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e-Dashboard to track Vision 2030 targets

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

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IT should now be easier to access data on critical areas of development after yesterday's launch of an online platform dedicated to tracking the country's progress in achieving the goals outlined in the national development plan -- Vision 2030 Jamaica.

Called an e-Dashboard, the tool presents data around the 46 indicators of the national plan with all its goals and outcomes and uses interactive graphics to present current data as well as the targets for 2012, 2015 and 2030. The e-Dashboard uses a traffic signal concept to track performance. Red indicates that a particular indicator is "off track", meaning there has been no improvement or that the situation is worsening. Yellow means some improvement has been made in relation to a specific indicator, but not enough to meet the target. Green, meanwhile, means "on track" and suggests that the target has been either achieved or surpassed.

The tool was developed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and financed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It pulled data from the national statistical database -- JamStats -- which in turn was built with figures from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. It will be updated annually.

The aim of Vision 2030 is to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work and do business. It has four goals -- empowering Jamaicans to achieve their full potential; making the Jamaican society secure, cohesive

and just; making the economy prosperous; and maintaining a healthy natural environment.

PIOJ head Colin Bullock said the e-Dashboard allows for transparency and accountability in the accomplishment of the vision and urged the public to participate in the development process.

"Transparency through information, such as provided through the dashboard, is essential to your participation and general public participation. I implore everyone to use the information being provided, to be active participants in the development process, as Jamaica aims to significantly transform itself by 2030," he said at yesterday's launch.

It was important, too, he noted, as a "signal to the populace that development is measured not only by changes in Gross Domestic Product, but also by tracking a much wider range of socio-economic and environmental indicators".

Deputy Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa -- who gave the main address -- said he was excited about the launch because he and others in academia have been trying for years to sell the government on the importance of using science and technology in development. That there is now a mechanism to gauge the development progress, he said, is a step in the right direction.

Elaborating on the importance of measurement and evaluation, Professor Kahwa pointed to Singapore and Brazil as examples, and suggested that Jamaica should how seek to ascertain how they achieved their development goals, in terms of where they started out and the actions they took to get from one stage to the next.

The dashboard may be accessed via the Vision 2030 website -- www.vision2030.gov.jm -- or at http://devinfolive/dashboard/Jamaica_vision2030/index.php.

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