IDP THE FINAL REPORT
Volume 1 Chap 1-4)
Volume 2 Chap 5-7)
Volume 3 Chap 8+Annex A
Volume 3 (Annex B-G)
IDP and Budget
What IDP Does
Civil Society & Crime
Selling The IDP
Comment on 'Reflections'
IDP Guest Site
By Gabriel Christian, Vice -President, DAAS
I am pleased that the Diaspora's role is mentioned. However, considering the leading role played by the DAAS in publicizing the IDP, providing it a World-Wide web platform, creating the first Diaspora Skills Directory ever, I think it important that specific mention be made of its role and the need to institutionalize that relationship with govt., if not other sectors. Also, what about Agriculture training or a new Agriculture Institute to train our people in new hi-tech agriculture?
Making an Objective Record:
In background data, the RDF's role, with DAAS, in building a vibrant constituency via the two Symposiums should have found itself into the record so that folks using the materials in the future have a true sense of our efforts at self reliance. This effort at harnessing our potential at home and abroad is our island's best chance at self sustaining growth. Why the minimal attention paid? Even a footnote would have been appropriate, given the tribute to inclusion noted throughout the text and the invitation to IDP planners to attend both symposiums. Establishing a record of the entities involved in development is important as it allows planners as much data as possible on the tools available to move forward.
Need to Employ Locals & Students:
The IDP's effort to meet with the masses must be commended. However this must be said: The need to employ locals in consultancy positions, and encourage their input should also be encouraged, so as to depart from the current preference on foreign expertise (even where we have natives with the relevant skill sets.) By the way, this note does not refer to Caribbean workers such as Allan Williams who has had a record in development work in Dominica for perhaps 30 years, and in many ways is more local than many who are native born. Rather it refers to repeated use of those further afield who may have little sense of our history or true concern for our people.
The use of the students as Research Aids for all consulting jobs to be done in Dominica in the future should be an absolute necessity. That early immersion in governance, research on how an an economy works or a country is governed, interaction with seasoned professionals, will create a cadre of new leadership, better prepared public servants and citizens, while curtailing the squalid elitism which has robbed Dominica of much benefit from the countless consultancies done over the years. Such use of Research Assistants broadens the consultancy base, includes a key stakeholder group, and shares the knowledge of "How to." An almost incestuous dipping into the same pool for talent, diminishes benefit over time and militates against the adoption of what may be well-intention proposals made.
Social Justice Theme:
I saw no strong theme in the plan aiming at Social Justice or Economic Inclusion. We cannot be blind to the history of Latin America and the Caribbean being one of slavery, colonialism, oligarchy and socioeconomic exclusion of African/Carib/indigenous majorities. IDP leaders Athie Martin and Allan Williams have been leaders in the past for such a view and it would be reasonable to expect that attaining a greater stake for formerly marginalized sectors is desirable and builds real democracy.
Renewable Energy & Technology:
The IDP should make specific mention of the efforts in Renewable Energy (wind, solar etc) now underway on the island. Creation of institutions (DSEC for example) which harness local technological competence should be viewed as way out of our current position as net consumers of technology, where we have the human resource base to spur our own technological revolution.
A Nationalist Culture/Cultural Reaffirmation:
The best laid national development plans come apart, where people lack a sense of nationality. Our national spirit is weak and those of us involved in the Diaspora movement, or the movement for National Liberation, owe a duty to encourage honest public service, loyalty to the independence of the country, pride in our African/Carib roots-respect for all cultures, and a desire to diminish the self-hate which is a badge of slavery. When focused on the need for faith and spiritual rigor, the IDP would serve Dominica's interests when it makes such Cultural Reaffirmation and National consciousness a key factor to attainment of the goals sought.
Unity of Purpose & Team Building:
Unity of Purpose and Team Building a key, especially in a society so divided by party, maybe less so by class (because of the work done in the past). We are hopeful that a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) concept could be adopted by the IDP to signify the need to unite our people for self uplift. Current disunity is one of Dominica biggest impediments. Too much focus on political party and self, and too little focus on the island's national development priorities is a plague on all.
Anyway, its a good start when we can collate data and begin to establish planning benchmarks in the areas mentioned, re health, agriculture, education etc. More of us in the Diaspora and at home should speak up, write down our thoughts, solutions and contribute. I trust we can all work together to attain the goals established and more.
Very best regards.