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Caribbean Action 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This special issue of Social and Economic Studies presents a selection of articles from the Caribbean Action 2030 Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), held at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, from 28 to 30 June 2017. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, and the University of the West Indies. The Conference represented the first "cross-Caribbean, cross-UN activity" in the United Nation's Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN MSDF) five-year programme (Pouezat 2018). Caribbean Action 2030 brought together local, regional and international researchers, development practitioners and policy makers, civil society and youth, in seeking to advance action towards the implementation of the SDGs through resource mobilization, civil society participation, capacity building and research contributions to support evidence-based decision-making. Ministers and high-level officials from 19 Caribbean countries agreed to establish a Partnership Framework and online platform to facilitate collaboration on the SDGs.

Caribbean Action 2030 seeks to continue the movement towards the Global Goals and the United Nations 2030 Agenda, through a series of ongoing initiatives, including information sharing and advocacy, highlighting best practices and solutions to development challenges, collaborating and monitoring the implementation of the SDGs and work towards sustainable futures and regenerative development for the Caribbean. The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) supported the organization of the Caribbean Action 2030 Conference, and continues to be involved in partnerships to support the Caribbean movement towards attaining the SDGs. This special issue is one of the post-conference initiatives to continue the dialogue and collaborative efforts towards action, implementation and realization of the SDGs.

The papers in this issue reflect analysis of key aspects of the developmental agenda as we work towards implementing and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. Collectively, the papers relate to multiple intersecting dimensions through a range of research topics, populations of interest, research methods, and areas of influence and perspectives related to the SDGs. Each article highlights one or more of the 17 SDGs, with particular focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development and data availability to assess the SDGs, policies for water management, universities' engagement in knowledge brokerage and research ecosystems, enabling regional interactions through CARICOM, and advancing support for persons with disabilities (PWDs). The special issue explores research, policy and practice, including intersecting groups of stakeholders with research related to youth, NGOs, civil society, academia, as well as private and public sectors at individual, community, national and regional levels.

Richards-Kennedy and St Brice, in "Knowledge Brokerage, SDGs and the Role of Universities", explore the current and potential contribution of universities to policy and collaborative development partnerships, through facilitating linkages among researchers and decision-makers, to enhance knowledge-creation and sharing within supporting ecosystems. This paper builds on the recognition of the critical role that universities play in working towards the SDGs, both in relation to specific goals and in contributing to the achievement of all the goals (SDSN 2017).

Kaidou-Jeffrey et al., in "Managing Water Resources for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean: Dynamic Policy Options", examine water security in the Caribbean, through an assessment of the management and utilization of existing water resources and its impact on economic growth and sustainable development. The article discusses key areas related to governance and performance of the sector. The analysis of availability, consumption and the impact of climate change are useful in the assessment of the progress towards SDG 6--Clean Water and Sanitation. There continues to be Caribbean action in developing initiatives to attain this goal, involving collaborative partnerships on project implementation supported by development partners and evidence-based research (UNDP Jamaica 2017).

"Community-Based Approaches to Assessing Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals" by Khan et al., explores awareness of the SDGs, and ways in which a rural community in Jamaica develops local indicators and utilizes community data to derive an assessment of the community's progress related to the SDGs. The paper highlights perspectives and initiatives related to the 17 SDGs, and discusses priorities identified by the community. Participants in the study include the youth, the elderly, and members of community-based organizations which are involved in initiatives encouraging social, economic and environmental sustainability. This reflects the calls for localization of the SDGs and support for community-level action and data mobilization (United Nations University 2017). The role of university-community engagement in supporting activities related to the SDGs is also highlighted through this study (Planning Institute of Jamaica, 2018).

Morris's "An Inclusive, Equitable and Prosperous Caribbean: The Case of Persons with Disabilities" assesses the status of three Caribbean countries--Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago--with regards to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDG 4--Education, SDG 8--Decent Work, and SDG 11--Sustainable Communities. Recommendations are made to accelerate progress towards achieving the Global Goals for PWDs. The importance of more inclusive approaches to promote equity and ensure that no one is left behind is highlighted, as also emphasized by the United Nations (2018).

In "Incorporating Outlying Member States in Inclusive Intra-CARICOM Migration Policies", Robinson explores the perceptions of migrants from outlying CARICOM member states in relation to their intra-regional mobility and integration. Perspectives are examined in relation to level of integration, and migrant perceptions on their lived experiences. With a focus on SDG 10--Reduced Inequalities, the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Migration Governance Framework is used to assess and make recommendations for migration policy for the Caribbean region.

Also, separately in this issue of Social and Economic Studies, are four papers. Three explore the social and economic implications of resource allocation decisions in different sectors in a number of Caribbean economies, and the final paper in this issue discusses social media and its role in facilitating communication and citizen participation in Venezuela.

* Hosein et al.--"CSR as a Hartwick Rule strategy to mitigate the impact of the resource curse: Lessons from the experience from the educational sector in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname for Guyana"

* Haughton and Smith--"Segmenting Jamaica's Small Hotel Market for Better Targeting"

* Hosein and Gookool--"Export Mineral Rents, Rentierism and Make Work Programmes: An Assessment of the Welfare Consequences for a Small Gas Exporting Economy"

* Said-Hung and Segado-Boj--"Social Media Mobilization in Venezuela: A Case Study"

We welcome your engagement with this special issue of Social and Economic Studies on the Sustainable Development Goals, and with Caribbean Action 2030.

Acknowledgements

We are pleased that this represents an outcome of the collaboration among partners working to advance regional action on the SDGs, including the conference organizers: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, led by Senator Kamina Johnson Smith; the United Nations Country Team in Jamaica; the United Nations Development Programme, led by Bruno Pouezat, UN Resident Co-ordinator and Dr Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, Deputy Resident Representative; and the University of the West Indies and SALISES, through the leadership of University Director, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee.

We wish to thank all the participants in the Caribbean Action 2030 Conference and authors who submitted papers to this special issue of Social and Economic Studies. We also express our appreciation to the Managing Editor of SES, Annie Paul, the reviewers and editorial team for this issue.

References

Government of Jamaica and UNDP Jamaica (GOJ/UNDP). 2017. A Road Map for SDG Implementation in Jamaica. Retrieved from http://statinja.gov.jm/pdf/JamaicaSDGRoadmap.pdf

Planning Institute of Jamaica. 2018. Jamaica voluntary national review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/19499JamaicaMain_VNR_Report.pdf

Pouezat, Bruno. 2018. Towards Jamaica's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Retrieved from http://www.jm.undp.org/content/jamaica/en home/blog/2018/Jamaica-SDGs-by-2030.html

SDSN Australia/Pacific. 2017. Getting started with the SDGs in universities: A guide for universities, higher education institutions, and the academic sector. Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Edition. Sustainable Development Solutions Network--Australia/Pacific, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://ap-unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/University-DG-Guide_web.pdf

UNDP Jamaica. 2017. New Life Flows into Northern Clarendon Communities; How the Colouden Brae Head Pipeline Project brought back Farms, Businesses and Jobs. Retrieved from http://www.jm.undp.org/content/jamaica/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/05/23/new-life-flows-into-northern-clarendon-communities-.html

United Nations. 2018. The UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018--Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals By, For and With Persons with Disabilities. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/2019/UN-flagshipreport-disability.pdf

United Nations University. 2017. Small Data for sustainable goals: community level action and indicators monitoring. Computing and Society. United Nations University. Retrieved from http://cs.unu.edu/research/sdgs/
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Author:Bailey, Arlene
Publication:Social and Economic Studies
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Dec 1, 2018
Words:1428
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