The Department of Economic Development held a National Visioning Symposium as part of the formulation of a new Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2021-2026. Stakeholders from across the public sector gathered at the Finance Administrative Centre to identify transformational changes for sustainable economic growth and development in Saint Lucia.
Policy Advisors and Technocrats participated in the first of a three-part National Visioning Symposium, a lead-up to the formulation of a new Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2021-2026. One of the outcomes of the symposium is to craft aspirations for the medium term that will inspire hope in the people of Saint Lucia.
Permanent Secretary in the Department of Economic Development, Claudius Emmanuel, pointed out that a national theory of change framework is being utilized to shape the transformational change necessary to reposition Saint Lucia on a growth trajectory. He added that a successful MTDS will capture three main objectives.
“One to enhance our capacity to manage shocks and social risks. Secondly achieve improvements in trade, productivity and competitiveness and three promote the integration of adaptation and mitigation measures for environmental protection.”
Achieving sustainable development is the ultimate goal of the MTDS, Emmanuel added. To achieve this result attention must be placed on social and capital resilience, economic resilience, and environmental resilience.
“The National Theory of Change is a shift from the sectoral approach to development planning, which has resulted in instructional silos. This methodology causes a deeper assessment of institutional and enabling factors that will facilitate economic growth and development.”
Chief Economist is the Department of Economic Development, Perle Alcindor, indicated that the formulation of the new MTDS entails numerous activities among which was a sector diagnostic excise with the public sector identifying sectoral problems and offering solutions to these problems.
“We are now engaging technocrats in a bottom-up approach to be able to formulate their aspirations for the medium term, the development themes, what are the transformational changes that we would want for the medium term. So this is the objective of this exercise today.”
The National Visioning Symposium brought stakeholders together from Ministries of Health, Youth and Sports, Agriculture, Social Transformation, Commerce, Education, Justice, Housing, Finance, Infrastructure among others. The symposium was facilitated by Dr. Cletus Burton.
“We have engaged Dr. Burton who is very excited about this excises to be able to be part of national development and the solutions to national development. So at the Department of National Development, we welcome his participation to lead this process. To be able to help us navigate the elements of going through our national development problems, coming up with solutions in a very interactive way.”
The next activity in the formulation of the MTDS is a broad policy forum with public and private sector partners. The delivery of the Medium Term Development Strategy is scheduled for November 2022. – Glen Simon