CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential

CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
2030 Strategy
Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
The Caribbean Community

Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy
Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
                  The CARICOM HRD Commission                                                                ix
                  Abbreviations and Acronyms                                                                 x
                  Foreword – CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy                              xii
                  Executive Summary                                                                        xv

1. Introduction to the HRD 2030 Strategy                                                                   1

      1.1. What is the CARICOM HRD 2030 Strategy?   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2
                  1.1.1. The Seamless HRD System Model                                                      2
                  1.1.2. The Seamless HRD System within an Ecosystem                                        7

      1.2. Context for the HRD 2030 Strategy  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  9
                  1.2.1.   Caribbean Diversity, Population Dynamics and Social Challenges                  9
                  1.2.2.   Political Systems and Governance of HRD                                        13
                  1.2.3.   The Economics of Regional HRD                                                  14
                  1.2.4.   HRD for Sustainable Development                                                17
                  1.2.5.   Technological Innovations and Disruptions in HRD                               19
                  1.2.6.   Enabling the Development of the HRD System                                     21

      1.3. How was the HRD 2030 Strategy Developed?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .22

      1.4. Why was the HRD 2030 Strategy Needed?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .23
                  1.4.1.   Developments and Best Practices in HRD                                         25
                  1.4.2.   Problems and Issues Experienced in HRD                                         29
                  1.4.3.   A New Philosophy for HRD                                                       31
                  1.4.4.   Call to Action by CARICOM                                                      32
                  1.4.5.   SWOT Analysis – HRD Policy and Practice in CARICOM                             33
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
2. The HRD 2030 Strategy                                                                                            35

      2.1. Strategy Organisation  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .37

      2.2. Strategic Direction  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .38
                    2.2.1.   Vision Statement                                                                         38
                    2.2.2.   Mission Statement                                                                        39
                    2.2.3.   Core Values                                                                              39
                    2.2.4.   Goals                                                                                    40
                    2.2.5.   Strategies Organized by Imperative for Each HRD Sector                                   42
                    2.2.6.   Cross-Sectoral Enablers                                                                  44

      2.3. Strategic Implementation  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .45
                    2.3.1.   Theory of Change (ToC) Model                                                             45
                    2.3.2.   Strategy Modules                                                                         47
                    2.3.3.   Framework for Action                                                                     49
                    2.3.4.   Actors in Implementation                                                                 50
                    2.3.5.   Balanced Score Card Methodology                                                          51
                    2.3.6.   Priorities for Implementation                                                            53
                    2.3.7.   Mobilization for Action                                                                  53

3. Conclusion                                                                                                       57
                    Glossary of Terms                                                                                 59
                    APPENDIX 1: Outputs for All Strategies by Imperative/Sector                                       69
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
        Summary Problems and Issues in HRD by Sector                           30
        Theory of Change for HRD 2030 Strategy                                 47
        Levels in the HRD 2030 Strategy Regional Framework for Action          51
        Priority Strategies for 2017-2020 Action Planning                      54
        Basic Education Sector                                                 69
        Skills for Lifelong Learning Sector                                    71
        Tertiary Education Sector                                              72

        Typology Model for a Seamless Human Resource Development System          5
        Governance Model for a Seamless Human Resource Development System        6
        Ecosystem Approach adopted from Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Model 8
        Percentage of Poor Population in CARICOM                                10
        Higher Unemployment Rates among Caribbean Youth                         10
        Change in Debt/GDP Ratio 2013-2015 & Debt/GDP Ratio, 2015               16
        Strategy Map for HRD 2030 Strategy                                      36
        The 3 Goals                                                             40
        The Priorities                                                          41
        Phases in the Action Planning Process                                   46
        Proposed BSC Framework Model for Cascading the HRD 2030 Strategy        52
        Capacity Development Model for the HRD CBI                              55
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
The CARICOM HRD Commission
In fulfilment of its mandate to develop the Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy and the Regional
Framework for Action, the CARICOM Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) acknowledges the
work of Members of the Commission for Human Resource Development.

Hon. Shawn Richards (Chair)                           Dr Didacus Jules (Lead Expert)
Deputy Prime Minister and                              Director General
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport       ORGANISATION OF EASTERN CARIBBEAN STATES

Dr Paulette Dunn-Pierre (Lead Expert)                 Dr Martin Baptiste
CEO and Regional TVET Consultant                      Operations Officer (Education)

Mr Wayne Chen                                         Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch
President                                             Registrar and CEO

Mr Bevil Wooding                                      Mrs Nancy Mangeondimedjo
ICT Specialist                                        Teacher Educator

Prof. Alan Cobley                                     Dr Marcellus Taylor
Pro Vice Chancellor (U.Grad Studies)                  Deputy Director of Education

Mr Don Howell                                         Mr Marcellus Albertin
Representative                                        Head, Human & Social Cluster

Dr Marcia Stewart                                     Dr Sawan Jagnarain
Head, Joint Board for Teacher Education               Youth Representative 

Ms Myrna Bernard                                      Dr Morella Joseph
Director, Human Development                           Programme Manager – HRD (2015-2016)
CARICOM SECRETARIAT                                    CARICOM SECRETARIAT

Dr Eduardo Ali                                        Ms Patricia McPherson (Project Manager)
Programme Manager – HRD (2016-2017)                   Deputy Programme Manager, Education
CARICOM SECRETARIAT                                    CARICOM SECRETARIAT

Dr. Nancy George (2015 – Jan 2017) and Dr. Glenford Howe (Feb 2017 – May 2017) provided support for the
work of the HRD Commission in the role of Education Sector Specialist and Consultant respectively.

                                                                                     CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                    The CARICOM HRD Commission   ix
CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy - Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential
Abbreviations and Acronyms
                             ACTI    Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions
                            ACTT     Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago

                             BAC     Barbados Accreditation Council
                               BE    Basic Education Sector
                             BOT     British Overseas Territories

                       CANQATE       Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education
                          CANTA      Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities
                            CAPE     Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination
                       CARICOM       Caribbean Community
                            CBET     Competency-based Education and Training
                           CCTTE     Caribbean Community Task Force on Teacher Education
                           C-EFE     CARICOM Education for Employment
                             CDB     Caribbean Development Bank
                            CIDA     Canadian International Development Agency (now Global Affairs Canada)
                        COHSOD       Council for Human and Social Development
                             COL     The Commonwealth of Learning
                            CPEA     Caribbean Primary Exit Examination
                             CQF     Caribbean Qualifications Framework
                            CSEC     Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate
                            CSME     CARICOM Single Market and Economy
                             CVQ     Caribbean Vocational Qualification
                             CXC     Caribbean Examinations Council

                          DFATD      Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Canada)

                            ECCE     Early Childhood Care and Education
                              ECE    Early Childhood Education
                           ECLAC     Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
                              eLJ    e-Learning Jamaica
                               EU    European Union

                             GAC     Global Affairs Canada (formerly CIDA and DFATD)
                             GDP     Gross Domestic Product
                              GoJ    Government of Jamaica

                             HRD     Human Resource Development
                            HFLE     Health and Family Life Education

IDB   Inter-American Development Bank
    IDP   International Development Partner
    ILO   International Labour Organisation
    IMF   International Monetary Fund
INQAAHE   International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education
    IVQ   International Vocational Qualification

    KPI   Key Performance Indicators

 NCERD    National Centre for Educational Resource Development (Guyana)
    NEI   National Education Inspectorate (Jamaica)
   NTA    National Training Authority

   ODL    Open and Distance Learning
  OECD    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
   OERs   Open Educational Resources

  PLAR    Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
   PPP    Public Private Partnership

    SLL   Skills for Lifelong Learning Sector

     TE   Tertiary Education Sector
    TLI   Tertiary Level Institution
   TVET   Technical Vocational Education and Training

    UCJ   University Council of Jamaica
UNESCO    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
 UNICEF   United Nations Children’s Fund
    UPE   Universal Primary Education
    USE   Universal Secondary Education
  USAID   United States Agency for International Development
  UTech   University of Technology, Jamaica
    UTT   University of Trinidad and Tobago
   UWI    University of the West Indies

   WEF    World Economic Forum
    WB    World Bank

                                                                          CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                         Abbreviations and Acronyms   xi
Foreword –
                                                  CARICOM Human Resource
                                                  Development 2030 Strategy

                                                   Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
                                                   Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer
                                                   of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

This Strategy document, The CARICOM Human Resource Development (HRD) 2030
Strategy: Unlocking Caribbean Human Potential is an important addition to the suite
of recently developed regional strategies aimed at ensuring the repositioning of the
Caribbean Community for successful participation in 21st Century economy and society.

When the Conference of CARICOM Heads of                               a mandate from the Heads of Government. It
Government endorsed the Strategy at its Thirty-                       targets the development of the ‘Ideal Caribbean
Eighth Regular Meeting (July 2017, Grenada), it                       Person’ articulated by the Leaders in 1997 and
signalled renewed commitment to addressing                            derives its values from that document. In doing
an important element of the CARICOM Strategic                         so, it addresses the development of skills and
Plan 2015-2019. This aims at ensuring “an                             competencies, not only for the economy, but
improved and acceptable                                                                   also for personal development
quality of life for the                             It targets the                        and good citizenship.
people of CARICOM
                                              development of the
and a socially resilient                                                                  The four Strategic Priorities
Region, capable of
                                                ‘Ideal Caribbean                          which give direction to
taking on the challenges                   Person’ articulated by                         the Strategy, namely,
of globalization”.                            the Leaders in 1997                         Access, Equity, Quality and
                                           and derives its values                         Relevance, and the resultant
The HRD 2030 Strategy                        from that document                           focus on a seamless HRD
was developed through                                                                     system, have been specif-
the work of a Commission on HRD, established                          ically targeted to address the significant
and guided by the Council for Human and                               inefficiencies and wastage in education and
Social Development (COHSOD), in fulfilment of                         training systems throughout the Community.

These shortcomings have resulted in less than       include gender and achievement, the use of
optimum outcomes for large segments of our          technology within the learning environment;
youth in particular. The seamless system is         skills required for 21st Century demands,
intended to provide multiple pathways for           development of skills for adults and out-of-
success not only for students currently enrolled    school youth and capitalising on our innate
in institutions, but also for persons who have      creativity to ensure that it becomes a medium
left the formal system, to engage in learning       for personal and regional development and
opportunities, with provision for certification.    fostering innovation, a critical requirement for
The Strategy outlines specific targeted
outcomes in the Basic Education (Early              The HRD 2030 Strategy will serve as a roadmap
Childhood to Secondary), Tertiary, and Skills for   for the CARICOM Regional Education and
Lifelong Learning Sectors. Issues addressed         Training Agenda. In doing so, it also seeks to

                                                                                        CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                      Foreword – CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy   xiii
ensure that our Community can fully respond to                     I congratulate the Chair of the Commission,
the United Nations Sustainable Development                         the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Goals (SDGs). It applies in particular to Goal                     Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, St Kitts
4 which seeks to ensure “inclusive and                             and Nevis, Honourable Shawn Richards,
equitable quality education and promote                            and all members of the Commission, for the
lifelong learning opportunities for all” and                       development of this excellent document. Lead
Goal 8 which targets “sustained, inclusive                         Experts Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General
and sustainable economic growth, full and                          of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
productive employment and decent work for all”.                    States Commission (OECS) and Dr. Paulette
                                                                   Dunn-Pierre, a noted expert in the area of
The importance of the appropriate development                      Technical and Vocational Education and
of our human resources cannot be overstated.                       Training, must be commended for the guidance
This Strategy is central to the development                        they provided. I extend my heartfelt appreci-
of our Community in all its facets and will                        ation for the time and expertise which they
propel it towards the sustainable, viable and                      so willingly provided for this initiative.
prosperous economy and society that we
seek. It can be our bulwark against the ills that                  I wish also to recognise the valuable input
are threatening to upset our social order.                         of the various persons in Member States
                                                                   who participated in national and sub-re-
Implementation of the Strategy therefore                           gional consultations and to the Ministries of
requires a ‘whole of government’, ‘whole of                        Education for organising these sessions.
society approach’. It was recognition of this
imperative that led the HRD Commission to                          I also take pride in the work of my own staff of
undertake national and sub-regional consulta-                      the Secretariat, in particular the Directorate
tions in Member States and Associate Members.                      of Human and Social Development, who were
These consultations targeted participation                         dedicated to the task. That team was ably led
from all sectors of government, the private                        by the Assistant Secretary General, Human
sector and civil society, including youth, and                     and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater.
the perspectives and suggestions shared have
been taken into account in the Strategy.                           I am confident that the implementation of
                                                                   this Strategy by CARICOM Member States
I must acknowledge that the development                            and Associate Members, in cooperation
of this Strategy could not have been                               with the CARICOM Secretariat and regional
achieved without the sterling financial                            institutions, will lead to robust policies and
and technical support of the Caribbean                             programmes that would help us to shape
Development Bank (CDB). This Institution                           that “Ideal Caribbean Citizen”, one who is
continues to make major contributions to the                       fully prepared to participate meaningfully
development agenda of our Community.                               in 21st Century society and economy.

Executive Summary

This document is organised into two main chapters and ends with a brief concluding
statement. Chapter 1 provides an Introduction to the Strategy where contextual
information and a situational analysis have been presented. The issues associated with
reform of education and training in the Region, the factors impacting upon the adoption
of the Strategy as a needed option for the Region at this time and the approaches used
in developing the Strategy are outlined in this Chapter. Chapter 2 is the actual HRD 2030
Strategy. It delineates the strategy design, outlines specific elements such as goals and
strategies and also describes the implementation arrangements.

The Caribbean Community Strategic Plan             education levels, have been championed
(2015-2019) recognises regional human resource     by individual Member States, led through
development as vital for social and economic       regional institutional projects and facilitated
prosperity, regional integration, building         by International Development Partners and
resilience and sustainable development.            business enterprises. These projects and
This is particularly the case because global       initiatives are a testament of the Region’s
social, economic, political,
business, educational and                The HRD 2030 Strategy recognizes
technological changes
                                          the need for systemic educational
are not only impacting our
Region in more general
                                       reform leading to the establishment
terms, but also affect the             of a single, unified, rationalized and
planning, management and                     coordinated system framework
delivery of the education and
training systems and cultures which influence      commitment to development and progress and,
educational, social and economic outcomes.         in many instances, the learners, graduates,
Over the past three decades, the Region has        teachers, leaders and icons in education
experienced incremental, sometimes sustained,      have been celebrated for their successes.
transformations in how it plans, manages and
delivers its educational and training products     Despite these developments, the Region has
and services to its citizens and others residing   witnessed significant pockets of undersub-
within our nations. Many of these transfor-        scribed enrolment, underperformance and
mations, from early childhood to tertiary          inadequate job access at many levels among its

                                                                              CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                     Executive Summary    xv
learners who are participating in institutional                    that the Conference mandated that the Council
and non-institutional education and training.                      for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
Such issues are exacerbated by learner support                     establish a Commission on Human Resource
deficits and gender, poverty and other                             Development to develop the CARICOM Human
socio-economic differentials which are affecting                   Resource Development (HRD) 2030 Strategy to
learning processes, outcomes and people                            position the Region for 21st Century Economy
productivity. The Region will continue to face                     and Society. In developing the HRD 2030
dire consequences if we do not confront and                        Strategy, the Commission engaged in over one
overcome the inherent inadequacies and                             and a half years of research, brain storming,
dysfunctions that pervade the Region’s                             policy dialogues and consultations, to ensure
education and training systems. Strategic                          that the design would: i) establish new priority
transformational initiatives will be needed to                     areas for the Region’s HRD; ii) facilitate regional
build regional capacity to reform, reorganize and                  convergence of HRD policies and initiatives
reorder these systems in an attempt to enhance                     by Member States for effective transforma-
access, participation, equity, quality and                         tional change and actions; and iii) address
relevance in education and training at all levels.                 the measures in United Nations Sustainable
More importantly, these systems must ensure                        Development Goals with particular reference to
that our people are adequately equipped with                       SDG 4 which targets inclusive, equitable quality
the requisite high-order                                                                 education and lifelong
knowledge-based skills,                                      It documents                learning for all and also
mind-sets and capacities,
                                                        3 principal goals,               SDG 8 which addresses
otherwise they will continue to
experience lives of exclusion,
                                                       4 key imperatives,                education and training of
                                                                                         youth and adults leading
risky behaviours, hopelessness,
                                                          3 core enablers,               to sustainable employa-
vulnerability and poverty.                            15 key performance                 bility and employment.
It is within this context that                                55 strategies               The HRD 2030 Strategy
the Conference of Heads of                                  organized into                recognizes the need for
Government of CARICOM at its                              3 HRD sectors &                 systemic educational
Twenty-Fifth Inter-Sessional
                                                        76 corresponding                  reform leading to the
Meeting in March 2014 received
a submission from Dr Didacus
                                                                   outputs                establishment of a single,
                                                                                          unified, rationalized
Jules, (then Registrar of the                                                             and coordinated system
Caribbean Examinations Council) on behalf of                       framework – the Seamless Human Resource
the CARICOM Cluster of HRD Institutions. The                       Development System for planning and managing
submission presented an analysis of the current                    the entry, upward and diagonal mobility and exit
situation in education and proposed broad                          of learners that reduces resource and learning
parameters for a Regional Human Resource                           duplications, repetitions and misalignment
Development (HRD) Strategy. It was on this basis                   across all levels of education and training

sectors. The system comprises actors in three       sectors and seventy six corresponding outputs.
sectors — basic education (early childhood          The Strategy is to be deployed using a CARICOM
to secondary), skills for lifelong learning and     gender-sensitive Results-Based Management
tertiary education. This change in the system       System where results will be measured in the
must embrace global competitiveness issues          short-, medium- and long-term (by 2020, by
as we deliver education and training to our         2025 and by 2030). The HRD 2030 Strategy is
people. The HRD 2030 Strategy focuses on            being developed into a fourteen year Master
the development of the ‘whole’ person, not          Plan with four-year action planning cycles. The
just for purposes of attaining productive liveli-   Council for Human and Social Development,
hoods as competent innovatively skilled             having received and endorsed the HRD 2030
workers and entrepreneurs, but to contribute        Strategy on March 30th-31st 2017, prioritised
to educating enlightened individuals who can        sixteen strategies for implementation in the first
support ‘meaningful and informed’ social and        four years (2017-2020). These priority strategies
cultural changes through their daily and profes-    will form the basis for a Regional Framework for
sional lives within their homes, communities,       Action to be developed with participation from,
schools, workplaces and the global space.           inter alia, Member States, Regional Institutions,
It is with this in mind that ‘Human Resource        Private Sector Enterprises, Labour, Civil Society,
Development’ was defined. It is seen as all         and International Development Partners. The
education and training delivered to citizens and    Framework for Action will be implemented using
others to prepare them both for the workforce       a HRD Strategy Action Plan Capacity Building
and better citizenship. In brief, the Strategy      Initiative (CBI) which is integrated within
prioritizes the acquisition, through learning of    the work plans of the CARICOM Secretariat,
the attributes of the Ideal Caribbean Person        Member States and Regional Institutions of
(adopted by the CHOG) and what are considered       CARICOM. The CBI will be a new mechanism
21st Century Skills and Competencies.               for project-managed transformational changes
                                                    related to the sixteen priority strategies at the
The HRD 2030 Strategy is a Regional road map        regional level that will be carefully monitored
for development of people. Taking note of the       and evaluated for success over the period.
foregoing, the Strategy envisions Unlocking
Caribbean Human Potential which can be              It is anticipated that the implementation
accomplished by enabling our people as they         of the HRD 2030 Strategy and the Regional
progress from their earliest years to senior        Framework for Action will redound to the benefit
adulthood to reach their full potential in their    of the people of the Region by preparing them
personal and working lives, contributing to         for brighter futures in turbulent times and
their families, communities and national and        changing economies and societies. It will enable
regional development. It documents three            the much needed transformations that will
principal goals, four key imperatives, three core   affect the operations of schools, community
enablers, fifteen key performance indicators,       colleges, institutes, colleges, universities,
fifty-five strategies organized into three HRD      workplaces and other learning communities.

                                                                               CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                      Executive Summary    xvii

                                                  xviii   THE CARICOM HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (HRD) 2030 STRATEGY
                                                          UNLOCKING CARIBBEAN HUMAN POTENTIAL
to the
HRD 2030

1.1.        What is the
            CARICOM HRD 2030 Strategy?
The CARICOM Human Resource Development                                plans and for all parties to develop
(HRD) 2030 Strategy is a long-term regional                           corresponding implementation plans. This will
development policy framework which steers the                         enable the Region to move towards a converged
development of human resources in CARICOM. It                         approach to addressing and advancing
mobilises the interests of CARICOM Member                             education and training.
States, Associate Members, Regional Institu-
tions, Private Sector, Civil Society and                              The HRD 2030 Strategy is principally concerned
International Development Partners interests to                       with the design, development and implemen-
prioritise, harmonise and converge national and                       tation of a globally competitive seamless
regional planning processes in order to deliver                       HRD system. This system will serve to
effective sustainable strategies for people                           eliminate wastage of resources for planning,
development. The HRD 2030 Strategy defines                            management and delivery of education and
HRD as all education and training (early                              training and produce citizens at all levels, who
childhood to tertiary education and skills-based                      are equipped to function effectively in 21st
learning) offered to citizens of the CARICOM                          Century Economy and Society. This new system
Region for the development of their knowledge,                        will facilitate ease of access at all levels, to
skills and competencies in pursuit of regional                        multiple pathways to personal achievement
workforce development and better citizenship.                         and employment opportunities, enabling all
The Strategy provides a blueprint for Member                          learners to achieve their personal goals through
States to draft their HRD sector plans, for                           a diversified and regionally/internationally
Regional institutions to devise their strategic                       recognised education and training system.

1.1.1.      The Seamless HRD System Model
The Seamless HRD System articulated in this                           efficient and effective manner. These principles
Strategy is an open framework which ration-                           will together form the bedrock of a more agile
alises, articulates, harmonises and develops                          and efficient education and training system,
three priority sectors (basic education, (early                       with enhanced capacities at all levels and in all
childhood primary and secondary education                             areas.
sectors), skills for lifelong learning and
tertiary education) within the HRD System. The                        The Seamless HRD System articulates
Seamless System is only operable when ten (10)                        educational levels within sectors (or
principles contained in Box 1 are applied in an                       sub-sectors) in a typology comprising learning

BOX 1. Principles for the Design of a Seamless System for Human Resource Development 1

    1 ACCESS:                       2 ARTICULATION:
     equitable access                qualifications which are articulated from level to level
     and provision of                (across all three sectors) so that several vertical,
     HRD for all                     horizontal and diagonal learning pathways exist from
     persons;                        access to completion;

    3 CO-OPERATION:                                                                    4 EMPHASIS:
    ensures that all actors (governing bodies, regulatory                                emphasizes learn-
    agencies, institutions and employers operating within the                            er-centredness in
    three sectors) have established collaborative partnerships                           the design of
    that facilitate effective co-operation towards effectiveness                         curricula, in
    and efficiency;                                                                      teaching and in
                                                                                         learning support so
                                                                                         that learners
                                                                                         achieve the desired
    5 FLEXIBILITY:                                                                       outcomes;
     facilitates operational flexibility to ensure that
     learners achieve desired results, for example,
     through creation of mechanisms for decentral-
     ization of authority to competent bodies to support                    6 INTEGRATION:
     effective planning, management, implementation                           integrates all three
     and quality assurance and offers diverse pathways                        sectors within a single
     and channels for learners to achieve;                                    unified framework;

    7 NON-DUPLICATION:                                                      8 PROGRESS:
    eliminates or avoids duplication of resource                             cultivates a continuous well
    usage or learning experience. For example, in                            tracked flow of information
    recognition of prior learning, an assessment of                          about the learner’s access,
    the learners’ prior experience is credited towards                       progress and performance
    another qualification the learner may choose;                            across the system;

9 QUALITY:                                             10 SUCCESS:
    based on clearly defined quality                      ensures that the student achieves optimal
    standards which are articulated                       success from the learning experience and
    across the system;                                    that deliberate effort is made for retention.

  CARICOM Secretariat (2017). HRD 2030 Strategy Implementation. 32nd Meeting of the Council of Human and Social
Development                                                                                    CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                               The Seamless HRD System Model   3
communities where qualifications are offered in                   prime emphasis on formal learning in schools
both educational and lifelong learning contexts.                  and other institutions. Informal and non-formal
                                                                  learning which takes place largely outside of
As shown in Diagram 1, the typology shows the                     traditional institutional learning environments
opportunities for upward and diagonal mobility                    have not been as formalized nor been
of learners from level to level. Learners can                     recognized for awards of credit, credentialing or
access and exit learning programmes at a variety                  other assessments for re-entry into the formal
of educational institutions such as early                         system. UNESCO’s Medium Term Strategy
childhood centres, primary and secondary                          2014-2021 aims to ‘promote and support
schools, technical and vocational institutions,                   lifelong learning with a focus on adult and
community colleges, colleges, polytechnics and                    continuing education, literacy and non-formal
teaching, corporate, research and entrepre-                       basic education. The activities of the
neurial universities. It is envisaged that in the                 UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning place
Seamless HRD System, educational institutions                     particular emphasis on furthering educational
may offer externally validated qualifications that                equity for disadvantaged groups and in
are designed in accordance with established                       countries most afflicted by poverty and conflict’.
national and regional quality assurance                           “Skills for Lifelong Learning” is the informal and
standards. Skills-based programmes, which are                     non-formal learning sector which addresses the
delivered by a variety of international organisa-                 skills, competencies and literacies to be
tions, state enterprises, professional bodies,                    acquired by children, youth and adults that
employers, media                                                                          would both prepare them
entities, communi-                                 In the Seamless HRD                    for active citizenship,
ty-based groups and                                 System, educational                   re-entry into the formal
formal extension projects                         institutions may offer                  sector and productivity
within communities, may
                                                    externally validated                  for employment
be assessed and granted
vocational, professional
                                                      qualifications that                 engagement wherever
                                                                                          and whenever it can be
and continuing education                                 are designed in                  accommodated in their
awards that can be                                      accordance with                   lives. This sector would
further validated by                               established national                   also essentially address
educational institutions                            and regional quality                  vulnerable, marginalized,
for issuing prior learning                         assurance standards                    disenfranchised and
credits.                                                                                  disengaged target
                                                                  societal groups. The sector would include, inter
The Region recognizes lifelong learning as the                    alia: i) home schooling, ii) open learning for
pursuit of every individual to ensure that he/she                 children and youth, iii) community-based
is prepared with the competencies and skills                      learning for children, youth and adults,
throughout his/her lifetime to learn, develop                     iv) government training and retooling initiatives,
and earn. Traditionally, the Region has placed                    v) NGO-led youth development initiatives,

Diagram 1. Typology Model for a Seamless Human Resource Development System

 EDUCATIONAL                             EDUCATIONAL                                LEARNING COMMUNITIES/
 LEVEL/SECTOR                  CQF LEVEL QUALIFICATIONS                             INSTITUTIONS
 Tertiary: Higher Degrees                Earned Doctoral Degrees
 by Research

                                         Research Masters

                                                                                     TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL

 Tertiary: Taught                        Taught Masters

 Postgraduate Certifications
                                         Postgraduate Diplomas/Certificates

 Tertiary: Baccalaureate                 Honours Bachelors

                                                                                                              COMMUNITY COLLEGES


 Tertiary: Sub-baccalaureate             Associate Degrees/ Higher Diplomas/
                                         Caribbean Advanced Proficiency
                                         Examinations (CAPE) Level 2 Diploma

                                         Caribbean Advanced Proficiency
                                         Examinations (CAPE) Level 1 Certificate/

 Secondary                               Advanced Certificate/                      Secondary school: grade 12
                                         Caribbean Secondary Education
                                         Certificate (CSEC)

                                         Certificate III/                           Secondary school: grade 11
                                         Caribbean Certificate of                   Secondary school: grade 10
                                         Secondary Level Competence                 Secondary school: grade 9
                                         (CCSLC)                                    Secondary school: grade 8
 Primary                                 Certificate II/ Caribbean Primary Exit     Primary school: grade 6
                                         Assessment (CPEA) or equivalent
                                         national common entrance test              Primary school: grade 5

                                         Certificate I                              Primary school: grade 4
                                                                                    Primary school: grade 3
                                                                                    Primary school: grade 2
                                                                                    Primary school: grade 1
 Early Childhood                         Competency                                 Age 5
 Development                             Certificate                                Age 4
                                                                                    Age 3
                                                                                    Age 0-2

CVQ – Caribbean Vocational Qualifications
CVQs are aligned to qualifications in the system at levels. Skills-based lifelong learning certifications
represent community-based, workforce and other work-based institutional certifications where prior
learning and experience may be validated through a competency-based assessment model.
Source: (2017). A Typology Model for A Seamless HRD System. CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana.
                                                                                                                            CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                                                       The Seamless HRD System Model                  5
vi) workforce development programmes,                                               professional learning and management/
vii) informal mobile, digital and online learning                                   executive leadership development.
i.e. open access learning and MOOCs and
viii) public education initiatives and ix) CPD                                      The Seamless HRD System is to be organised
(continuing education and professional                                              through a single unified and coordi-
development) programmes for career mobility,                                        nated governance model for ensuring

Diagram 2. Governance Model for a Seamless Human Resource Development System

The 2030 Seamless Human Resource Development System agency/Functional map
                                                     THE POLiCY: HRD 2030 STRaTEgY

                                                                              RESPONSiBiLiTY: CCS/mEmBER STaTES
                                                                        SECTOR PLaNNiNg                SECTOR CHaNgE                SECTOR
                          VaRiED miNiSTRiES                             aND maNagEmENT                  aND REFORm                PRODUCTiViTY
                                                                          Sector Research              Systems Review           Economic Planning
                                                                           Policy Analysis            Systems Redesign          Resource Planning
                      EmPLOYERS & iNDUSTRY                              Integrated Planning           Systems Modeling        Institutional Alignment
                                                                        Country Monitoring           Systems Intervention       Impact Evaluation

                                                 RESPONSiBiLiTY: miNiSTRiES OF EDUCaTiON
                           EFFECTiVE LEgiSLaTiON                        RELEVaNT STaNDaRDS                      aPPROPRiaTE REgULaTiONS

                    EFFECTiVE gOVERNaNCE                                       LEaRNiNg mODEL

                           By Laws                 Pedagogical Skills        Classroom Learning                Finance                Licensing
                        Board Processes            Subject Knowledge        Open Access Learning            Infrastructure           Registration
                          Committees              Assessment Practice         Blended Learning                  Spaces               Assessment
                        Decision Making              Lesson Planning           Mobile Learning               Technologies             Evaluation
                         Management                   ICT Integration            E-Learning                     People              Accreditation
                       Impact Evaluation            Learner Contracts       Co-Curricular Learning             Partners             Improvement
                                                                              Student Services

                                 RESPONSiBiLiTY: LEaRNiNg COmmUNiTiES

                      BaSiC EDUCaTiON SECTOR               LiFELONg LEaRNiNg                  TERTiaRY EDUCaTiON                   STUDENTS
                     (ECD, PRimaRY, SECONDaRY)                   SECTOR                             SECTOR
                             Public Schools            Community-Based Learning              Public Domestic TEIs
                            Private Schools            Centres (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs)           Private Domestic TEIs                 gRaDUaTES
                         International Schools            Vocational Learning,            Offshore & Foreign DL TEIs
                                                         CPDs, Public Education

effectiveness and efficiency in education                                embrace a national quality assurance
and training within the three sectors. For                               mechanism for basic education, lifelong
implementation of the Seamless System                                    learning and tertiary education which
Model, a governance model (Diagram 2)                                    reflect seven (7) core components or
is proposed. There are three broad-based                                 criteria such as effective governance,
levels of engagement and responsibilities for                            leadership excellence, teaching
governance of the system. They are at the:                               excellence, the learning model, learning
                                                                         support systems, efficient resources
    i) regional level where HRD sector policies                          and quality assurance processes; and
       are planned, reforms managed and
       productivity harnessed based on                             iii) the advancement of the learning
       inputs from CARICOM organs, Member                               communities within schools and
       States and employers and industry;                               HRD institutions to educate and train
                                                                        learners for the needs of Member
    ii) the national level where Member States                          States. It is here where the typology
        take full responsibility for introducing                        of learning communities exist which
        policies, legislation, operating standards                      includes a differentiated system at
        and regulations for the effectiveness                           all levels to include public, private,
        and efficiency of the national HRD                              international, community-based and
        system. The operational standards may                           other kinds of learning providers.

1.1.2.   The Seamless HRD System within an Ecosystem
The HRD 2030 Strategy recognises that human                      brenner’s ecological model (1994)2 suggests
resource development occurs in the context                       that the ecosystem approach may examine five
of, and is influenced by, a number interacting                   (5) key components which influence human
social, economic, environmental, technological                   development including learning in children,
and political forces. Thus, the new Seamless                     youth and adults. These are the micro‑, meso‑,
HRD System will function to provide added                        exo‑, macro- and chrono-systems. In short, the
value and support to this larger ecosystem                       HRD 2030 Strategy examines these components
in which HRD takes place. For this reason,                       and defines them as shown in Diagram 3:
the ecosystem adopts a “whole society”
approach which is in-keeping with the UN                             i) Governance (government laws and
Sustainable Development agenda. Brofen-                                 policies, historical antecedents, social

  Brofenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. In: International Cyclopedia of Education, Vol 3: 2nd.
Oxford, Elsevier

                                                                                                     CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                   The Seamless HRD System within an Ecosystem   7
values, culture, economy, human                                        iv) School (management, curriculum,
      rights, media and technology);                                             effective teaching, classroom
                                                                                 peers and services).
  ii) Community (neighbour-
      hoods, psychosocial support,                                      In terms of governance, the HRD 2030
      activities and child raising);                                    Strategy may therefore be seen as an integral
                                                                        member of CARICOM’s family of strategies
 iii) Family/Home (socio-economic class,                                which seek to address other issues and
      parenting, familial relationships,                                opportunities within the broader ecosystem.
      nurturing and support) and                                        These include, but are not limited to:

Diagram 3. Ecosystem Approach adopted from Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Model

                                           Laws                    History            Culture

                                      Economic System                         Social Conditions

                              Extended Family                         Parents’ Work Environments

                         School Board                         Neighbourhoods                Mass Media

                                        Family                                    Classroom

                                   Siblings               iNDiViDUaL CHiLD               Peers

`` The CARICOM Gender Differ-                      `` The Petion Ville Declaration on the
     entials Framework,                                 rights of persons with disabilities,

  `` The CARICOM Framework for                       `` The Strategy on Violence Against Children,
     Action for Children,
                                                     `` The Climate Change Strategy,
  `` Regional TVET Strategy for
     Workforce Development and                       `` The Cultural Industries Strategy,
     Economic Competitiveness
                                                     `` The policy directions laid out in the
  `` The CARICOM Social Development and                 CARICOM Strategic Plan with regard
     Crime Prevention Strategy and Action Plan,         to economic and technological
                                                        resilience and regional identity.
  `` The CARICOM Strategy for Prevention
     of Adolescent pregnancy,                       It is therefore imperative that the HRD 2030
                                                    Strategy be conceptualised, developed and
  `` The CARICOM Youth Development                  implemented as a collaborative effort involving
     Strategy and Action Plan,                      all stakeholders from the broader ecosystem.

1.2.     Context for the HRD 2030 Strategy

1.2.1.   Caribbean Diversity, Population Dynamics
         and Social Challenges
As a geographical space, the Caribbean              stretches from the Bahamas in the extreme
Community is populated by 19 Million persons,       north, Belize on the Central American sub-con-
comprising culturally and linguistically diverse    tinent to Guyana and Suriname in the extreme
groups of people who have historical roots to       south. Over the past decade, the Community has
Africa, India, China, the Middle East, Indonesia,   experienced marginal growth with a mean
and First Nations or Aboriginal civilizations. It   population growth rate of approximately 1.5%

                                                                                            CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                       Caribbean Diversity, Population Dynamics and Social Challenges   9
Diagram 4. Percentage of Poor Population in CARICOM

  Percentage of population poor


      50                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            47.2
      40                                                                                                                      37.7

                                                           28.8                                                30.2                                                           28.8
                                                                                                                                                                                                          19.0                                                                        20.0
      20                                                                  15.5








            Antigua                       Bahamas                      Barbados            Belize              Dominica                 Grenada             Guyana
            Haiti                       Jamaica                   St. Kitts       St. Lucia               St. Vincent                 Suriname                Trinidad & Tobago

  Source: Caribbean Development Bank (2016)

                                                                                                                                                                                     EXCERPTED FROM UNDP CARIBBEAN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT

                                                  and interventions to help the region achieve Poverty rates in CARICOM exceed those in
                                                  the ambitious and universal targets of the new Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole
                                                  Agenda 2030. The 2014 Human Development and are also higher than those in countries
                                                  Report indicates that poverty and vulnerability classified as low and middle income countries
Diagram 5. Higher Unemployment                    are linked,   Rates      among Caribbean
                                                                     multidimensional               and, Youth
                                                                                                            at times, by international agencies. Haiti, because of its
          Key multidimensional                    mutually reinforcing. But they are not syn- high share in the CARICOM population and
 FIGURE    2 include reducing
  priorities                                      onymous. The poor are inherently vulnerable its poverty rate being much higher than those
    the debt burden,
 Unemployment           is more building          because they lack sufficient core capabilities to of the other countries, elevates the average for
                                   severe among youth, with the exception of Belize, Guyana and St. Kitss & Nevis
        resilience to shocks at                   exercise    their full agency.                                                 the region. If Haiti is excluded from the calcu-
     80 levels and addressing
                                                     For    most     CARICOM                economies,          the   ob-        lation the average poverty rate becomes 24 per-
         significant challenges                   stacles   to  multidimensional              progress     are   deeply          cent. There has been a reduction in poverty in
     60 in youth employment.                      structural and linked to an extremely high debt 6 countries and worsening of poverty in 5. It is
                                                  burden, vulnerabilities to natural disasters and possible that countries experiencing economic
     40                                           the additional costs of Small Island Developing growth recovery in 2011-2015 may have recov-
                                                  States – high costs for food imports and high ered from any slippage in their poverty rates or
                                                  costs for energy. Therefore, key multidimen- may have prevented slippage while those with
                                                  sional priorities include reducing the debt bur- negative or no growth would have experienced
                                                  den, building resilience to shocks at all levels some deterioration.
                    Antigua & Barbuda

                                            Bahamas, The








                                                                                                                                                                                           St. Kitts & Nevis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      St. Lucia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      St.Vincent & the Grenadines


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Trinidad & Tobago

                                                  and addressing significant challenges in youth                                    There is also a problem of indigence, i.e. ex-
                                                  employment, and social inclusion of vulnerable treme poverty, where indigence is defined as an
                                                  groups.                                                                        individual’s incapacity to afford the basic food
                                                     Poverty indicators for Caribbean basket. The percentage of population estimat-
                                                  Community countries are not current. Figure ed to be indigent is as high as 23.8 percent in
                                                  8 shows high levels of poverty for the most Haiti, 18.6 percent in Guyana, 17 percent in St.
         Population below national poverty line    Unemployment Rate        Youth Unemployment (Aged 15 to 24 )
                                                  recent    years, based         on estimates compiled for Kitts and Nevis and 15.8 percent in Belize. The
                                                  13 countries. The population weighted average estimate is 9.1 percent for Barbados in 2001.
 Source: CARICOM Regional Statistical Database; 2015           rateandis 2016
                                                     Economic Review      43.7    percent
                                                                              Forecast, Caribbeanfor  CARICOM.
                                                                                                  Development                    In the
                                                                                                              Bank; and World Databank      other countries the range is between 1.2

                                                                                      BEYOND INCOME
                                                                                               FROM UNDP CARIBBEAN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT

  income countries that require new metrics                                                                        additional information to existing multidimen-
  and new policies to move forward.                                                                                sional poverty measurement tools.
     In this Report, multidimensional progress                                                                        The insertion of the concept of multidi-
  is defined as a space for human development                                                                      mensional progress into the discourse on
  regulated by normative limits: nothing that                                                                      Caribbean development introduces a fun-
per annum with high population growth in the                      rates of poverty and extreme poverty rates in
British Overseas Territories such as Cayman                       many countries, with Haiti being among the
Islands (2.7%) and the Turks and Caicos Islands                   most severely affected4. Investment in people
(4.5%), while some territories such as Suriname                   development strategies is therefore critical to
and St Vincent and the Grenadines (0.1%)                          facilitate the reduction of poverty in Member
register low rates. This change in population                     States.
growth is balanced by a crude mean annual birth
rate of 18 per thousand and mean mortality rate                   Natural disasters have likewise been taking
of 6.5 per thousand. The average life expectancy                  a severe toll on the Region. A Caribbean
for the Region is 70 years. Migration has                         Development Bank (CDB) analysis of the
therefore become a                                                                          impact of natural
major issue in many                    With the exception of                                disasters estimated
territories such as the          Trinidad and Tobago, youth                                 that the hazards
Cayman Islands and                  unemployment rates are                                  during that period
the Turks and Caicos              between 18 and 47 percent                                 cost the Community
Islands. Within this                                                                        over US$ 18 bn.5
context, the Region’s development of human                        These disasters impacted negatively on human
resources would therefore require significant                     development, especially in the poorest and
investment from birth to senior adulthood,                        most vulnerable parts of the Region6. Some
recognising that while population growth is                       countries face unique situations. In the
minimal the changes and outreach in human                         Bahamas for example, the multi-island Small
resource development must address different                       State characteristic has the effect of signifi-
people groups given their historical, geo-po-                     cantly driving up the cost of education and this
litical, cultural and linguistic contexts.                        exacerbates the challenges of access and equity
                                                                  in education provision. Countries such as Haiti,
Human resource development strategies are                         Guyana, Belize and Suriname also experience
regarded as a collective weapon for poverty                       additional issues because significant elements
alleviation in developing countries (Li, 1994)3.                  of their populations are located in far-flung
While social and economic progress has been                       areas of the country which might be difficult
achieved over the past two decades across the                     to reach because of geographical terrain, and
Region, poverty continues to plague Caribbean                     the absence of reliable ICT networks. Box 2
countries. As can be seen in Diagram 4                            points to the serious socio-economic and other
Caribbean countries are characterized by high                     disparities and inequalities which often exist

  Li, W. (1994). Human resources development and poverty alleviation: A study of 23 poor counties in China. Asia Pacific
Population Journal. Sept 9 (3): 3-18
    See for poverty rates, UNDP (2016) Caribbean Human Development Report, p.28
    Cited in UNDP (2016). Caribbean Human Development Report, p.7
    Cited in UNDP (2016). Caribbean Human Development Report, p.7

                                                                                                           CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                      Caribbean Diversity, Population Dynamics and Social Challenges   11
BOX 2. Situation of Indigenous & Tribal Groups – Case of Suriname 7

                           L A R G E G R O U P S O F T H E P O P U L AT I O N [ H AV E B E E N ] I N A

          D I S A DVA N TAG E D P O S I T I O N F O R A LO N G T I M E … T H EY A R E , I N PA RT I C U L A R , T H E

      indigenous and tribal groups I N [ T H E ] I N T E R I O R .
     S U C H G R O U P S are deprived of much of what is

    necessary to lead a decent life F R O M A H U M A N I TA R I A N

       E D U C AT I O N , M E D I C A L A N D S O C I A L C A R E . T H E R E I S N O Q U E ST I O N O F ST R U C T U R E D

       E M P LOYM E N T A N D M A N Y L AC K A F I X E D I N CO M E . T H E P R OV I S I O N S F O R A H E A LT H Y

    L I V I N G E N V I R O N M E N T A R E M I SS I N G I N T H E I N T E R I O R , W H E R E P OV E RT Y A N D P R O B L E M S

          R E L AT E D T H E R E TO P R E D O M I N AT E … T H E R E A L I T Y O F T H E D I S A DVA N TAG E D, T H E

            condemnation and maintenance of the
                   underprivileged as the ‘outcasts’
    O F [ T H E ] S O C I E T Y constitutes a major risk F O R T H E S P I R I T U A L

                      W E L FA R E A N D T H E L E V E L O F C I V I L I S AT I O N O F [ T H E ] S O C I E T Y.

                  I T I S A M AT T E R O F T H E H I G H E ST P R I O R I T Y TO WO R K O N A RA D I C A L

                           A N D T H U S F U N DA M E N TA L L I F T I N G O F T H I S S I T UAT I O N .

Source: Extracted from “Suriname’s Multi-year Development Plan 2012-16” pp 66 and 67 and cited in CDB (2014). Country Strategy Paper,
  2014-2018 The Republic of Suriname.

  See, following Box 4, the comprehensive initiatives undertaken by the Government of Suriname to rectify these challenges
in terms of improving education access, equity and quality.
between populations in coastal and in the rural                  education and employment prospects. The
hinterland districts of some Caribbean countries.                Report notes that “the data might be pointing
                                                                 to differences between the education levels
With the exception of Trinidad and Tobago,                       employers want in the labour force and what
youth unemployment rates in the Community are                    the education system produces.”9 It also
between 18 and 47 percent, representing rates                    noted the need for “improving the levels,
twice to three times the rates for adults. Youth                 quality and relevance of education and
account for 28 to 50 percent of all unemployed                   training of the population”, especially given
persons as seen in Diagram 5.8 It is also worth                  the high cost of youth unemployment for the
noting that female youth unemployment is                         Region, and its impact on economic develop-
usually significantly higher among than that                     ment.10 This currently impacts HRD within
for the males even in spite of generally better                  CARICOM. It has also been one of the most
education achievement. A 2016 UNDP Report                        important determinants of educational access,
points to the positive association between                       equity and relevance within the Region.

1.2.2.     Political Systems and Governance of HRD
Building the sustainability of HRD towards the                   for the Region’s HRD and therefore use the
year 2030 will require the stability of CARICOM                  Strategy to creatively negotiate their priorities
political systems which influence good                           for National HRD it can only be beneficial to their
governance. Political systems in the Region                      country’s development. This may be achieved
involve transfers of power through multi-party                   by using a mix of governmental actions, legisla-
constitutionally determined elections. Political                 tions, fiscal and budgetary measures and
parties negotiate their policy priorities with the               data from the monitoring and evaluation of
electorate, articulate the priorities in manifestos              previously executed projects that fall within
and, once successful, implement them for                         their own country education sector strategy.
five-year terms at a time. Such implemen-                        In this way, there will be continuity in public,
tation will involve government policy actions,                   private and international investments in HRD
legislation formulated through the Parliamentary                 at the state level, despite resource constraints.
machinery and Appropriation Bills for budget                     Collectively as a Region, all Member States will
prioritization. If political parties consider the                move on similar pathways to implementation
HRD 2030 Strategy as a key development policy                    of a Regional HRD System within CARICOM.

     UNDP (2016) Caribbean Human Development Report, p.38 &.73
     UNDP (2016) Caribbean Human Development Report, pp.151
     UNDP (2016) Caribbean Human Development Report, p.151

                                                                                                 CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                   Political Systems and Governance of HRD   13
1.2.3.     The Economics of Regional HRD
Several Member States have allocated large                           among the most indebted in the world and
proportions of their Gross Domestic Product                          have debt burdens in excess of 60% and some
(GDP) to education. According to the World                           over 90% which places them in a precarious
Bank, in 2013, education expenditures in                             fiscal position with their indebtedness
CARICOM as a whole represented about 4                               undermining their growth and development.14
percent of GDP, comparing favourably to the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and                            One of the most striking features of the current
Development (OECD) average of 5.2 percent of                         economic situation of regional economies is
GDP.11 In 2011, The World Bank reported that                         that the Caribbean has been underperforming
Caribbean small island states dedicated an                           even when measured against other parts of
average of 6.3 percent of GDP to education, a                        the developing world, including other small
marked increase from the 2.8 percent allocation                      island developing states (SIDS). This represents
in 1999.12 Whatever the 2016-17 percentage of                        a significant reversal of fortunes since as one
GDP allocated to education and training, it is                       study showed, “while in 1980 Caribbean GDP
safe to say that                                                                                per capita was four
there is a sizeable
                                        The Caribbean has been                                  times higher than
commitment to
education from
                                    underperforming even when                                   the of other small
                                                                                                economies, by 2012
the public purse
                                   measured against other parts                                 this ratio had fallen to
in CARICOM                              of the developing world,                                less than parity – at
countries.13 This                   including other small island                                0.94”. The trend is
commitment has                          developing states (SIDS)                                predicted to continue,
occurred in a                                                                                   and Caribbean GDP is
context of severe financial difficulty for most                      projected to fall, in a business as usual scenario,
countries in the Region since they have been                         to 0.89 of the GDP of other small economies
experiencing declining economic conditions                           by 2018.”15 The Caribbean Development Bank
for over the last decade, or more. This is                           attributes the lack of growth and indebtedness
reflected in the debt to GDP ratio and poor                          of Caribbean countries, relative to even the
growth in the majority of countries. As seen                         performance of other small island developing
in Diagram 6, many Caribbean countries are                           states (SIDS), as being a reflection not only

     World Bank (2013), “Quality Counts for Skills and Growth.”
     Information downloaded August 19, 2016 from
   This significant allocation of GDP to education needs to be considered in light of the high burden of debt-to-GDP ratio of
the majority of CARICOM countries. In light of their debt burdens, the commitment to education is even more significant.
   CARTAC (2015). Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, Annual Report September 2015, P.10
wp-content/uploads/2016/01/AR_CARTAC_FINAL_WEB_Nov-13-2015.pdf ; ECLAC (2015) The Caribbean and the Post-2015
Sustainable Development Agenda. Symposium on sustainable development goals for the Caribbean within the post-2015
development agenda held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 24-25 June 2015,
     ECLAC (2015) The Caribbean and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, p.8

of the region’s vulnerability but also its lack                 expenditure on HRD only represents a part
of competitiveness and low productivity.16                      of overall spending on these sectors. Private
                                                                expenditures may include costs related to
Economic conditions have been affecting                         textbooks, writing materials, transportation,
HRD sectors in the Region by determining the                    school uniforms, and lunches, among other
quantum of resources governments within                         things. Additionally, Member States have been
restrained conditions can afford to dedicate                    tinkering with alternatives such as non-tradi-
to financing education and training. This                       tional options for delivery of HRD. Such options
situation in turn has had implications for the                  may be inclusive, high quality, service-driven
pace, amount and quality of job opportu-                        and learner-centred with reasonably lower cost
nities, which in turn determines the returns on                 models. The potential of open learning models
investment in education. These impacts are                      and modalities which will be addressed in
felt at all levels of the education system. The                 subsequent sections of this Strategy represent
precarious nature of the Region’s economies                     critical options for HRD planning and delivery.
and especially their high levels of indebt-
edness produce negative impacts on HRD as                       The negative ramification of economic
well, since it not only constrains the ability                  challenges is often gendered, as economic
of countries to make further investments in                     crises have serious implications for female-
this area, and those services such as health,                   headed households in the Caribbean. The
and social protection which are crucial to                      severity of the impact is not restricted to
enabling educational access and equity.17                       resources for books, clothes, lunch and other
                                                                such essentials. The crises force female heads
The effects of lowering economic conditions                     of households to increase their participation
on HRD access and equity have historically                      in the labour force to earn more and these
also been evident at the level of families and                  mothers therefore have less time to dedicate to
individuals, especially those of lower socio-eco-               providing help for their children at home with
nomic backgrounds. Educational choices                          homework and lessons, among other things.18
which learners and their families make both                     The The past and current economic conditions in
in terms of level and type of studies to be                     the Caribbean have had negative effects on the
pursued are also often influenced by economic                   aspirations of individuals and families in terms
conditions within respective countries. It                      of their educational expectations. Whether rich
is worth bearing in mind that government                        or poor, parents in the Caribbean expect that

     CDB Economic Review 2015, p.5
    ECLAC (2015, p.7-8) notes for example that in the case of Jamaica, in the 2015–2016 Budget Estimates of Expenditure
tabled in Parliament in February 2015 the country allocated J$310.2 billion or approximately 47 per cent of projected
Expenditure to servicing debt; in the same Estimates spending on education was reduced by three 3 per cent – from J$83.8
billion to J$81.3 billion.”
  Juliana S. Foster and Rhoda R. Reddock (2010) The Global Financial Crisis and Caribbean Women: A Gender Analysis of
Regional Policy Responses” paper submitted to SALISES 11th Annual Conference Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain Trinidad
and Tobago March 24-26th.

                                                                                                 CARICOM HRD 2030 STRATEGY
                                                                                             The Economics of Regional HRD   15
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