Poor rates of implementation and week implementation strategy are hampering growth in the region, says president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Warren Smith.
Speaking at the opening of the 2019 Caribbean Forum in Bridgetown, Smith said these were some of the challenges confronting Caribbean public sector managers.
“Moving the needle on the solutions to our region’s perennial challenges requires a relentless commitment to implementation, starting with a cultural shift that encourages increased accountability,” Smith said.
“We often joke about Caribbean people always being late, but time is money, undermining our capacity to deliver goods and services in a timely manner, and undercutting our ability to compete based on low cost and high quality.”
Lateness is only one manifestation of the implementation problem, noted Smith.
Public sector investment programmes are underperforming, with an implementation rate below 35 per cent being reported by a number of countries. This low rate also undermines private sector confidence and its willingness to invest.
The implementation challenge also affects the work of the CDB, and is manifested in growing levels of undisbursed balances. Other development agencies face similar concerns.