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Reports

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.

September, 2017
Thematic Area: 

A high percep on of corrup on in Jamaica exists, both locally and interna onally. The country consistently performs poorly on global corrup on indices, with other governance indicators ci ng corrup on as a major problem for the country. Polls done domes cally reveal similar views on corrup on in the country with many locals regarding key ins tu ons in the country as being highly corrupt. This report reviewed innova ons used to strengthen integrity in countries around the world, with a view to recommending one such innova on to strengthen Jamaica’s own integrity. Having assessed the corrup on situa on in Jamaica and examined what the exis ng an -corrup on framework allows, it was found that any innova on implemented in the country must address certain contextual criteria. As corrup on was seen to be pervasive across all levels of society, any innova on would have to engage all members of society to e ect real change. Addi onally, during consulta on with several an -corrup on ins tu ons on the island, it was found that a major downfall of the innova ons they currently use is a lack of data collec on which is necessary to assess their e ec veness. Consequently, ini a ves used in Jamaica should allow for clear target-se ng and quan ca on of results. Furthermore, given the resource constraints, and in general, the economic challenges facing the country, innova ons should be cost-e ec ve and sustainable. Notably, Jamaicans have a strong inclina on to technology and innova on and thus, the ini a ve should also be technologically inspired as this may spur on the uptake by the public. 

 

July, 2017
Thematic Area: 

Ascertaining the true cost of providing an undergraduate degree in Jamaica is critical for students, ter ary ins tu ons, and government policy-makers. For prospective and current university students, understanding the real cost of a degree may force them to make more cost-effective choices, thus, reducing the cost barrier to educa on and increasing the likelihood of nishing their degree programme. For policy-makers, this informa on is important in order to make decisions that ultimately enhance access to and choice of a aining a ter ary education. Lastly, ter ary ins tu ons, and by extension the government, would be interested in decreasing this barrier (the real cost) to tertiary education which in turn would increase access, enrolment, and contribute more significantly to economic development. 

 

 

May, 2017
Thematic Area: 

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
histories.
 
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.

October, 2016
Thematic Area: 

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, and their agenda for normalising relations hold more opportunities than threats for Jamaica. The changes in the U.S.-Cuba relationship strengthen the already positive climate for economic growth and investment in the relatively large and diverse Cuban market, and will support that country’s progressive investment policy reforms and growth in private enterprise. The prospect of further growth in the Cuban economy is an opportunity for revival of the Jamaican economy. 

 

September, 2016
Thematic Area: 
The purpose of this study is to identify ways to improve tax compliance in Jamaica. In order to do so, a survey of literature in
tax compliance was conducted to ascertain the techniques that have and have not been working in other countries. Recent
reforms implemented by the tax authority in Jamaica, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), were then identified and compared with
international best practice.
September, 2016
Thematic Area: 

Can the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry deliver policy recommenda ons which are bene cial to Jamaican democracy? Will the government implement these recommenda ons? What kind of policy outcomes should result from the establishment of the Commission? Will the Commission u lize a problem-solving approach by making recommenda ons which respond to both the immediate problem as well as the problema cs of the garrison phenomenon, a major root cause of the May 2010 events? These are important ques ons being asked by various commentators, who have engaged in the public debates about the role of the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry and the current state of Jamaica’s socio-poli cal milieu. The purpose of this brief is to examine some of these salient policy issues. 

 

September, 2016
Thematic Area: 

This report is part of a project undertaken in collaboration with the Embassy of the U.S. in Jamaica, titled "Dialogues Between Democracies". This project, which consisted of a series of events and the present research, examined the benefits and challenges of the bilateral relations between the United States and Jamaica. Focusing on the themes of Security, Health & Prosperity, Democratic Governance and Social Inclusion, "Dialogues Between Democracies" celebrated the achivements of a strong partnership, whilst providing evidence-based recommendations to strengthen this partnership, presented in this report. 

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