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While Jamaica is no stranger to the core concepts of the care economy, it has not met its commitments to a host of international agreements that pledge to address the care economy, including and perhaps most significantly the Global Goals which are incorporated into Jamaica’s own national development plan Vision 2030.
To gain a better understanding of the care economy in Jamaica, CAPRI conducted research which included the use of a pilot Time Use Survey — in partnership with the European Union. On October 31, 2018 Dr Damien King, Executive Director – CAPRI, along with Dr Diana Thorburn, Director of Research – CAPRI were joined by key stakeholders at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to discuss the issue of the care economy and shared their research findings and recommendations. Present were The Hon. Fayval Williams Minister without Portfolio, MOFPS; Mrs Elsa Marks Willis, Project Director – PATH, MLSS; Ms Nastacia Nunes, Social Worker – National Council for Senior Citizens, MLSS; Mrs Roseana Matthews-Young, Administrator – Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, MLSS; Mr James Stewart, Senior Director – Economic Planning and Research Division, PIOJ; Mr Hugh Morris, Director – Modelling and Research, PIOJ; Mrs Collette Robinson, Director – Social Protection and Gender, PIOJ; Mrs Mareeca Brown-Bailey, Gender Specialist, PIOJ; Ms Leesha Delatie-Budair, Deputy Director General, STATIN and Dr Natalee Simpson, Director – Surveys, STATIN.
Based on the findings of CAPRI’s pilot of a Time Use Survey, the think tank recommended that the government subsidize the care economy through the provision of vouchers which can be redeemed only by registered day care and nursing facilities.
Minister Williams and other stakeholders present congratulated CAPRI on conducting research on this important issue. Ms. Delatie-Budair also informed the group that since she had spoken with Thorburn, STATIN decided to construct a Time Use Survey on a national scale, which will be integrated into the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions and the reviewing of STATIN’s Labour Force Survey. “This will be done in partnership with the Planning Institute of Jamaica so that we can have a better understanding of many social issues including the care economy,” said Delatie-Budair.
The group agreed on the establishment of a committee and will reconvene after the Time Use Survey has been completed. They will take the additional data to develop a better understanding of Jamaica’s Care Economy, which will guide the development of specific elements of policy.