Research: The platform for innovation, competitiveness and growth

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CASTRIES, St Lucia — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the research and policy unit of the department of finance, Saint Lucia recently launched the electronic book.

The publication features the research findings of regional scholars in areas such as education, migrant remittances, taxes and intra-regional travel, fuel prices, and the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector.

Speaking at the launch of the eBook, permanent secretary in the department of finance, Saint Lucia, Esther Rigobert, noted the important role research plays in the development of economic, social and environmental policies for the country.

“In this fiscally challenging environment it is even more important that the development of policy take into consideration the current realities, as well as the likely trends that will emanate from here on.  This exercise can only be truly meaningful if it is hinged on research and consultation,” Rigobert said.

“Evidence based research helps the government in the development of alternative policies. This will not only help the government in its efforts to allocate limited resources in the most prudential manner, but also to create the environment for sustainable growth and development,” she added.

As the OECS positions itself as a knowledge institute within the region, director-general Dr Didacus Jules, welcomed the opportunity to partner with the research and policy unit in Saint Lucia to foster the development of a rich culture of research within the OECS and the wider Caribbean.

“One of our approaches in the OECS is to identify centres of excellence or best practices anywhere in the Member States that can be applied across all Member States,” Dr Jules said. The idea is that this group of young Saint Lucian researchers will now link with counterparts in the other OECS Member States. We have also linked them with counterparts in multilateral institutions, who are now lending support to this initiative so that we can have a solid cadre of young, enthusiastic researchers who are following their passion and who are able to do deep research that would provide us with important structural solutions to the challenges that we face.”

Research topics featured in the eBook include:

  • Male Underachievement in Tertiary Education
  • Taxes and Demand for Intra-Regional Travel
  • To Have or Not to Have Private Health Insurance Coverage?
  • Measuring Vulnerability: A Multidimensional Vulnerability index for the Caribbean

It is hoped that the launch of the book will raise greater awareness of the work of the research and policy unit, Saint Lucia and that the research findings will enhance public discourse on these topical socio-economic matters within the region.

“The unit seeks and welcomes opportunities to engage in joint research work with other professionals within the public service and regional organisations such as the OECS, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the University of the West Indies, and Monroe College,” director of the research and policy unit, Jemma Lafeuille, said.

Chief economist in the research and policy unit, Saint Lucia, and one of the authors featured in the eBook, Janai Leonce, thanked the department of finance, Saint Lucia, and the OECS Commission, for bringing the publication to fruition and allowing the work of the researchers to be shared widely throughout the OECS and the wider Caribbean.

“On behalf of the authors, we are definitely pleased that the work we completed during the course of the past few years is not only recognised, but recognised in a meaningful way by being published.”

The eBook is available for download on the websites of the OECS Commission and the Department of Finance, Saint Lucia.

 

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