reforms for Economic Growth in Jamaica, noting that crime and theft, government bureaucracy, corruption, burdensome tax rates, a prevailing poor work ethic, inadequately educated workforce, and poor access to financing have been found repeatedly to be the dominant impediments to business activities.
The impact of three social intervention programmes was discussed by Director of Bauxite Lands and the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, Dr Dianne V Gordon, in her paper The Measurement of Development Effectiveness and Changes in Rural Well-Being: Lessons from Three Case Studies of Rural Enterprise Interventions. Dr Gordon noted that intervention strategies need to be based on sound findings and should also reflect an understanding of the difficult social, economic, political, institutional and environmental context in which rural enterprises emerged in Jamaica. She found that of the three enterprises, the membership of the one that was able to be sustained had applied local knowledge to collectively overcome local economic problems of access, supply, and distribution.
The Research Report 2019, as well as the inaugural Economic Growth Forum, came out of the findings of the 2018 Assessment of the Implementation and Impact of the Government of Jamaica’s Growth Inducement Strategy, which can be downloaded from the PIOJ website.
The PIOJ’s Growth Inducement Programme promotes sustainable & inclusive economic growth for Jamaica through research, policy development, technical support & coordination of growth initiatives that include policies, programmes, projects and legislative reforms implemented by various ministries, agencies and departments of government. This includes undertaking and publishing research findings, including the assessment of the implementation and impact of key growth initiatives.
Contact: Mrs Gwyneth Harold Davidson
Telephone: 876 935 5042/876 817 8077