JIS News

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  • Chairman of the Health Committee for the Cultural, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, Dr. Aggrey Irons says Jamaica needs to seek out research based intervention methods to both prevent and curtail the high level of violence plaguing the country.
  • Addressing the weekly JIS Think Tank, the Chairman said that violence impacted on health, development, investment, and educational standards.
  • Urging more organizations to invest in research, Dr. Irons said that research provided facts on social trends and indicated the policies, which were best suited to address the issue of violence.

Chairman of the Health Committee for the Cultural, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, Dr. Aggrey Irons says Jamaica needs to seek out research based intervention methods to both prevent and curtail the high level of violence plaguing the country.

Addressing the weekly JIS Think Tank, the Chairman said that violence impacted on health, development, investment, and educational standards.

“Our whole society is crying out for violence intervention,” he lamented.

Urging more organizations to invest in research, Dr. Irons said that research provided facts on social trends and indicated the policies, which were best suited to address the issue of violence.

“We believe that if we follow the trends in the world, you do not just do things and determine policy based on anecdotes or just people’s feelings, but that we really need evidence based research to fuel our interventions. We believe that the future of any development must hinge on us getting all the facts by doing hard research,” the Chairman pointed out.

According to Dr. Irons, findings from recent research indicate that there are a number of factors in addition to police interventions and crime fighting, which could be used to stem the occurrence of violence particularly in children.

This evidence, he elaborated, was revealed in a pilot project currently funded by CHASE and carried out by Drs. Julie Meeks-Gardner and Christine Powell of the University of the West Indies, Mona, to implement interventions to reduce aggression in primary school children.

“I think $3 million is a very small price to pay for the kind of information and interventions that we are getting from this piece of research,” he stated.

“Not too many organizations in the past have realized that funding research gets you much more for your money, than buying two police cars, which may not be there tomorrow. This research is going to inform policy for years to come,” Dr. Irons emphasized.

Established last year, CHASE is funded by mandatory contributions made by lottery licence holders. To date, the Fund has allocated $125 million to the health sector. Of that total, 24 projects have been approved totalling $100.6 million.