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Creation of a National Vision for Jamaica

Jamaica Vision 2025: A Framework for Sustainable National Development.

The Government of Jamaica has embarked upon an initiative to establish Jamaica Vision 2025: A Framework for Sustainable National Development (also referred to as the NSDF). Toward this process the National Sustainable Development Task Force (NSDTF) under the leadership of the Cabinet Office has commissioned a comprehensive Scoping Exercise for the NSDF, including a Stakeholder Analysis, a mapping of sustainable development processes and strategies in Jamaica, and recommendations for the institutional framework and supporting mechanisms for the NSDF.

It is intended that the NSDF will become an effective and enduring mechanism for guiding and coordinating national efforts and initiatives for sustainable development in Jamaica.

The process was initiated by the Cabinet Office in 2004 and was later incorporated under Vision 2030 Jamaica: National Development Plan, a process led by the Planning Institute of Jamaica. Have your say in Jamaica’s national vision

Sustainable Development speaks to the ability of a country to meet the needs of those alive without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The approach endorses the underlying principle that sustainable development incorporates economic, social and environmental objectives within a governance framework of cultural values, peace and security, political and institutional arrangements, making all government policies relevant to the country’s sustainable development. In simple terms, sustainable development means ensuring secure livelihoods for all citizens, present and future.

This initiative of the government to develop a framework for sustainable development was in keeping with international and regional efforts to establish national frameworks which support sustainable development and which integrate social, economic and environmental policies towards a common national good. The initiative is underpinned by a commitment to Agenda 21, which emerged in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and which declared that “Governments in cooperation where appropriate with international organizations, should adopt a national framework for sustainable development”. In 2002, the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) called for countries to take immediate steps to formulate and elaborate on sustainable development strategies to be implemented by 2005. Therefore, the primary aim of the proposed initiative is to harmonize the various sectoral objectives into clear national goals and objectives that are based on one shared vision that reflects the consensus of the citizenry. This approach provided a basis for the resolution of policy conflicts, where they exist, and an opportunity for greater intersectoral collaboration and coordination. Additionally, it created the premise for enhanced joined-upness across government resulting in greater cross-sectoral collaboration and optimization in the use of scare resources.

A National Sustainable Development Task Force supported by a Technical Team was established to lead the formulation of the framework. The Task Force was chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and comprised government, non-government organizations, members of the private sector and civil society representatives

The framework emphasized two key principles: -

  • Participation, in developing a framework that is based on the widest possible participation, emphasizing ongoing dialogue with civil society.
  • Building on what exists, adopting an approach that seeks to draw on existing initiatives and not to “re-invent the wheel”.

The following five components were identified for Jamaica Vision 2025. National Vision

A unified national vision for development that reflects the consensus of the Jamaican people.

  • National Goals and Objectives

Clear articulation of the overarching national development goals and objectives for the short, medium and long-term.

  • National Actions

Broad actions for fulfilling the national outcomes identified. These actions will provide the context within which regions and sectors will be expected to develop, refine and implement regional and sectoral strategies.

  • Governance Arrangements

The governance arrangements will comprise the institutional roles, relationships, responsibilities and commitments of key stakeholders to support the decision-making and priority-setting functions of Government.

  • Performance Measures

Clear targets, indicators and benchmarks that will track and assess progress towards the achievement of the outcomes identified.

Achievements

  • A Comprehensive Scoping exercise hasbeen conducted that compiled and analysed various existing initiatives,looking in particular at the opportunities and challenges to be flaggedfor future intervention.
  • Stakeholder analysis was completed,analysing stakeholders that are to be included in the process. Theanalysis is a comprehensive compilation of public sector, privatesector, civil society, regional and international entities.
  • An analysis of the existing visionsin Jamaicawas analyzed as a first step in the preparation of a consensus based vision for the country.
  • A National Vision for Jamaica that is being communicated across the country.