WASHINGTON/KINGSTON – The Jamaican government, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), launched on November 4 InvestmentMap Jamaica, an online interactive portal that tracks the country’s public investment projects and makes information available to citizens in a user-friendly map-based format.
Jamaica became the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to join the IDB’s regional InvestmentMap initiative. In recent years, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Peru have launched InvestmentMap platforms under the initiative, and more countries are joining.
InvestmentMap draws information directly from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s (MOFPS) public investment management system on projects that are being funded with resources from both the government and donor agencies. Seventy-eight projects are currently uploaded in the platform. Persons accessing the platform will be able to search data by parish, sector, and source of funding, among other criteria. Information available includes the financial and physical progress of the project. Project Managers can also upload pictures and videos of their projects.
The platform is interactive: citizens, NGOs, private companies, or other stakeholders can provide comments, ask questions and submit their own pictures of projects.
The minister of finance and the public service, Nigel Clarke, said: “I am delighted to launch today the InvestmentMap Jamaica portal, an important first step in bringing more transparency and accountability to our public sector. It is aligned with the administration’s objectives and will also help make our public investment system more efficient, at a time when we cannot afford to waste one dollar”.
In addition to increasing transparency, the project also aims to strengthen the performance of public investment projects. A recent study from the InvestmentMap Platform in Costa Rica shows that InvestmentMap can help accelerate the financial progress of projects by 18 percent and the physical progress by 8 percent, compared to projects not included in the platform.
The implementation of InvestmentMap was the result of close coordination between Jamaica’s MOFPS, and the IDB Jamaica Country Office and InvestmentMap team, based across Latin America and the Caribbean. The platform complements important reforms ïn the Jamaican public sector and of its public investment management system, both recently completed and currently in progress, including with support from the IDB and World Bank.
“I commend the government of Jamaica for being first in the English-speaking Caribbean to implement InvestmentMap. I hope more will follow and I am aware that other governments have already expressed interest,” said Therese Turner-Jones, general manager for the Caribbean Country Department at the IDB. “These platforms represent a key first step to strengthen the accountability loop for public officials in our region. This, in turn, is critical to strengthen people’s trust in the public sector at this challenging time.”