THE ECONOMIC AFFAIRS DIVISION Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
Research & Planning Unit

VISION STATEMENT

“To be the leading centre of economic and social research, strategic planning, technical co-operation and public policy driven by excellence and technology.”

MISSION STATEMENT

“The mission of the Research and Planning Unit is to provide expert policy and technical advice based on a sound framework for economic and social planning through the conduct of economic and social research, policy analysis, rational economic and social planning, technical cooperation coordination and the compilation and analysis of statistical information.”

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The broad strategic goals and objectives over the period 2010-2013 are:-

Strategic Goals:

  • Managing the Economic Development Process
  • Building Research and Planning Capacity
  • Strengthening Technical Cooperation and Relations with External Agencies
  • Building our Human and Other Resources Capacity

Strategic Objectives:

  • Monitor the Macroeconomic Environment and Help to Ensure its Stability
  • Help in Establishing a Framework to make Barbados more Competitive
  • Work with Others to Ensure Timely Implementation of Government Policies
  • Help with Small Business Development and Empowerment
  • Enhance the Operations of the Research and Planning Unit through the Strengthening of the Economic Planning Process and the Current Tools used for Informing and Analyzing Policy
  • Enhance the Contribution of Technical Cooperation for Development while Strengthening and Building New Linkages with External Agencies
  • Further Develop and Retain RPU Human Resources and Continue to Build Resources to Better Communicate with and Assist the RPU Clientele

CORE FUNCTIONS OF THE UNIT

Research:

Conducting research on the economy of Barbados and is responsible for:

  • Producing economic and social reports annually and bi-annually.
  • Advising the Minister and other ministries on economic and social policy issues.
  • Preparing speeches, briefs and monthly policy position papers for the Minister.
  • Providing technical advice and representation in various fora such as Board of Director Meetings, National Consultations, Committees, Seminars and Workshop of national, regional and international perspectives.
  • Producing Research and Policy Papers and Publications.
  • Educating government agencies, the private sector and civil society on issues pertaining to economic and social matters.

Planning:

Coordination of national economic and social planning through the following:

  • Preparation of National Development/Strategic Plans.
  • Preparation of Medium Term Economic Strategy.
  • Monitoring the implementation of programmes, projects and strategies contained in the Medium Term Economic Strategy (MTES).
  • Developing Development and Planning Methodologies.
  • Working with other government agencies to build out and execute their Medium Term Economic Strategies.
  • Assist in the planning of National Public/Private Sector Consultations on the Economy.

Technical Cooperation and Assistance:

Coordination of Barbados’ Technical Cooperation programmes with countries and domestic, regional and international development organisations.

Overall Management of technical and financial assistance involves:

  • Conceptualizing
  • Negotiating
  • Monitoring/follow-up
  • Executing
  • Reporting
  • Accessing new sources of development assistance

DOCUMENTS PRODUCED BY THE RESEARCH AND PLANNING UNIT

Summary of The Medium Term Fiscal Strategy 2010 to 2014

The Medium Term Fiscal Strategy (MTFS) 2010 to 2014 of the Government of Barbados was crafted within the context of the global, regional and domestic financial and economic circumstances affecting the Barbadian Economy. The aim of this strategy is to enable the economy to make a transition from the current fiscal situation to one that is more sustainable. The Medium Term Fiscal Strategy provides for targeted policy interventions and strategies over a five year period and will address the fiscal issues and challenges confronting Barbados. These strategies include: Expenditure, Revenue and Debt Management; Public-Private Sector Partnerships; Divestment Policy; Public Enterprise Reform; Incomes and Prices Policy and Financing and Management of the Public Sector Investment Programme. The MTFS targets putting Barbados’ public finances back on a more sustainable footing and ensuring that a balanced budget is achieved by the period 2014/15 and a small fiscal surplus by 2015/16. The coordinator of the Fiscal Strategy is Mr. Patrick McCaskie, Director, Research and Planning Unit. This document was prepared by a Special Team comprising members of The Ministry of Finance, The Ministry of Economic Affairs & the Central Bank of Barbados.

Summary of The Medium Term Development Strategy 2010 to 2014

The Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) sets out a broad framework of policies and programmes, which the government will seek to pursue over the period 2010 – 2014. The MTDS gives support to the country’s long-term vision of becoming “A Fully Developed and People-centered Society, through New Development Pathways”. The plan will serve as an important recovery tool that will be used to guide the country as it emerges from the current global recession. In this respect, the theme “Recovery, Adjustment and Sustainable Development” adequately speaks to the policy framework that has to be put in-place if Barbados is to remain on an upward growth and development path.

As a strategic planning document, the MTDS will provide just the broad blueprint and will leave the finer details to individual plans of ministries and agencies. The MTDS also embraces the key strategies contained in the Short and Medium Term Action Plan which was formulated by the Special Working Group on the economy. The coordinator of the Medium Term Development Strategy is Mr. Derek Gibbs, Chief Economist, Research and Planning Unit.

The Journal of Public Sector Policy Analysis

The Journal of Public Sector Policy Analysis represents a watershed in the history of the Research and Planning Unit of the Economic Affairs Division and, indeed, of the wider public service. For it is the first academic Journal to be produced by the public service of Barbados. The Journal of Public Sector Policy Analysis is concerned with analytical commentaries on pertinent economic and social issues that affect the Barbados Economy. The coordinators of the Journal are Mr. Ronnie Griffith and Mr. Patrick McCaskie (Telephone # 310-1308 or 310-1306). The papers in the Journal are scrutinized by Review and Editorial Committees which comprise prominent academic Doctors and Professors of various research areas locally and internationally.

The Research and Policy Working Papers

The Research and Policy Working Papers is an annual document produced by the Research and Planning Unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commence –Economic Affairs Division. This document is intended to provide persons working in various Research and Planning Units of Government, with a medium through which they can showcase work of a policy nature. The papers included in this document are still in draft form and are subject to revision. The Coordinator of this document is Ms. Kimberly Waithe (Economist).

Barbados Pocket Statistics on Socio-Economic Data

The publication of this pocket sized statistics provides a concise summary of Official Statistics on the economic and social sectors of Barbados. One of the objectives of the Division of Economic Affairs, is to firmly anchor national awareness in, and provide access to, information on economic and social activity in Barbados. This publication therefore constitutes a vital part of achieving of this objective.

The Division through its Research and Planning Unit has a responsibility to monitor, analyse and report on those economic and social outcomes which enable the public to identify and to evaluate Barbados’ performance and position, along its development path. This publication therefore underscores the need to facilitate the dissemination of the results of various economic and social initiatives undertaken through public policy in Barbados over time.

With this recognition of the need for such information, the Economic Affairs Division embarked upon a project entitled, ‘the Barbados Socio-Economic Data 2008 Pocket Statistics in collaboration with one of our development partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its Support to Poverty Assessment and Reduction in the Caribbean (SPARC) Programme. This inaugural publication therefore reflects a shared vision and a commitment to enhancing national socio-economic reporting. The coordinator of the Pocket Statistics is Mr. Mark Durant, Senior Economist.

Monthly Press Releases on Unemployment, Prices and Production

The Index of Retail Prices, the Index of Industrial Production and the Continuous Household Labour Force Survey

The Index of Retail Prices, which is prepared on a monthly basis, measures price changes in the typical basket of goods and services purchased by households.

The Index of Industrial Production is derived from a monthly Survey of Establishments and is designed to provide a general measure of changes in the output of Mining & Quarrying, Manufacturing, and Electricity, Gas & Water.

The Continuous Household Labour Force Survey provides quarterly estimates of the island’s adult population, 15 years and over, who may be in the Labour Force (i.e. employed and unemployed) or classified as Inactive (i.e. not in the Labour Force).

The Research and Planning Unit is staffed by the following professionals:

  • The Director, Research and Planning Unit - Mr. Patrick McCaskie
  • The Chief Economist - Mr. Ronnie Griffith
  • Senior Economist – Mr. Mark Durant
  • Senior Economist - Mr. Bertram Johnson
  • Economist - Mrs. Kelly Hunte
  • Economist - Ms. Kelza Scantlebury
  • Economist- Ms. Richelle Gaskin