In a move to advance the development of the region, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) introduced the OECS Development Scorecard, a tool to help its Member States track its development progress in real-time.
The OECS Development Strategy (ODS) is a product of the OECS Commission and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Originally launched in 2019, the ODS addresses the key development needs of the Eastern Caribbean States with a focus on three pillars: Generating Economic Growth; Promoting Human and Social Wellbeing; and Sustainable Use of Natural Endowments.
Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and in recognition of the nonexistence of a regional monitoring tool, the OECS Commission collaborated with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Centre to review the ODS and develop a monitoring scorecard. The Scorecard provides 40 indicators across the three pillars of the ODS and articulates the national ambitions for each indicator. The Scorecard was launched on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
Speaking on the benefits of the ODS Scorecard, Hon. Wayne Girard, Chairman of the OECS Economic Affairs Council (EAC) and Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy of Saint Lucia articulated that
“The ODS has been developed in collaboration with OECS Member States with a view to developing a regional strategy to address national needs and to support [OECS] countries’ ability to track progress.”
Hon. Girard also encouraged OECS countries to make full use of the scorecard in the national planning process and to use it to support the enhancement of national capacity to develop and report data needed to sustain the scorecard.
Jacqueline Emmanuel Flood, Director of the Economic Affairs and Regional Integration Division of the OECS Commission, speaking on behalf of Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules, noted that
“The ODS articulates the ambitions of OECS Member States to address economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability ambitions. Several consultations were held with numerous stakeholders, and this allowed Member States to articulate their country-specific targets.”
Dr. Valda Henry, Deputy Governor of the ECCB, speaking on behalf of the Governor of the ECCB Timothy Antoine, said the scorecard would help enhance accountability expressing that “without accountability, there can be no performance.” She is confident that the scorecard would help with monitoring performance and supporting the implementation of corrective actions where these are required.
Her Excellency Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM noted that the EU is pleased to have provided support for the scorecard as it is an essential tool for decision-makers in the OECS. Her Excellency hoped that
“Through tools such as the scorecard [OECS Member States] will continue to measure the good work that the OECS has done and continues to do in enhancing regional integration.”
Speaking on behalf of Ms. Ragnheidur Arnadottin, Director of the OECD Development Centre, Mr. Federico Bonaglia (Deputy Director) noted the utility of having a scorecard. He asserted that
“The regional strategy scorecard would be useful in measuring challenges and [in supporting OECS countries] to respond to [development] needs.”
The launch of the ODS Scorecard also gave an opportunity for end-users to express their views on its usefulness. Speaking on behalf of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Mrs. Gloria Joseph, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, Economic Development, Climate Resilience, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy, said
“The ODS Scorecard resonated very well with what is being done in Dominica. It opened our eyes to other indicators that we had not previously considered.” Permanent Secretary Joseph also reaffirmed the Commonwealth of Dominica’s commitment to implementing the ODS and the desire for continued support from the OECS Commission to drive the initiative forward.” Mrs. Skeeta Gibbs, Deputy Chief Economist (Ag.) in the Department of Economic Development in Saint Lucia spoke about the usefulness of the scorecard and in particular, expressed the intention to use the tool as part of the monitoring and evaluation framework for Saint Lucia’s medium-term development strategy for 2021-2026.
The ODS Scorecard will be updated yearly, and the Economic Affairs Council will receive a yearly report on the implementation of key initiatives for advancing the national and regional strategy.
The OECS Development Strategy Implementation Project is supported under the OECS – EU Regional Integration through Growth, Harmonisation and Technology (RIGHT) Programme. – A. Ally