First Look

EU programmes in Jamaica receive positive review

EUROPEAN UNION | 2012-06-20 11:26:00

An evaluation of the cooperation programmes carried out by the European Union in Jamaica has received positive reviews. Independent Consultant Mark Watson who assessed the EUs development cooperation in Jamaica between 2002 to 2009 has described the strategy employed for the disbursement of funds as a success.

 "Generally the EC has improved its track record of performance in Jamaica and it has learned from experience in less successful areas. It has become increasingly strategic in its focus, aid delivery mechanisms and the quality of engagement with Government and non-governmental stakeholders."

During the period under evaluation the consultants noted that EU cooperation has evolved into a more mature approach over the years. Instead of procuring goods and services for the country, which is usually the case under development cooperation projects, the EU has begun to channel most of its resources into Jamaica's own budget.
This allows funds to be allocated according to Jamaica's own priorities as outlined in Vision 2030 and the other sector strategies, and administered through Jamaica's own procedures, ensuring greater efficiency and cost effectiveness. This is in keeping with the EU's international commitments. All the major donor organizations have in fact committed to increase the share of funds that are channelled through so-called "country systems".

The evaluation report was today shared with stakeholders within government Ministries, Agencies, and the Private Sector at a country evaluation meeting held at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston.

In his response Head of Operations at the Delegation of the European Jesús Orús Báguena explained that review clearly shows the level of success of EU programming in Jamaica as the shift to direct funding of a country's budget has not been successful or possible everywhere, "as in order for the EU to be able to implement this type of cooperation we demand strong commitments, particularly in terms of macroeconomic policies, and transparency in the management of public finances. Jamaica has in the past met these challenges, and if it cannot be considered an isolated case, it can certainly be considered one of the most successful, insofar as this transition has allowed greater efficiency and speed in the use of the resources and an enhanced level of partnership. It is clear however that this enhanced partnership comes with greater levels of responsibility, and higher benchmarks in terms of stability and transparency.

Despite the success outlined in the evaluation period however it was noted that from early in 2011 the conditions have no longer been sufficient for Jamaica to be considered eligible for budget support, and this positive trend has been interrupted. This evaluation provides a status check, and encouragement to do more to overcome the present challenges. The EU remains committed to working hard with the government and the people of Jamaica to reinvigorate our partnership.



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