11 Ways to Develop a Master Plan for Caribbean Islands


By Miguel Goede and Runy Calmera
CJ Contributors

The islands of the Caribbean must develop a Master Plan to transform their islands. Simply put, the Caribbean region needs a plan for long-term, sustainable development.

Some countries have already begun this effort: Barbados and Aruba, Suriname and Curaçao, for example, are all in one form or another trying to develop a national master plan. Here we present some tips how to go about crafting such a plan.

1. The plan must be elevated above party politics to the level of the national interest. This is to ensure continuity when there are changes in government. Too often, governments in the Caribbean throw good plans out the window when they take over. This kind of practice needs to stop.

2. The plan should be developed in collaboration with both social partners and NGOs. All citizens, even those in the Diaspora, should be able to contribute. There are all kinds of top-level Caribbean scholars and experts around the globe who would be more than glad to contribute to the development of their homes, but they are often not considered.

3. It’s all about thinking outside of the box. Innovation is key.

4. Collect all previous plans from all sectors — many studies exist that have never been finished, or never implemented, or never approved. They’re worth discussing and studying as some of their ideas may still be relevant.

5. Study what other Caribbean islands are doing — while every island is unique, there are lessons all over the region.

6. PESTLE. That means analyzing the factors of Politics, Economics, Social Issues, Technology, the Legal Framework and Environmental Issues to understand the broader context of the plan.

7. Identify strengths and weaknesses, developing strategies based on unique strengths. Caribbean islands can’t be everything to everybody. Niche is the big word.

8. The plan must be digital, it must be in a website accessible and functional: it has to capture all input, written, recorded, filmed, from everybody and from everywhere.

9. A Caribbean island’s master plan needs to cover these areas: planet, people, profit, technology and education.

10. The plan should be translated into an annual programme of projects. Everyone can adopt these strategies and implement them and then report on the projects.

11. A dashboard should be in place to monitor the progress. Everyone should be able to see what has been accomplished and what has been done. And the process needs constant review and evaluation. Adaptability is key, but so is celebrating success.

Dr Miguel Goede is a strategist and trend watcher in the Caribbean. He is based in Curaçao and works for governments, corporations and NGO in the region; join his discussion at https://www.facebook.com/groups/caribbean 3.0. Runy Calmera is an economist, consultant, trainer and coach on economic analysis and policy for the 52 small island developing states (SIDS). Find out more at www.facebook.com/policyinparadise.

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