CDCs, a Medium for Citizen Participation in Nation Building


Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, has said that Community Development Committees (CDCs) should become the main platform for ensuring citizen participation in the management of the country.
Speaking on Thursday (March 18) at a recent regional community consultation organized by the Social Development Commission (SDC) at the Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Minister Simpson Miller disclosed that there were 211 Community Development Organisations (CDOs) across the island, representing 27 per cent of the total communities in Jamaica.
The main objective of the consultation was to give persons from the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland the opportunity to meet with the Minister and other heads of agencies to discuss the service delivered by the Ministry and its agencies.
“Across Jamaica, there is a broad agreement among stakeholders on the clustering of the 754 communities into 72 development areas that relate to economic, administrative, town planning, and geographic or topographic functions,” the Minister noted.
The Local Government Minister informed that St. Ann had 13 development areas and 56 communities; St. Mary had five development areas and 48 communities, while Portland had four development areas and 42 communities. She added that “70 of the 146 communities in these parishes have CDCs, and of the 18 development areas, nine have functioning development area committees, and all three parishes have functioning PDCs”.
Discussing the issue of accountability, Minister Simpson Miller said the citizens themselves should constitute a monitoring mechanism to ensure efficiency and the use of financial and other resources that were available to address the economic and social development of specific localities.
She stated that while the parish councils should present their budgets and consult with the communities about their plans for participation, the feedback from the people should be taken seriously.

JIS Social