Archive for December 2014

Building Leadership for Successful Project Execution


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by Julian Belgrave

Section of the Audience2

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Country Office in Trinidad and Tobago has now completed a series of three sessions that provided opportunities to key staff of executing units (on average 80 persons per session) with responsibility for IDB-financed projects to share experiences and knowledge with each other, other public sector stakeholders and with the IDB’s project teams. > Read more

Climate finance and Climate Investment Funds


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by Hans Schulz

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 What do Bob Marley and climate change have in common?

Never would I have thought there might be a connection between Bob Marley and climate change. “It’s all about ‘One Love,’” repeated the Honorable Minister Ian Hayles of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, when he opened the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) Partnership Forum in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Obviously the minister realizes it is slightly more complicated than just “one love.” But starting with a little love, and, equally importantly, simplicity made the issue of climate change a tad more entertaining and understandable for the 500 plus global participants at this week’s event. > Read more

The Fear Factor a Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculation on the Economic Risk of an Ebola Scare in The Caribbean


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by Juan Pedro Schmid


This brief presents simulations of an Ebola scare in the Caribbean, including three highly tourism-dependent economies, The Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica. On the basis of the experience of Mexico in 2009 with swine flu, we simulate a short but sharp drop in tourist arrivals resulting from tourists’ worries about Ebola.

The Caribbean is special in that tourism contributes directly and indirectly up to half of its GDP. The simulations indicate that the volatility of tourism combined with that dependence creates significant vulnerability for the region. Under the worst-case scenario, a noticeable impact could be expected even in countries with a smaller dependence on tourism. In addition, declines could also be expected for employment and revenues. > Read more

What do you mean by “Caribbean” anyway?


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by Michael Nelson

CIA_map_of_the_CaribbeanPhoto Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Author, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Ironically, while thoroughly entertaining myself elbow-deep in Guyanese pepper-pot, I received a work request over the weekend to address the issue of Caribbean identity. I also became aware of a heated on-going debate on our blog as to how we should define and boundary the concept of “the Caribbean” – past colonial affiliations; imaginary lines in the deep blue sea; economic and trading blocks; shared post-colonial democratic experiences of African, Asian, and European descendants in small, mostly island states etc.

First, let’s helicopter up to 5,000 feet. Regional identity definitions are always going to be problematic if you are looking for anything more substantive than who is in my geographical neighborhood. Our socio-historic needs for nationalistic separatism and intra-regional comparison tend to play key roles in blocking our view of regional inclusion. Don’t believe me?  Try asking our neighbors to the south and west what “Latin American” really means. Similar colonial affiliations to the Spanish Kingdom you say? Tell that to Brazil, Suriname, Belize, Guyana and French Guiana – not to mention the existing indigenous nations who do not abide by immigrant territory demarcations. The same challenges arise with other regional affiliations around the world, including Europe. So with that we can jedi mind-trick ourselves into the understanding that our lack of consensus does not make us disorganized, ill-educated or otherwise less-than inhabitants in other parts of the world. > Read more

Is there something wrong with the Caribbean?


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By Ricardo Sierra and Sarosh R. Khan


This blog is the second in our series of five blogs on economic stagnation in the Caribbean. Our first blog “Smallness hurts, but does it constrain growth?”  showed that, while smallness creates several economic problems, it does not constrain growth. With that as a starting point, in this post we illustrate two important ways in which the Caribbean stands out from rest of small economies (ROSE)—defined as countries with populations of less than 3 million—to explore what is wrong with the Caribbean that is preventing economic growth from taking hold. > Read more

Four Climate-Smart Business Opportunities in Jamaica and the Caribbean


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by Elizabeth Nicoletti

Blog_sustainable-tourism-300x225Tourist resorts in Jamaica stand to benefit from more sustainable, climate-smart business models

If we contemplate climate change long enough, it seems like we all lose. However, if you really want to talk about the equivalent of an unfair penalty or missed offside call, look around Jamaica. Ten hurricanes ravaged the country in the last five years, each causing damages of approximately US$100 million.  The rainy season is longer, droughts follow that exacerbate agricultural deficits, and the sea level is rising 3.5 mm year. Climate change affects Jamaica and other Caribbean islands disproportionately. And Jamaicans contribute very little to its causes. > Read more

Shoreline Protection Gives Four More Reasons To Smile


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By Cassandra Rogers


Barbados is said to be a smile wide. This smile has gotten broader for locals, business owners, tourists and other visitors to the West Coast of the island following the completion of the second phase of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)/ Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) funded coastal resilience project. > Read more

Compete Caribbean


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by Compete Caribbean

compete caribbean

The Caribbean is a region known for its magnificent beauty, rich diversity, unique culture, and abundant natural resources. Despite these qualities, the region faces declining long-term growth and major challenges, including high debt levels and stagnant productivity. To help address these challenges, major donor agencies in the region came together to form Compete Caribbean. With 91 projects in execution and 36 projects with regional scope, Compete Caribbean is breathing new life into the region.


Part II: Miami’s Little Haiti offers big ideas on poverty reduction through the arts


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by Guest blogger, Julienne Gage


When then 21 year-old Jude Papaloko Thegenus arrived in Miami in 1986 to further his art studies, practically no one in the city thought of aesthetics and culture as a professional priority, especially for recent arrivals.

“The focus was on immigration, fighting for rights. It was about Haitians coming on boats and needing a place to stay, food, work, and immigration papers,” he recalled.

No one in the community knew where to buy art supplies, let alone how to help him sell his work in a city that had yet to acknowledge Haitian art as anything other than folklore. But a boom in urban gentrification, spurred by Miami’s burgeoning art scene is inspiring Papaloko, the owner of the Jakmel Art Gallery near Wynwood, to open an additional gallery up the street in Little Haiti, the neighborhood where he first settled. This gallery will be focused on tutoring youth in art, music, and Haitian cooking, activities his own non-profit Papaloko4Kids offered for years in Florida’s public school system and on visits to Haiti.


But like the mother country, it’s hard to shake dismal images of poverty in a community littered with garbage and peeling paint, where many businesses have yet to own a credit card machine. > Read more

Miami’s Little Haiti offers big ideas on poverty reduction through the arts


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by Guest blogger, Julienne Gage 

10846711_10204566078644567_129854634_nAbove photo by Claudia La Bianca

For five decades, tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing hardship in their homeland rebuilt their lives about four miles north of downtown Miami, Florida, in a neighborhood widely known as Little Haiti. It was the first stop on the road to the American dream and one of the most efficient places for collecting donations and remittances to send back home. Even during power outages from hurricanes, Little Haiti was always open for business. Need candles or a flashlight? Follow the lively kompa music blaring from a dollar-store generator. Want a beer and a game of dominoes? Drop by Churchill’s, an Old English pub in a perpetual state of demographic adaptation that hosts everything from Haitian jazz to Argentine punk. > 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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