Jamaica to receive World Bank funds to help in crime fight

Go Lean Commentary

images-Caribbean-jamaica_police_498560223The publisher of the book Go Lean … Caribbean commends the Government of Jamaica and the Washington DC-based World Bank institution for their diligent effort to forge solutions to some of the crucial challenges of Jamaica. Crime has proceeded to cast such a “dark cloud” on Jamaica that the country is near the assessment of a “Failed-State”. The societal problems in Jamaica are so bad that many different advocacies from the Go Lean book can be applied to bring much needed improvements to the island. The book thusly serves as a roadmap for the implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a regional entity projected to also forge solutions for the Caribbean region as a whole and Jamaica in particular.

WASHINGTON D.C. – The World Bank says more than 80,000 Jamaican citizens will benefit from improved services, basic infrastructure and targeted crime and violence interventions in 18 vulnerable inner-city communities as a result of a US$42 million project for integrated community development.

The Washington-based financial institution said the new project is a continuation of the partnership between the Jamaica government and the World Bank on upgrading some of the country’s most vulnerable and volatile communities.

It said the project builds on the success of the “Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project” to address accelerating urban decay and declining citizen security.

“The project aims to foster a more inclusive society in Jamaica by improving the quality of life of marginalized city dwellers,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank country director for the Caribbean.

“It also aims to prevent crime and violence by engaging youth in public safety initiatives and providing them with job skills training,” she added.

As a result of the funding, Sirtaine said more than 50,000 people will benefit from improved solid waste management services, street lighting, paved roads and drainage.

She said residents in the 18 communities would “feel safer” and that 1200 families will have their piped water connection repaired and 4,500 residents receiving educational and skills training.

“As we strive to advance the targets of the Vision 2030, where access to reliable services and adequate infrastructure is the norm, enhancing community safety and security is a priority,” said Scarlette Gillings, managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund.

“And these communities are places of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” she added.

In the Kingston Metropolitan Area, the World Bank said poverty has doubled in two years from seven per cent in 2008 to more than 14 per cent in 2010.

It also said youth unemployment is on the rise, with more than 50 per cent of young people unemployed, adding that homicides and other violent crimes rates are among “the highest in the Latin America and Caribbean region”.

Source: Caribbean360.com – Caribbean Online Magazine (Retrieved 03/20/2014) http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/business/1107320.html#ixzz2wvpxCnMA

While the foregoing article identifies these 3 objectives of the announced project: improved services, basic infrastructure and targeted crime & violence interventions, the Go Lean roadmap depicts 144 missions for the CU to engage, and provides the turn-by-turn directions on how to implement and ensure their success. At the outset of the book (Page 12), public safeguards are identified as prime directives in the Declaration of Interdependence:

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the antecedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdiction.

In addition to crime, the roadmap targets delivery of government services, identifying best practices in agile methodologies to guarantee fewer defects and more efficiency; (Pages 109 & 147). In fact, the name Go Lean refers to the commitment to lean project management methodologies in the structure of the CU; this is defined in the book’s Preface (Page 4).

Lastly, the book also details investments and the impact of pipelines in the region, recognizing that this field is an “art and a science”. These investments are identified as strategic, tactical and operational in their Caribbean deliveries (Page 43). This synchronizes with the World Bank and Jamaica’s initiatives to help the municipalities to better provide quality services with their Vision 2030 plan.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean is an economic empowerment plan for the Caribbean first and foremost. This means addressing the underlying issues that mitigate poverty: jobs, education and economic growth; (Page 222). The CU projects the creation of 2.2 million new jobs regionally while growing the economy to $800 Billion. This roadmap, once executed, should help Jamaica (and equally all 30 Caribbean member-states) shed this “Failed-State” eventuality.

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