Forging A National Policy Framework for Local

Jamaica is an independent state located in the
Primary economic activities are tourism,
bauxite/alumina and agriculture
Jamaica is a member of the Caribbean Forum
of Local Government Ministers (CFLGM)
CFLGM has formulated a Regional Policy
Framework for advancing local governance
and local democracy in the region
Local Government was introduced in Jamaica
in 1662
The earliest form was called the Vestries
which was abolished in 1865, but restored in
There was continual agitation for reform of
Local Government since 1942
Since 1995, bi-partisan programme for
reform has been instituted
Early local government reform (LGR)
proposals saw local government’s role as
enhancing & deepening democracy and the
delivery of local services
Later proposals emphasised local
government’s role in sustainable
development, resource allocation and
Accepting concept that local government has
a key role in Local Sustainable Development
requires formulating a national policy
This has been a major focus of the
Department of Local Government (DLG)
Development confined to towns and special
enclaves, by-passing rural areas and inner
city communities
No buy-in from majority of population,
resulting in failure to realise goals
Approaches led to inequitable development
Local Authorities to have legal mandate to
spearhead local sustainable development
Successful exercising of this mandate
requires a holistic approach which integrates
physical and socio-economic development
Establishment of a participatory model that
enable all stakeholders to be full partners in
the process
Close alignment between the local and
national planning processes
Implementation of a rigorous capacity
building programme for all the major
partners in the process
Financial resources allocation model that
provide Local Authorities with funding for
development purposes e.g. infra-structure
Making Development more balanced and
Mobilizing the energies, creative talents and
commitment of all sectors and interest
Special knowledge of local resources and
local development opportunities
Ensuring a conducive local environment to
attract business and investment
Safeguarding against threats from natural
and man-made disasters
Forming alliances with Central Government to
forge a national consensus on LED issues
Selection of 2 pilot LAs and supporting the
preparation of Local Sustainable Development
Plans (LSDPs)
Orientation of a wide range of central and
local government personnel and civil society
representatives, in concepts, principles,
practices and LSDP methodologies
Organizing and executing a series of
Visioning Symposia in each local government
jurisdiction, to forge a vision for the
development of the parish and to kick start
preparation of a LSDP to achieve that vision.
Enhancing planning capabilities of LAs to take
on the challenge of spearheading the
development of their parish
Parish development Committees (PDCs)
created to facilitate participation of civil
Provision of technological tools/methods to
facilitate formulation of development plans
Partnership with tertiary institutions to
produce trained planning and development
Two Las have successful completed LSDPs for
their Parish
2 other LAs are currently preparing LSDPs
while the remainder are getting ready to
commence preparation of LSDPs
PDCs have proven their usefulness and
gained broad acceptance
Manchester LSDP is recognised as a best
practice model
Growing awareness and acceptance by many
agencies, of the relevance of local governance
in meeting strategic developmental
challenges and in offering solutions
All LAs have relatively strong Planning Units
that are highly regarded and valued
LED is not an area in which local government
is traditionally perceived as having a role to
Conditions in which to attempt new
approaches to economic growth and
development are unfavourable due to the
recent global financial crisis and its effect on
the Caribbean economies
Lack of confidence among LAs and local
officials in their readiness to take on such a
challenge due to lack of experience within
LAs in respect to LED
The typical system of resource allocation and
assignment that exist in most Caribbean
countries is not conducive to experimentation
and departures from established orthodoxies.
Failure of orthodox approaches to economic
development in the various countries, which
have been exclusively driven from the centre,
have opened the door for new approaches
which recognize the value and importance of
local involvement.
Policy makers and advisors across the region
increasingly understand that real economic
development must be supported by a model
of governance that can mobilize the creative
talents and energies of all the people
Wide endorsement and use of the Regional
Policy and Cooperation Framework by local
governance stakeholders in the Caribbean

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