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  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting gains under the country’s long-term National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.
  • Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, made the disclosure while reporting on the 2018 targets during the PIOJ’s recent quarterly briefing at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston.
  • Vision 2030 Jamaica aims to reposition the island to achieve developed country status within 10 years and, transform it into the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting gains under the country’s long-term National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.

Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, made the disclosure while reporting on the 2018 targets during the PIOJ’s recent quarterly briefing at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston.

Vision 2030 Jamaica aims to reposition the island to achieve developed country status within 10 years and, transform it into the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

Dr. Henry said with respect to Goal 3 – ‘Jamaica’s Economy is Prosperous’ – much of the development gains were attributed to macroeconomic improvements.

He noted that tourism and agriculture also showed progress, pointing out that the former met the majority of the 2018 targets.

The Director General said notable progress was also made in the business environment, “as the 2018 target for [reducing the] employment rate was surpassed”.

Additionally, he said the 2019 out-turn “continues this trend, with the second consecutive year of record-low unemployment rates”.

“Notwithstanding these successes, the results show lower than targeted levels of economic growth and the need to advance improvements in the ease of doing business and enhancing international competitiveness for our main industry structures,” he noted.

With respect to Goal 1 – ‘Jamaicans are Empowered to Achieve their Fullest Potential’ – Dr. Henry said gains were made in the area of social protection, particularly poverty.

The latter, he pointed out, included child poverty and national food poverty prevalence.

The Director General said there were also improvements in indicators, such as the human development index, life expectancy, and educational outcomes related to literacy.

He, however, noted some areas of concern, including chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) and student attendance rates at all levels of the educational system, which, he said “did not meet their respective targets”.

Dr. Henry said that while crime remains an area of concern under Goal 2 – ‘The Jamaican Society is Secure, Cohesive and Just’ – the country saw development gains in the areas of case clearance, and government effectiveness.

He pointed out that the targets set for the latter areas were met for the first time since the Plan’s promulgation in 2009.

In relation to Goal 4 – ‘Jamaica has a Healthy Natural Environment’ – Dr. Henry said Jamaica recorded a fall in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI).

The EPI is a key international index that measures the state of the natural environment in the areas of ecosystem vitality and environmental health.

The Director General noted that in 2018, the index fell by 20 points, relative to the 2016 EPI, pushing Jamaica further away from meeting the 2030 target of an EPI higher than 80.

He pointed out that the 2018 EPI showed a decline in all the scores for Biodiversity and Habitat, Health Impacts, Air Quality, and Water and Sanitation, adding that “these results will continue to play a key role in the pursuit of the strategic priorities for the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) 2018-2021.

Meanwhile, Dr. Henry said the overall progress of Vision 2030 Jamaica, under successive MTFs between 2009 and 2018 has been mixed.

He pointed out that of 75 national outcome indicators monitored between the Plan’s implementation in 2009 and December 2019, covering economic, social, environmental, and governance spheres of integrated development, 66.7 per cent have shown improvement while 29.3 per cent showed no improvement or worsened, relative to the 2007 baseline year.

A further breakdown of the data shows that 36 per cent of the Plan’s targets were met or exceeded; 30.7 per cent of the indicators showed some improvement over the 2007 baseline year; 29.3 per cent showed no improvement or worsened; while four per cent could not be compared due to lack of agreed targets for the relevant period.

Dr. Henry advised that the PIOJ will continue to lead the coordination of Vision 2030 Jamaica’s implementation, identify the progress made, assess the strengths and gaps, and report these to the general public.

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