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Reports

March, 2020
Thematic Area: 

Any country which wants to maximize the productivity of its workforce, and to harness the full potential of its people towards economic growth and development, must proactively reduce or eliminate discrimination against groups of people who are excluded from full participation as a result of that discrimination.

In Jamaica, where discrimination against LGBT people is rife and amply documented, such discrimination results in a senseless waste of human potential, with negative implications for the country’s economic growth prospects. This report examines the landscape of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in Jamaica, and how that discrimination can be directly and indirectly tied to negative economic and social outcomes and thwarted developmental prospects.

March, 2020
Thematic Area: 

Gangs, organized crime, and violence, and the nexus between them, are Jamaica’s biggest citizen security challenge. With the second highest murder rate in the Latin America and Caribbean region in 2019, Jamaica’s extreme violence is often attributed to gangs. Between 2008 and 2018, gang-related violence was responsible for 56 percent of murders in Jamaica, with a high of 78 percent in 2013. Jamaica is a violent country in other ways, with extraordinarily high rates of domestic violence, including intimate partner (IPV) and gender-based violence (GBV). Jamaica’s violence problem is so pernicious that the country has come to be described by academics and policy makers as having a “culture of violence.”

In an effort to bring focused attention to Jamaica’s gang problem, with the objective of advancing knowledge towards more effective policies and programmes for gang prevention and control, this report synthesizes what is known about:

1. The current scenario regarding gangs, violence, and organized crime in its various iterations, in Jamaica, with an emphasis on the post-2010 situation;

2. The difficulties Jamaica has had inresolving the gang problem;

3. The current strategies being employed to deal with the gang problem; and

4. The success or failure of these strategies.

September, 2019
Thematic Area: 

Jamaica's extraordinarily high levels of violence undermine citizen security and retard economic growth. Over the past two decades, dozens of state and non-state actors, in a desire for peace, have initiated several violence-reduction/ intervention programmes in August Town. So when, in 2016, the violence plagued community recorded “zero murders,” all of Jamaica took note. The cries about how this was achieved, which, with the exception of 2016 remain unchanged. After decades of extraordinarily high violence, with a homicide rate of 120 per 100,000, how did August Town achieve this?

With reference to August Town’s “zero murders” in 2016, this study explores the various theories with the objective to distil “lessons” from August Town’s experience, particularly as it regards anti-violence interventions, with the aim to build knowledge on the different approaches to reducing violence in high violence settings; and ultimately to inform GoJ decisions regarding the direction of and investment in violence prevention intervention programmes in violence-ridden communities.

September, 2019
Thematic Area: 

Murder and extreme violence are at crisis levels in Montego Bay. The city is also the birthplace and centre of the lottery scamming industry and its offshoots, an industry that generates millions of U.S. dollars a year, and is thought to be connected to the high murder and shooting rates in St. James. This study considers the purported nexus between lottery scamming, gangs, and the high murder rate in St. James by situating St. James’ violence problem in its socio-economic context, and reviews the measures that have been taken over the past decade to tackle both problems.

November, 2018
Thematic Area: 

Despite many public statements at the highest level assuring commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, the Jamaican government has failed to operationalize these promises. Deforestation, soil erosion, degradation of coastal ecosystems, over-fishing, poor air quality, poorly managed parks and protected areas, pollution of harbours, rivers, streams and aquifers, unplanned and unregulated settlements in areas most vulnerable to natural disasters, inadequate management of solid and liquid waste, and poor development planning and control are key features of the state of Jamaica’s natural environment. It has long been recognized that the weakness of the environmental regulatory and institutional framework is the primary obstacle to good environmental stewardship.

 

November, 2018
Thematic Area: 

A country’s ability to mobilize revenue through taxation (i.e. to have an effective tax system) is synonymous with its capacity to achieve sustainable growth and development. Through taxes, the state receives the funding necessary to perform its functions and duties effectively. As such, the first and often the main objective of a tax system is to generate sufficient revenue to finance public sector activities in a non-inflationary way. This report focuses on the relative effectiveness of different tax types–value added taxes, income taxes, and property taxes – to generate revenue in the Jamaican context. It assesses and compares the efficiency of each tax type. 

November, 2018
Thematic Area: 

Jamaicans must face some uncomfortable truths about our violent crime problem. One such truth is that if we are to significantly lower the rates of homicide and other violent crimes and  weaken the power of criminal networks in the society, we cannot avoid a renewed attempt at a thorough transformation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).  This transformation should bring the force more in line with democratic policing principles and methods of work and make it more effective as an instrument of crime prevention and control. 

October, 2018
Thematic Area: 

Jamaica’s open data programme has advanced further than most of its counterparts in the Caribbean, placing it at the top of most regional rankings. In recent years there have been legislative developments (data protection legislation tabled; open data policy in development), infrastructural developments (portal), as well as capacity building through data training programmes. Despite recent developments, the country has experienced very limited impact from its open data programme thus far. Several issues relating to data quality, the reactive nature of data release within government, issues with the access to information request process, and a lack of focus on answering specific questions with open data, are significant barriers to its re-use and impact in Jamaica. Many of the current challenges stem from the absence of an open data policy which provides guidance, and standardizes data collection, distribution, and quality, across government agencies.

 

This report assesses Jamaica’s current open data programme, and identifies those shortcomings to be remedied, as well as opportunities where value could be added. The following recommendations are made to improve the effectiveness of the current programme, and to extract significant and measurable value from open data.

June, 2018
Thematic Area: 

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.

May, 2018
Thematic Area: 

In Jamaica, recuperation of PET bottles from the waste stream for processing and export to be recycled is currently estimated to be five to ten percent. A recent study by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), which assessed various measures for PET waste management, recommended that a deposit-refund system (DRS) be considered to increase recuperation, and improve management, of PET waste in Jamaica. DRS have two key benefits. They increase the rate of recuperation, and thus recycling, of containers covered by the deposit scheme, as the deposit provides an incentive to the consumer to return the material to obtain their refund. Second, they reduce litter of the targeted material, since in the case that the consumer does decide to litter, someone else more desirous of getting the refund may pick it up. Both benefits hinge on the level of deposit/refund applied.

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