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Findings of CaPRI study on value of the Diaspora to influence policy decisions

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The findings of a study on the value of the Jamaican diaspora by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), will be used to guide the development of policies by the government.

Some of the findings will be revealed at the upcoming Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference scheduled for July 23-26 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown, Kingston.

This assurance was given by the Co-Executive Director of CaPRI, Dr Damien King during a question and answer session at a Diaspora Day Breakfast event held on Friday at the Jamaica National Financial Services Centre in Belmont Road, Kingston.

The event was held to commission a study on the economic value of the diaspora by CaPRI and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI). It was also part of activities to observe Diaspora Day celebrated locally and abroad on June 16.

King said there were many areas of policy where CaPRI had “changed the conversation and influence policy.” However, he said this is partly because Jamaica has “a keenly engaged population that talks about public issues and especially recently receptive governments that are keen for information.”

“So I think the likelihood that this is going to influence policy is actually quite significant,” he added.

He said the study would establish the ways in which the diaspora currently contribute to Jamaica, assess the potential economic value of the diaspora and provide recommendations to effectively target and partner with the Diaspora to successfully harness its potential value for the benefit of Jamaica.

“We want to move to a strategy for engagement that is going to work to the benefit of both the domestic economy and the Jamaica overseas economy,” he added.

In explaining the methodology to be used, King said CaPRI along with the JDI will engage in data collection, analysis and consultations with key stakeholders. He said the five areas, remittances, tourism, philanthropy, investment and exports will be analysed during the study.

“By breaking it down into those five areas, it is going to help us to see…where the gap is greatest and therefore where we can focus our efforts at working out what the engagement should look like,” he explained.

Additionally, he said that CaPRI will conduct a survey with the diaspora community to know the population and its average income and propensity to save.

“The instrument is already out and we have gotten nearly 200 responses already and we will get an idea of what is the average income and what is the distribution of income amongst the diaspora,” he said, adding that secondary data will be used to obtain some of the information.

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