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October 2020

October, 2020
Thematic Area: 

This study explores the implications of a national identification system for Jamaica and provides evidence to support the need for a national identification card, including its economic value. Jamaica does not presently have an identification that serves as a general- purpose identification, usable across all activities. Such IDs, known as foundational IDs, are usually created with the general population in mind, rather than a specific group of citizens. It is the norm in many jurisdictions that such IDs are universally available and are used for multiple purposes. In Jamaica, instead of using a foundational ID, functional IDs, such as passport, electoral ID, and driver’s licence, together with the TRN, are used to authenticate citizens’ identity. Those means of identification were not intended to verify identities in other contexts, or by third parties, but rather to meet the objectives of the issuing organizations. These current ID systems are not only limited in their coverage and, for some, costly to obtain, but there is a lack of interconnectivity; that is, each system’s collection, processing, storage, and management of identity data is isolated from each of the others.

August, 2020
Thematic Area: 

This study examines the barriers to entrepreneurship that Jamaican women face, and to offer relevant policy solutions to remove those barriers. Of the research that does exist, case studies and qualitative evidence suggests that there are constraints facing female entrepreneurs that men do not encounter. However, there is a general lack of empirical evidence on what these barriers are, and how they operate, particularly in emerging countries such as Jamaica. Jamaican women entrepreneurs have been featured in traditional and online media articles which tell their stories, and usually include some of the difficulties they have encountered, which may or may not be related to gender, but there is a dearth of evidence-informed analysis. This is a well-recognized problem: one recommendation posited in the newly updated Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) & Entrepreneurship Policy, which is administered by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF,) was the need for more empirical research to outline the realities facing Jamaican women, and to support the efforts of the government in combating identified barriers.

 

February, 2020
Thematic Area: 

Gangs, organized crime, and violence, and the nexus between them, are Jamaica’s biggest citizen security challenge. With the second highest murder rate in the Latin America and Caribbean region in 2019, Jamaica’s extreme violence is often attributed to gangs. Between 2008 and 2018, gang-related violence was responsible for 56 percent of murders in Jamaica, with a high of 78 percent in 2013. Jamaica is a violent country in other ways, with extraordinarily high rates of domestic violence, including intimate partner (IPV) and gender-based violence (GBV). Jamaica’s violence problem is so pernicious that the country has come to be described by academics and policy makers as having a “culture of violence.”

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