Jamaica has demonstrated its commitment to achieving sustainable and inclusive development through Vision 2030 Jamaica, the country’s first long-term national development plan. The Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report for Jamaica coincides with the preparation of the 4th successive Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) 2018–2021, which is the mechanism for prioritization, planning, review and monitoring of the implementation of Vison 2030 Jamaica. The MTF is underpinned by the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environmental), inclusiveness and equity, all consistent with the 2030 Agenda. Jamaica’s main messages in the VNR include strong national ownership and commitment to the SDGs; systematic and integrated framework for monitoring and implementation of national development priorities; key development achievements since 2015, and priorities for 2018–2021; inclusiveness and participation of stakeholders; challenges; and next steps.
Vision 2030 Jamaica represents the country’s commitment to good governance, democratic principles and participation of the citizenry in national development. This commitment has been extended to the 2030 Agenda, through national and sector specific consultations with stakeholders to identify and align the country’s development priorities. Localization of the SDGs is framed in Vision 2030 Jamaica, resulting in a seamless integration; additionally there is a 91.3 per cent alignment between both. The Road Map for SDGs Implementation approved by the Cabinet in June 2017 identified the MTF as the primary vehicle for monitoring the implementation of Vision 2030 Jamaica and the SDGs.
The national coordination mechanism for the 2030 Agenda comprises the National 2030 Agenda Oversight Committee (NAOC); the Thematic Working Groups; and the 2030 Agenda SDGs Core Group (Core Group). The NAOC established in 2017, reports through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to Cabinet and Parliament and provides policy and strategic advice for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs. The NAOC is a technical body of high-level representatives from government, civil society groups, private sector, academia, trade unions, political directorate and youth. The Core Group comprises the PIOJ, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).
National consultations convened in March 2016, to assess Jamaica’s data and statistical capacity for monitoring the SDGs indicators, highlighted that Jamaica currently produces 66 indicators. STATIN has lead the process to establish a coordinated National Statistics System. Jamaica’s engagement with the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGS) provides for continued opportunities to advocate for support to develop national and regional statistical capacity.
A Communications and Advocacy Roadmap 2018–2021 has been developed to inform communications and stakeholder engagement regarding the SDGs. The process of sensitization began in 2017 to “Localise the SDGs”, under the theme “The Jamaica We Want: Vision 2030 Jamaica advancing the SDGs…Leaving no one behind”.
Under MTF 2015–2018, critical strides were made in achieving medium term development outcomes as Jamaica maintained its position among countries with a High Human Development ranking and improved in key indicators of human capital development, made significant gains towards macro-economic stability and improved in key prerequisite areas for growth.
Under MTF 2018–2021, the country will continue the Economic Reform Programme (ERP), which has been credited with macro-economic gains, and provide greater focus to economic growth and job creation. The revision, formulation and implementation of several critical social policies and strategies to address the changing demographics will be pursued to harness the demographic bonus. The country will also advance approaches of climate-proofing for development and continue the pursuit of policies to strengthen sustainable management of the environment and build the country’s resilience to natural and man-made disasters.
Jamaica continues to be affected by challenges, triggered by vulnerabilities and external economic shocks including: the impact of natural disasters, negative effects of climate change, and high levels of indebtedness. Jamaica is challenged to implement policies that will trigger fast and sustained progress towards the goals in a context of limited fiscal space.
Accelerating SDGs implementation will require focus on: