Archive for March 2015

Hey, Aren’t You the Flag Girl?


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by Guest Blogger, Olivia Désinor

OliviawHardHatPhoto credit by Olivia Désinor at the IADB Office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Like both my parents, I am an engineer by profession. I was born and grew up in Haiti where I attended an all-girls catholic school.  I was exposed to the world of construction from a very early age, either at my mother’s office where, as an architect, she would draw large blueprints for commercial buildings and houses, or on our occasional visits to actual construction sites, where I even got to carefully climb ladders. > Read more

IDEAS Energy Innovation


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By Lumas Kendrick 

12Photo credit by Marcia Erskine

Who will produce the innovative ideas that will solve the Caribbean’s pressing energy problems?  To recognize some especially creative energy solutions representatives of various international development agencies hosted a reception at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston on March 17 to celebrate the winners of the IDB’s 2012  IDEAS’ Innovation contest. > Read more

The time for organic farming is now: a natural for small island economies


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by Nidhi Tandon


The total acreage under organic production in CARICOM countries is low to non-existent compared to the rest of the world (see table), and this is a missed opportunity for the region.  CARICOM appears to be the only organized group of countries in the world to have officially rejected organic agriculture, even as a possible policy option, yet the biggest market for organic produce by far is the United States – the back-door for the Caribbean region. > Read more

Are you listening?


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by Guest blogger, Marle Reyes

CBS-Listening-Post-May-1941Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, User, WFinch 

I’m sure most of us heard this question (Are you listening?) from our parents at some point while growing up. Let’s not get into details here, but overall why were they asking, although I’m not a parent myself (yet) I think it is obvious they were expecting a sign indicating that we got the point, that in the future we will take into account their views on the matter. I’m sure we all saw their proud faces once they realized we DID listen, we put their advice into action. It is funny how things like this can be scaled up into our work environment, and on this case I particularly refer to community involvement during the early design stages of a project, during the execution, and feedback from these consultations.

During the preparation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (GY-L1040) in Guyana, which will tackle pressing issues linked to the poor quality of water supply and sanitation services in Georgetown and other areas along the coast of Guyana, I had the opportunity to participate in several community consultation meetings. We visited all the beneficiary communities to hear them out, tell them about the project, speak about the possible environmental and social issues and other risks related to the project, and let me say it was quite rewarding. > Read more

Putting biodiversity education in the fast lane in Jamaica


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By Guest blogger, Natasha Kate Ward


On a recent visit to a Jamaican School, I was transported back in time to my childhood.

I grew up in a rural area. Our house sat in the middle of a quintessentially English village with gardens and fields, a river, rolling green hills which abruptly turn into limestone cliffs and then tumble into the sea. Given my rural upbringing in a particularly beautiful part of the country, I spent much of my childhood running around outside, wading through rivers, climbing trees, picking flowers and even digging up worms for fishing bait. At primary school we learned our three Rs —reading, writing and arithmetic —like everyone else, but school was so much more exciting when we got to go on field trips outside, learning about local fauna, planting trees, and collecting flowers.

Thirty odd years later and 3,000 miles from Mrs. Ethelston’s Church of England Primary School, I found myself visiting the Chandler’s Pen Primary School in Southern Jamaica. What I saw brought me back to my own school days, and I was delighted to see the school’s strong emphasis on hands-on, nature based learning. > Read more

Without Fears


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By Guest Blogger, Roberto Obando


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Author,Olek Remesz, User Scott_Sanchez

In my previous blog  I explained in general terms how predictive policing works. Now I will explain its implementation in more detail.

Studies in the United States have shown that half the crimes in Seattle take place in just 4.5 percent of the city’s streets; that a bit more than 3 percent of the streets and intersections in Minneapolis account for half the crime there; and that just 8 percent of the city blocks in Boston account for 66 percent of the city’s robberies.

Similar statistics have been gathered in Latin American cities. For instance, in Cali, Colombia, 100 percent of all crimes reported in 2012 took place in 17 percent of its streets. With these kinds of statistics, we can start to build the algorithms for a predictive policing model. > Read more

Getting on the grid


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by Guest blogger, Rebecca Rouse


Sitting down for dinner last night with a group of colleagues, I took out my cell phone and placed it on the table next to my plate.  It was practically an unconscious reflex (let’s ignore for a moment my gross mealtime etiquette violation here), and it took me a second to realize I had done it. “Why did I just take my phone out,” I finally said. “I don’t get any cell service or Wi-Fi signal here.” > Read more

Without Fears: The Philadelphia Experiment, Step by Step.


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by Guest blogger, Pablo Bachelet

613px-Philadelphia_Police_-_gang_with_vehiclePhoto Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, User Zuzu

It’s a common question in the fight against crime: Is it better for police to patrol in cars or on motorcycles, so they can cover more ground and respond faster to emergency calls, or walk their beats so they can interact more closely with their communities.

The answer lies in the “Philadelphia Experiment.” That’s got nothing to do with the 1984 movie by the same name about an effort to build an invisible warship. On the contrary, the idea here is to maximize the visibility of the police. > Read more

Beauty in the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora


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by Jan Gilbert

IMG-20150306-WA0001Photo credit by Brittany Rolle

Recently, my 13-year-old sister stood in front of the mirror and asked me, who is the most beautiful female in the world?  A little taken aback, I looked at her with her warm, dark chocolate skin as she combed her kinky hair and told her that she is the most beautiful female in the world. She gave me an incredulous look and told me – no, she meant celebrities (how could I possibly think she meant anyone else, especially her? Only celebrities are really beautiful!)! I looked her directly in her eyes and told her, “What you see on television and in magazines is not real. Not even the celebrities themselves look like that.” I told her everything about her is real: her hair, her skin color, her nails, her eyelashes – and that in itself was beautiful because authenticity is beautiful.

> Read more

Grenada: The Hottest Place to Escape the Cold


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By Alejandro Carrion Menendez

Pure logo

Pure photo


I was surprised when I read that Grenada is the hottest place to escape the cold!

That at least is according to Kayak’s 2015 Travel Hacker Guide.  The Guide rated Grenada among the Top 10 Trending Beach Destination. Their methodology defines “hottest” as destinations with the highest year-on-year increase in clicks in 2014.

Now, let’s validate the hotness metric with real stay-over visitors by air data. In 2014, Grenada experienced an average growth of 17.6% in stay over visitors while the OECS as a whole saw a 5% increase. Meanwhile, iconic Caribbean destinations such as Barbados, Saint Martin and Jamaica experienced growth rates of  -0.6%, 7.3% and 3.3% respectively. To put things in better perspective, other year round beach destinations like Hawaii, Cancun and Thailand have grown at 3.9%, 6.4% and 11% respectively. Grenada clearly stands out as a top performer.

> 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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