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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 

A Step forward for Jamaica’s Progress in Poverty Reduction.. But Still Many Hurdles to Cross
A few days ago, came the announcement by the Jamaican Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (Senator Franklyn) of a breakthrough in the country’s performance vis-à-vis its national policy and strategies in poverty reduction.The decrease in poverty level from 28.4% in 1990 to 14.8 percent in 2005 represents significant steps forward that have greatly impacted upon the standard of living.
However, it is quite sure that the challenges ahead are many, and on the methodological and practical sides of policy analysis and reviews, these elements raise some interesting points about the ways survey data can be used to improve and enhance the policy process.

As pointed by the Minister, these advances have been carried out by increasing inflows of remittances that alone cannot play substitutes in the loss of human capital, and the brain-drain that has been affecting the country.

Thus, thorough analysis of these dynamics and their effects on the standard of living should position the inputs from household budget data, income and expenditure surveys within a comprehensive framework, to equip monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms with the relevant statistical and econometric models to tackle the substance of policy options. Where in the examples of migratory patterns, remittances flows, labor mobility, we do have direct impacts upon the nature and choices of public policies as they affect patterns of household demands and the types of inward developments needed to address the poverty questions.

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