Hayes celebrates historic unveiling of Human Development Report in the community

Mar 24, 2017

Students from Clarendon pose at the UNDP's SDG Action Hub where they tested their knowledge of the SDGs for prizes

Hundreds of residents of the mining community of Hayes, Clarendon, plus nearly 300 students from the parish turned out for the 2016 Human Development Report Launch Ceremony and Knowledge Fair at the Wembley Centre of Excellence on 21 March, 2017.

On the historic occasion of the first Human Development Report launch in rural Jamaica, the UNDP Country Office partnered with the Clarendon Parish Development Committee Benevolent Society, the Combined Disabilities Association and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme. Together, UNDP and partners engaged the people of Hayes, Clarendon, staging consultations to promote the 2016 theme, “Human Development for Everyone”, heightening awareness of the Report’s significance and involving residents in event implementation. As a result, 55 residents of Hayes, some partly sponsored by the area’s Refinery Community Council, served as volunteers for the Launch.

The Launch ceremony was standing room only as Minister of Transport and Mining, the Hon Lester Michael Henry, Mayor of May Pen, His Worship Councillor Winston Maragh and UNDP Resident Representative, Bruno Pouezat addressed the significance of the Report to national planning and forecasting.

Mr Pouezat presented a copy of the Report to Minister Henry and Mayor Maragh, while Deputy Resident Representative, Dr Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, handed over copies to teachers and principals of 16 schools in attendance for their school libraries.

Jamaica findings

Findings of the report unveiled in Clarendon indicated that Jamaica had attained a Human Development Index ranking of 0.730 which positions Jamaica at 94 out of 188 countries and territories. Jamaica’s Gender Development Index value is 0.975. Both rankings place Jamaica in the category of High Human Development countries. Jamaica performed better than two thirds of countries in three indicators (one each) related to economic, environmental and social sustainable development.  

Nevertheless, high levels of inequity continue to be a challenge in Jamaica, discounting the HDI by 16.6% when included in the calculations. In order to address this issue, Mr Pouezat emphasized the urgent call from the Report for a stronger focus on dismantling key barriers to development to ensure sustainable human development for all. “It calls on us to ensure that those who are not always heard, women, rural populations, persons living with disabilities, have the opportunity to speak out about our shared challenges, our common solutions and the way forward,” he noted.   

He said Clarendon was chosen for the launch as an illustration that many rural communities can showcase to the world how they confront development challenges and setbacks with innovation and collaboration. He further noted that UNDP’s own experiences in Clarendon had been productive and rewarding, specifically referencing the recently concluded GEF Small Grants Programme-funded Colouden Brae Head Pipeline Project which provided potable water to hundreds of residents in surrounding communities.

He applauded as a powerful demonstration of community collaboration, the Refinery Community Council’s sponsorship and placement of wheelchair ramps and grab bars in select toilet stalls to enable access to the facility by persons living with disabilities.  

UNDP introduces the SDG Action Hub

The expo and knowledge fair, which was later toured by officials, showcased the development work of 21 organizations including UNDP. The Country Office debuted an interactive booth on the Sustainable Development Goals branded the SDG Action Hub. The Action Hub received visits from students and other visitors who learned about the seventeen goals and who took a simple quiz to test their knowledge, while completing an online survey to assess their own life experiences against the SDGs.

Cultural items for the Launch Ceremony were performed by the National Culture Group for the Blind and Rebecca Bissoon, a finalist in the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition.  Later at the expo, residents of the community performed items of poetry, song and dance. Also in attendance were a host of other dignitaries from local government, civil society, national government and international donor partners.

Contact information

Gillian Scott, UNDP/UN Communications Analyst

Tel: 978 2390 – 9 Ext 2032; Mobile: 427 0766

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