Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, other Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials took part in on a two hour gallery walk of the work carried out during the Social and Economic Labs conducted by PEMANDU Associates over the past four weeks, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Unit has reported.
The unit said in a release that the Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Justin Ram, who participated in the gallery walk, spoke glowingly of the recommendations brought forward from the Labs.
The Gallery Walk was the final activity conducted under the Social and Economic Labs.
It brought together over 150 participants from the public and private sectors and civil society organizations to plan the medium term development strategy for this country.
The Gallery Walk took the form of presentation from individuals representing six key areas of Education, Health, Infrastructure, Crime, Agriculture and Tourism.
The National Competitiveness and Productivity Unit quoted Economic Development Minister, Guy Joseph, as saying that he was very encouraged by the level of engagement during the entire process.
“I cannot recall the last time we would have seen that level of engagement with so many persons both in the private and public sector in Saint Lucia engaging in a plan for the development and advancement of Saint Lucia,” Joseph stated.
He said though the gallery walk was intended to give government ministers and participants an overall picture of the work done in the key result areas, he was more concerned with the output.
“Now, these are good plans on paper. The issue is what do we do with these good plans that we have on paper? We would be measured as we go along into phase two of this whole process. The output of the labs will assist the government of Saint Lucia in developing this medium term development strategy.”
Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, for his part said that the purpose of the process included obtaining a ‘buy-in’, in terms of the overall goals of the government.
“In terms of being able to achieve and then bringing in all the people who participated in delivering that good and then having a further constraint on top of it, which you hear me say all the time, ‘Where’s the money going to come from?’ Chastanet said.
“I genuinely believe that what I saw over the last couple of weeks is a greater, greater appreciation of the need to be able to prioritize. Unfortunately we have found ourselves in a dilemma where we’re so far behind on so many things whether it be infrastructure, education, health, justice, tourism, agriculture and the list goes on. But the fact is there absolutely aren’t enough resources to do everything that we want to be able to do and so what it requires, it requires innovation,”the PM explained.
The Gallery Walk took place on the fifth floor of the Finance Administrative Centre in Pointe Seraphine on Friday 14th December, 2018.