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Reports

September, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Education plays a critical role in national development, at individual and societal levels. The disruption wrought by the pandemic ought to be reviewed, analysed, and understood so as to provide evidence-informed policy solutions to the resulting complex, critical problems that Jamaica faces. This report provides an evidence- informed account of what has happened to education, and to children, in the wave of the pandemic-induced school closures and the shift to remote teaching and learning. It does not seek to evaluate the education sector beyond what pertains directly to this unforeseen, singular, unpredictable, fluid event, the COVID-19 pandemic.

July, 2021
Thematic Area: 

COVID-19 pandemic’s principal impact on Jamaica has been hundreds of deaths, tens of thousands of people infected, and a disruption of livelihoods and the economy that has brought the greatest economic decline since the country started measuring it. Fifty-seven percent of Jamaican households saw a reduction in income between the onset of the coronavirus in March and September 2020, and some 40,000 households sought government aid, 5 percent of all households.

June, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Before March 2020, the global tourism industry was in a pre-pandemic boom with continued growth projected for the Caribbean region. Categorised as one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, the tourist industry is acknowledged as a powerful catalyst for Social-economic development. In 2019, the sector contributed, directly and indirectly, a third of the region’s GDP. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the projected growth to a sudden halt due to the widespread COVID-19 containment measures resulting in the closure of borders, restricted movement, and the prioritisation of public health.

June, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Jamaica’s children are in need of more and more available, specialized, and consistent mental health services. Most mental disorders that afflict adults have their genesis in childhood and adolescence. The first five years of life are the most critical with regard to brain development, including the development of emotional control and habitual ways of responding. Directing investments and efforts towards treatment and support in the early stages of brain development would redound to enhanced educational achievements, more positive adult outcomes, and, ultimately, boost national development.

May, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Despite the financial investment in social interventions for at- risk youth over the last several decades in Jamaica, the extent to which those interventions are effective is questionable as there has not been a noticeable nor sustained impact on the high rates of youth involved violence. Anti-violence interventions over the world, such as those that target at-risk youth to change their behaviour and divert them from violent crime, are designed and implemented because they seem to make obvious sense that they will work, but there is no basis for assessing the interventions’ effectiveness or outcomes. This weakness in monitoring and evaluating anti-violence social interventions, and the problem of not knowing their outcomes and whether or not they “work” has been recognized in Jamaica for at least two decades.

April, 2021
Thematic Area: 

The COVID-19 pandemic and response have wrought widespread changes in employment levels, household income, measures for keeping children safe, and daily life at the household and community level. Globally there are indications that the pandemic has led to an increase in certain types of violence. Given Jamaica’s pervasive violence problem, this trend raises concerns, and so ascertaining what impact the pandemic has had on violence, while methodologically challenging, is necessary. Jamaica consistently ranks as one of the most violent countries in the world in all these categories. There is an ongoing need for reliable evidence to inform policies, programmes, and interventions to reduce violent behaviour and enhance citizen security.

April, 2021
Thematic Area: 

The socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Caribbean are non-neutral, affecting some persons and entities more than others, with vulnerable groups including children, youth, women and girls, the poor, informal sector workers and small businesses, being among the hardest hit. To curb the rapid transmission of the disease Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) – full and partial border closures, lockdowns, curfews etc. – have been adopted and are still in place (to varying extents) by governments in the Caribbean, and around the world. NPIs, while contributing to reduced transmission of the disease have destabilised social and economic activity, producing negative effects for many, with worse impacts for vulnerable groups, as their pre-existing susceptibility to socio- economic shocks limited their capacity to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

March, 2021
Thematic Area: 

This report examines the quality of state care for children in Jamaica. It focuses on the role that governance plays in the development and implementation of policies and programmes whose stated aim is to promote the best interests of children in need of care and protection. Consistent with many other low-resourced countries, Jamaica does not have a robust governance structure to coordinate and oversee the effective management of state care programmes for children. The current governance structure lacks a number of important characteristics including: active collaboration, clear escalation pathways, effective and consistent communication, as well as guidance and enforcement mechanisms.

March, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Inequitable growth, with high income inequality and low social mobility, forestalls countries’ ability to capitalize on their most prized asset – its people. Inclusive growth, on the other hand,maintains the economic foundations of a country. People living in poverty cannot afford crucial investments in the bases of human development, such as education or health. Consequently, productivity levels are sub-optimal, as is economic output. Furthermore, unaddressed poverty exacts a greater burden on public resources. Public resources that could and should be committed to preventative and proactive measures of reducing poverty are instead spent addressing the consequences of poverty. As a result, economic progress may be undone.

February, 2021
Thematic Area: 

Abortion is illegal in Jamaica. It is, however, easily obtainable, albeit with varying degrees of safety. In Jamaica, complications from abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death. Complications from unsafe abortions burden the public health system and exact economic, societal, familial, and individual costs. The familial and individual costs are disproportionately borne by poor, vulnerable women and their dependents. There are financial and opportunity costs of unsafe abortion morbidity and mortality as borne by the public health system when women seek treatment from complications arising from unsafe terminations (or attempted terminations.) Finally, there are legal costs: women who seek medical services to safely terminate a pregnancy, and medical practitioners who provide those services, risk arrest and prosecution. This report examines the negative societal and individual outcomes resulting from the unlawfulness of safe termination of pregnancy in Jamaica, and measures the economic impact of those negative outcomes.

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