Achieving & Sustaining Development
Managing development, like managing any other process as we REBUILD DOMINICA BETTER, entails setting goals and adopting strategies to attain those goals. It certainly helps if we are clear what they are.
Sustainable development presupposes economic growth, the latter being defined as a quantitative increase in output. It also obviously presumes development, which itself implies an improvement in the social and quality of life generally. Development may also be said to be sustainable when an economy shows the capacity to support it (whether within a nation or individual community) at desirable levels of living (and wellness) over the longer term – taking into account its ecological and socio-cultural values.
An undeniable increase in access to education and training, and a broadening of opportunities for employment – especially for youth – that now includes the "single market" of the OECS and CARICOM, has made the future seemingly quite bright.
That this has not yet translated to a bountiful supply of jobs can be blamed on a "reduced" world employment scenario consequent on the global economic crises of 2008 from which the world, including even its largest economies, is still recovering.
The overall achievements of the Caribbean are probably best summed up in the Human Development Index, a composite measure of improvements in people's wellbeing. Based on this index prepared by the United Nations Development Programme, CARICOM countries generally rank among the top 60 of the 130 countries around which the index is centred. Dominica always does surprisingly well in this listing, further buttressed some years ago by being named (surprisingly to many!) as Number 2 in the "Happiness" index calculated by another international group.
Still, almost all international financial institutions including our own Caribbean Development Bank continuously and routinely point out that changes in our region's productive structure generally, even its general capacity to produce at a world competitive level, have not been as vibrant as they ought to be. This remains one of the main reasons why our countries are still faced with high unemployment. Period, full stop! So while the traditionally accepted five "windows of development" (macro-economic policy; physical environment; available technology; human resource development; the external environment…) need to be kept in mind, it is our islands' becoming more productive, more world competitive, that remains THE KEY to sustainable development. Again, period, full stop!