Jamaica is unique for many reasons. Perhaps the most striking among these is that for almost every resident in the
country, there is an individual living in the diaspora abroad. This near one-to-one ratio of nationals to diaspora members
presents a tremendous opportunity for cross-border engagement, among people who share common cultures and
Diasporas can, and in many cases do play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or
ancestry. Beyond sending remittances, they can also promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses,
spur entrepreneurship and transfer new knowledge and skills. The Jamaican Diaspora, therefore, is believed to represent
a very powerful reservoir of capital, relationships, skills and expertise that remains largely untapped, and, if realised,
can assist in the growth and development of Jamaica. However, beyond remittances, there is little empirical evidence
to support this.
Care work is what individuals do every day when they spend time cooking, cleaning and caring for children, the ill, the disabled and the elderly, and maintaining a household. The total of all care work, paid and unpaid, comprises the care economy. The care economy is a relatively new but highly significant concept in thinking about the labour market, productivity and economic growth. Whereas paid care work is considered a service, and is counted as productive work and in national output, unpaid care work is not valued, counted or considered in national statistics or policy agendas. Unpaid care work has, up until the last few years, been thought to be too diffcult to measure and not relevant for policies.