Archive for May 2014

Conquering Sports Tourism in the Caribbean


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by Everette Sweeting

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Authorlles du francois

This past weekend (May 24-25, 2014) was truly an exciting two days here in The Bahamas. BAH-MAZING according to a post written by Spikes on The Bahamas hosted the IAAF World Relay Championships in our brand new stadium. More than 40 countries including more than 500 athletes participated. You could feel the electricity in the stadium amongst the loud cheers as not only the home country, but the visitors got celebrated by locals and the fans that made the trip alike. Three world records were established, and there is a shared feeling of pride and accomplishment as the event seemed to run its course without any major hiccups. As a business professional and recreational athlete it excites me when major opportunities are presented to prove yourself, and I thrive in the spotlight. The Bahamas has taken advantage of this moment in history and has the potential to benefit immensely from the momentum built from this major event. > Read more

IDB Adopts Mount Prospect Hillside


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by Tiffoni Buckle & Charmaine Edmonson-Nelson

1 (2)
Members of the IDB Team pose next to their commemorative sign on May 3, 2014 after reforestation activities.

What happened when a group of some 40 persons from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) took a trek to the mountains and camped out for half a day?   700 trees got planted!!!

This is exactly what happened on May 3, 2014 when the IDB Country Office Jamaica, in association with the IDB Jamaica Family Association, IDB Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility Program (CSR),  teamed up for a reforestation project.

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Therese Turner Jones (left), country representative, Inter-American Development Bank Country Office Jamaica, with IDB family association team member at the tree-planting exercise. > Read more

Hey good-lookin’, whatcha got cookin’?


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by Jan Gilbert

Picture by Jan Gilbert

I recently completed the Eight Weeks to Wellness programme here in The Bahamas.  This programme is put on by the Better Living Health Center each year in the Bahamas. As one of the coaches, I assisted in the guidance of just under 200 persons to achieve a better and healthier lifestyle. Most of the persons apart of the programme were plagued by Chronic Non-communicable Diseases (CNCDs) including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The programme was complete with dietitians, nurses and doctors whom provided meticulous screening of each participant before the start of the program and again, at the end of the program to measure progress. The vitals/statistics of most of the participants were quite alarming in the beginning. Not surprising, most of the persons were cooking fried foods already high in fats and carbohydrates and consuming large amounts of sugar-high drinks.

Within this program we advocated the importance of: vegetables being the predominant food on the plate; reducing the consumption of red meat (and reducing meat intake in general); drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water; reducing alcohol consumption; getting enough rest and exercise and we even stressed the importance of having a healthy mind by focusing on the positive and not the negative around you. In other words, the guidance was holistic. > Read more

Love After Love – History & The Post-Colonial Caribbean


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by Michael Nelson

Hands_reachn.svgPhoto courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, User, Communpedia Tribal

Most will disagree, but without a doubt my favorite poem is “Love After Love” by Nobel prize winning St. Lucian author, playwright and poet, Derek Walcott. For me, it has always broached themes of individual identity, reconciliation, acceptance and of course, love of self.

For reasons I cannot explain, this weekend I read it once more with an entirely separate lens – that of the post-colonial Caribbean nation.

History…at least the one I was initially taught in primary and secondary school was…. his story. By that I mean a linear, euro-centric account of the origins of the West Indies – one that I’ve accepted with several grains of salt. For me, deference to Carib and Arawak science, beauty and culture; African religious syncretism, expression and folklore; and East Indian mysticism, ingenuity and familial structures were all critically important and unforgivably absent aspects of Caribbean historical accounts.

Reading this poem this weekend made me think. At what intersection would these equally weighted histories meet amicably in the present day post-colonial Caribbean? Can we ever really come to terms with history… and all parts thereof?

I wouldn’t dare attempt to answer the question definitively, but take a read and let us know what you think. > Read more

At-Risk Young Men in the Bahamas: An Endangered Species?


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by Jan Gilbert

Photo by Debbie Exalusphoto by Debbie Exalus

When I was 14 years old, I stood at my window and watched as a young man ran for his life and another young man calmly stood, aimed and shot him to death. They were both under the age of 25. The following year, my best friend, 15 years old, barely made it to his front door before he collapsed. He had stab wounds over his entire body. In that same year, my brother and I would be held at gunpoint by an 18-year-old male.

Endangered species are those that face a significant risk of extinction (Klappenbach, 2014). At risk youth are “young people whose potential for becoming responsible and productive adults is limited by challenges within the ecology of their lives” (McWhirter, 2007). These challenges include low socio-economic status and living in a single-parent home (US Department of Education, 2014). Therefore, for the Bahamian at risk male whom has a low socio-economic status and likely lived in a single-parent home to be deemed an endangered species, they must face a significant risk of extinction. Let’s look at the facts. > Read more

Broadband 4 all: Caribbean is catching up


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by Ronald Jubitana


World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), celebrated each year on 17 May, marks the anniversary of the signature of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865, which led to the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This year, WTISD-2014 will focus on the theme: “Broadband for Sustainable Development”. Broadband is a range of telecommunication technologies that provide high-speed access to the Internet. Usually these technologies use wires or fiber optic cables. Figure 1 illustrates that Caribbean countries are slowly catching up to the most advanced countries in fixed broadband penetration. While the European countries have an average of 30 installed broadband lines for every 100 people, the Caribbean countries on average have about a fourth of that, but from 2005 to 201 penetrations has increased on average. > Read more

Rethinking Logistics and Connectivity


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by Natalie A. Bethel

580px-Colorful_fibers_-_cropped_and_mirroredAuthor, Daniel Photos, Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, User, Memphisto

We need to reconsider the way we move!

A recent blog by the Caribbean Economics Team mentions that “the global landscape for the sector has become more competitive and traditional source markets for the Caribbean are less dynamic”, referring to the recently published Caribbean Quarterly Economic Bulletin’s special report on tourism.

When I read of the need to diversify our source markets, I think to myself: If I were living in Brazil or China, what would entice me to make a trip to the Caribbean, much less, The Bahamas for a substantial amount of time. One major incentive would be the ability to travel to several islands, both in country and within the region, as some sort of island-hopping package.

C6-BFM_(6987367521)Author, ERIC SALARD from PARIS, Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, User, Russavia

But I can’t. I cannot travel direct to The Bahamas. I must first stop in the United States (keeping in mind the visa requirement), and once I land in the capital, I must overnight in order to catch the first flight to my outer island destination – hopefully the flight is not delayed. Similarly, I cannot travel direct from The Bahamas to Barbados. I must stop in the United States. While we talk about importing new tourists, are we placing equal importance and effort in finding new investment opportunities to facilitate inter-island travel?

> Read more

Dispatches from the Front Line: The Caribbean Struggle for Energy


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by Lumas Kendrick, Jr.

lumas postphoto by Lumas Kendrick

The Caribbean is an area long admired for its alluring beauty and captivating lifestyle.  Yet, beneath the surface of this tropical paradise, the people in the Caribbean are locked into a struggle  that threatens their very lifestyle.  The issue is the struggle to control the spiraling cost of energy that threatens to undue all of the hard won gains of fifty years of independence.   The Caribbean generates almost all of its electricity using mostly diesel and heavy fuel oil.  Over the past 50 year,  the price for oil has risen from around US$10 per barrel to over US$100 per barrel and  the demand for electricity, driven by the increased  use of energy consuming devices, especially air-conditioning, has skyrocketed. > Read more

Outputs, Outcomes, what’s the difference anyway?


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by Annelle Bellony and Natasja Deul

Enriching local knowledge through Monitoring and Evaluation training

handsPhoto courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Author & User, Arch

The concept of results based monitoring and evaluation is a strong tool within the project design and execution cycle if used well. Monitoring is important from a project management standpoint as a tracking tool for the collection, analysis, comparison and reporting of data on program indicators. Meanwhile, results-based evaluation assesses an intervention to determine its relevance, impact and sustainability.

Building on the Bank’s goals to enhance the knowledge of executing agencies, the Suriname country office hosted a one-week Monitoring and Evaluation course from 13 – 17 January, 2014. The course was facilitated by Dr. Ray Rist of the International Program for Development Evaluation training (IPDET). This course brought participants together from Bank’s client Ministries, Program Executing Agencies and Bank staff. > Read more

How Rich are the Caribbean Countries if Compared Globally?


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by Valerie Anne Mercer-Blackman

A2-Bubbles ICPGraphic courtesy of World Bank, International Comparison Program, a visual tool

The World Bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) released its data recently, which uses the most thoroughly developed methodology yet to compare the income of 179 countries in 2011. This is the first time the Caribbean countries participate in the exercise. The program constructs GDP from detailed expenditure data for all countries using the so-called purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate. This is different from the regular market exchange rate in that it prices all detailed expenditures across countries at the same ‘international’ price. As a simplified example, haircut services, which are generally cheaper in developing countries (because wages are lower and they are not traded), would be priced at the average global international price for haircuts in all countries. Consequently, haircut expenditures in poorer countries would generally tend to be higher if valued at PPP exchange rate than if they were valued at the market (US$) exchange rate. > Read more

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Management, its Board of Executive Directors or its member Governments.

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