T21 JAMAICA: A TOOL FOR LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
Free (open access)
Volume 6 (2011), Issue 2
135 - 151
W. QU, H. MORRIS & J. SHILLING
In formulating its long-term (2006–2030) national sustainable development plan, the Government of Jamaica chose the Threshold 21 (T21) model as an analytical tool to integrate economic, social, and environmental sectors in order to better comprehend the interactions among critical factors so they could: (1) better analyze the challenges Jamaica faces, (2) understand the medium and long-term consequences of alternative policy choices across all three sectors, and (3) determine the optimal combination of policies to achieve their strategic goals. Major challenges confronting Jamaica include slow GDP growth, lack of technical innovation, high unemployment, HIV/AIDS, crime, energy dependence, and natural disasters. The model shows how adopting a combination of policies including supporting education and infrastructure, providing micro credit to the poor, reducing crime and HIV infection, investing in promising new products, and attracting more remittances and foreign direct investment, would lead to a future, that is, possible and that is notably better than the busi-ness as usual scenario. Two other scenarios are also considered that address: (1) simpler social improvement policies in education, health, and welfare and (2) the impacts of natural disasters and the possible increase in the price of oil. Comparisons among scenarios are made in economic, social, and environmental areas, which include GDP, government revenues, demographic trends, unemployment, poverty, adult literacy rate, HIV adult prevalence rate, land use, water demand and pollution, and energy consumption (which is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Jamaica). They demonstrate how purely social policies are much less effective, even in the social sectors over the longer time horizon than the good strategy which enables more overall growth. The Government of Jamaica is currently using the model to support broad participation from both state and non-state stakeholders to reach consensus. T21 will also be used to monitor and evaluate progress in achieving the goals.
monitoring and evaluation, national sustainable development, participatory policy making, scenario comparison, T21 model