Friday, March 23, 2007 

Addressing Early Childhood Education in Jamaica
In Jamaica the designs of appropriate standards and partnerships to enhance early childhood education are part of a broad national strategy, where capacity development schemes are geared to enlarge research and practices, and examine “What Works” between various concepts and approaches to learning and center-based early childhood education.

Within this framework, it would be interesting for all stakeholders to address and review two approaches/findings in terms of standard definitions; namely findings to benchmark different data, and indicators that “Meet Evidence Standards” versus “Meet Evidence Standards with Reservations”. For M&E purposes and long-term planning these considerations might add more weight into the decision-making process, and also broaden the knowledge-base when making educational decisions. More >>>

Thursday, March 22, 2007 

Looking into the Nexus of Pro-Poor Growth and Equality of Opportunities in Latin-America and the Caribbean
In his own words, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB, asserts that:

“Latin-America and the Caribbean need a contract of equality of opportunities to ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach the region’s majority”.

As we all know, and taking into context the debates between growth, equality and poverty reduction, there are still unsettled issues about the conditions of growth, and causally structured approaches to examine how inequalities define the impacts of growth on poverty rates.
Despite those challenges, however, it is also good to note that the extensive literature about the subjects can provide some interesting insights about the various dynamics that come between income distribution and equality for the region (see for example, The Income Distribution Problem in latin-America and the Caribbean)

Nonetheless, some of these findings which are of a very technical nature also bring-in a complex problematique for policy-makers, due to the sometimes misleading and conflicting measurements of poverty, growth and inequality.
Thus, elements that mold a complex web for policy-makers, as to fully understand and make use of such findings in order to address policy mixes, and the responsiveness of goals to properly channel growth with poverty reduction. More >>>


In Remittances We Believe….
Let’s hope that the power of gross projections will not derail the real prospects for aid effectiveness and development cooperation, in relation to the real impacts of remittances on development planning.
With all the recent hypes surrounding the amazing growth of remittances in the Caribbean region and Latin-America, see here, and here [Remittances to the Caribbean Region and Latin America will continue to grow in coming years and surpass $100 billion a year by 2010, according to the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF)], it is also of the utmost importance to look into these perspectives through different angles.

And of course in these debates the complex dynamics between migration and development are points that should not be left on the side, given the needs to understand or rather rally these perspectives into the context of a middle level approach for the policy formulation process, and how to engage certain set of options to level the benefits and reach of remittances toward local development strategies.

As much as these phenomena have been decried by some as levers that can positively impact upon human capital, poverty or investments, just to name a few; it is more than ever important to move the descriptive dialogues toward more comprehensive analyses of the impacts of remittances on development, and how policy options, and governments weigh-in the implications behind the true extent and directions of remittance flows.


Friday, March 09, 2007 

Child Protection in the Bahamas: A Revamped Approach in Regulations and Legal Provisions
Hey there! I hail these developments toward the enhancement of Child Protection Legislations in the Bahamas (see here). And as demonstrated these adaptations strive to broaden legal provisions vis-à-vis the notion of sexual and emotional abuses; such frameworks have to be part of ongoing and comprehensive reviews of conventions to address the social and structural constructs that evolve around the application of laws. And more often than not, the process of change comes to full fledge as various administrative practices have to be re-assessed in order to steer the implementation of regulatory measures.


She said that the Act has implications for the various agencies of the government, “and so we are diligently working to bring the Act into force, and we expect that very soon.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007 


A Tale of Rising Inflation and High Food Prices in Barbados
When for example excessive increases in food prices constitute a quagmire for decision-makers and elected officials to sort-out, we can honestly say that we are gradually falling into a theatrical demonstration of blame-making.
And on the other end of the spectrum such distortions in the economy bring serious questions in regards to the negative impacts of these shocks as experienced at personal and household levels, and the capacity of (poor households) to purchase goods, or obtain adequate food or housing among
Of course, it goes without saying that to try to assess the economic standard of living of families, and individuals under such duress is no short call, given the need to understand (or rather) to integrate household economy within the span of local development strategies.

I guess that these perspectives can be put in parallel with the current dilemmas hovering in Barbados re the latest surge in inflation, and what policies could be better suited to attack Price Controls and Income Distribution. More >>>


Tuesday, March 06, 2007 

Reversal of Fortunes, or…. (Price Control System in St-Maarten)
The debates over Price Controls can be contentious at least, to very divisive in the first place, as it involves many distinctive views vis-à-vis the policy alternatives needed to level the playing field.
For instance in most forms or attempts of regulations, protagonists find themselves mired in tugs-of-war over the advantages/disadvantages of price regulations that often tend to fall within the realms of political discourses.

Thus, avenues that tend to point toward unsettling directions for policies, which at times appear to be based more on politics rather than sound economics.
And within this paradigm, the effectiveness of policy measures has to take into consideration certain set of indicators whether in terms of short-run benefits or for the pursuit of dynamic efficiency.
These questions altogether bound in the hands of policy-makers and analysts instill enough sweat-making pre-dispositions to weigh the relationships behind the role of monopoly pricing power, competition, prices and quantity, and market equilibrium to debunk the fundamentals of right policies.

These elements are no stranger to the current questions underway in St-Maarten about the adaptation of Consumer Protection Policies, and price controls of basic commodities. More >>>


Christopher Emanuel’s complaint about the need for more effective enforcement when it comes to government control of the prices of certain items has some merit, election or no election.


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