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News : Local Last Updated: Jul 7, 2017 - 10:04:44 AM

ORG endorses Vision 2040
By Organization for Responsible Governance
Jul 7, 2017 - 10:01:19 AM

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L-r: Matt Aubry, Executive Director; Terneille burrows, Engagement Coordinator; Chauntez Dillet-Wilson, Communications Coordinator.

NASSAU, New Providence – As the new administration continues to set its agenda, The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) is urging the government, private industry and civil society alike to look to the National Development Plan (NDP). ORG, a not-for-profit civic foundation aimed at generating accountable governance, education reform, and economic development has stepped forward to endorse the NDP drafted during the last administration. The group urges that government and civil society groups adopt the plan as a common roadmap and a platform to coordinate efforts toward a brighter future.

“The NDP team has done open, fair and comprehensive work. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Many of the objectives that government, civil society and private industry are working toward are outlined in the NDP working draft. The plan offers clear paths and measurable goals, fully equipped with standards for monitoring and evaluation,” said Matt Aubry, Executive Director of ORG. “It is our hope that the NDP is adopted and utilized across sectors to help us collectively map and coordinate efforts as we all work to develop our nation.”

The National Development Plan “Vision 2040” working draft is a comprehensive document that presents research-backed goals and strategies for the development of The Bahamas. Loosely based on the United Nation’s “Sustainable Development Goals”, the document presents a roadmap for the advance of a “more resilient and vibrant Bahamas” over the next 25 years drawn through consultative engagement. The Plan divides into four key pillars:

  • Governance
  • Human Capital
  • Environment
  • Economy

ORG was one of several groups which advised on the Governance section of the NDP during the consultation process - which included more than 220 named stakeholders and partners, 12 Rapid Assessment Sector Expert committees, and numerous individual contributors. The group applauds this open process and encourages even greater engagement between civil society, private industry and the NDP.

“ORG commends the NDP Steering Committee and Secretariat for its consultative process in the drafting of the document. These experts and practitioners were critical to bringing the industry-specific knowledge and experience that is evident through the NDP,” said Chauntez Dillet Wilson, ORG’s Communications Coordinator. “As we look to work toward the goals within this plan, it is imperative that we view it as a living document, as a tool. We must continue, and expand upon this multi-sector participatory process throughout implementation. We cannot be over-dependent on government. Civil society and the private sector must step up and be an active part of the implementation, working plans, and assessment of the NDP.”

Terneille Burrows, Engagement Coordinator at ORG stressed the importance of the NDP being politically neutral. “It is key that the NDP is seen to be – and is – free of bias,” said Burrows. “We hope that the plan will continue to be a reference point for governance and development across multiple terms, regardless of the party in power.
As the State of the Nation report outlines, Bahamas has seen discouraging statistics recently: stagnated GDP, growing unemployment, a general state of undereducation, high poverty levels and rising crime. A sustained long-term commitment, uninterrupted by partisanship or the cyclical changes of government is required to address these issues at their root. We need all parties and all sectors on board.”
ORG is especially interested in Governance, Human Capital and Economy pillars – issues that align with its own core focuses: Accountable Governance, Education Reform and Economic Development. In the Human Capital pillar, the NDP identifies the shift in cultural values, lack of support for at-risk youth, high crime level, high poverty level, lack of necessary education and training, and social exclusion.

Regarding Governance, it pinpoints lack of strategic planning, accountability, and campaign finance framework, public services recruitment that is inconsistent with the needs of modern public service, and weak protection of human rights. The high cost of doing business, one-sector economy, and insufficient competition are among the considerations of the Economy pillar.

Said Aubry, “We encourage all with concerns in these pillars to read the document found on the website: http://www.vision2040bahamas.org/ and take up their roles as partners in action towards sustainable development.”

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