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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects | Barbados

SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BARBADOS

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The National Assistance Act (Cap. 48) from 1969 and the National Insurance on Social Security Act (Cap. 47) are the main legislation referring to poverty. These acts have not been reviewed after Rio. The main gap in the legislation is the lack of national policy defining poverty. Some agencies have working definitions but none of these attempts to quantify the number of poor. A national policy defining a poverty level would support the implementation of existing legislation.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Communities and NGOs are empowered to address poverty issues through the democratic process, freedom of speech and their representation on committees and boards. For the poor and the elderly, the Government provides an extensive welfare programme. For the elderly, assistance is provided for housing, transportation, home care and free utilities (water and utilities) as well as a non-contributory pension, assistance in kind, and food vouchers. The poor are provided with cash assistance, subsidized housing, legal aid, rents to private landlords, and emergency relief for fire victims. Generally, primary health care, clean water, sanitation, free education and health care are available to all; school lunches are provided at the primary school level; and a subsidized text book loan scheme is available at the secondary school level.

Programmes and Projects 

Government is embarking on a BDS $10 million Poverty Alleviation exercise for 1997/1998, through various government agencies that will seek to address education, joblessness and homelessness among the community. The National Assistance Board and Welfare Department will be integral in this exercise. The Welfare Department is currently conducting a study on homelessness. This study should enable more effective targeting of some of the needs of this client group.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and the Statistical Services Department address demographic issues. The Government Ministries are engaged in integrated policy coordination in the field of population, environment and development policies. The following Ministries are involved: Finance & Economic Affairs (Planning Division), Health and the Environment, Labour and Community Development, Education and Youth Affairs and the Division of Women's Affairs. Steps have been taken to involve women in decision-making at all levels of population and sustainable development strategies, policies, projects and programmes.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The National Programme of Action on Population and Development as detailed in the National Report on Population and Development has gone through an extensive review process to prioritise areas for immediate action to promote sustainability in the Society. The reviewed document is being submitted by the National Committee on Population and Development to the Government of Barbados to be sanctioned as the policy document on population and development for enactment by the year 2000. The policy document seeks to also address issues as raised in the UN social fora, including the SIDS Conference, Social Summit, World Conference on Women, and Habitat II. Barbados participated in the Cairo Conference on Population and Development in 1994.

The Government has been involved in supporting NGO activities related to population, environment and development. Among the NGOs which have received support are the Barbados Family Planning Association, Barbados National Trust, Caribbean Conservation Association, Barbados Museum and Historical Society and National Council on Ageing. Public information activities, such as seminars, meetings, and media campaigns, have been carried out generally in an effort to create awareness of the linkages among population, environment and sustainable development issues. There are no bilateral or multilateral initiatives in the area of population and sustainable development in which the Government has been involved. Constraints continue in areas of human and financial resources.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and Environment is responsible for all health matters. There are a number of Health acts, the most important being, the Health Services Act and the Drug Services Act. The Barbados Cancer Society and other NGO's are actively involved in the pursuit of a Healthy Society as well as the prevention and education of the society with regards to the HIV virus and AIDS.

The mission of the Health Division is to promote health, provide comprehensive health care for the entire population ensuring that all aspects of health care are incorporated into national development. The Health Division is organized into the following programme areas:

Barbados provides universal access to high quality primary and secondary care with a network of polyclinics plus a referral hospital. For the 1997/98 period a number of goals have been identified, these include:

The Health Sector Rationalization Study which is currently being carried out is worth BDS$4.6 million.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Barbados Drug Service (BDS), is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Supply Management. The BDS collaborates with WHO on projects which seek to develop programmes to help countries maximize their pharmaceutical resources. A Health Sector Rationalization Study is being carried out in collaboration with Boston University's Centre for International Health. The Ministry works in close collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


Click here to go to the Health and health-related statistical information from the World Health Organization.
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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture is primarily responsible for promoting education, public awareness and training. It is also a full member of the National Coordinating Body for Sustainable Development. The Ministry does not have an advisory or consultative body on environmental education, but there is an Education Officer assigned for environmental education who sits on the Environmental Education Committee of the Ministry of Health and Environment. The Environment Division of the Ministry of Health has a two-person education unit responsible for public awareness on environmental and sustainable development issues. Currently the Environment Division is coordinating the development of a National Sustainable Development Plan for Barbados through a broad based collaborative process. A significant component of this plan will focus on education and public awareness.

The Training Administration Division of the Ministry of the Civil Service is primarily responsible for human resource development. The Ministry of Education also has a Human Resource Development Section.

The Ministry of Education encourages partnerships, mobilizes resources, provides information and prepares the National Education Strategy which addresses both formal and informal environmental education. The National Development Strategy, formulated in 1995 and submitted to the Heads of Government in Jamaica in 1997, addresses human resource development as well.

In addition, through the Public Awareness and Education Steering Committee of the National Commission on Sustainable Development, key stakeholder groups have been brought together to coordinate a comprehensive public awareness programme. Printed material, audio visual tools and special classes, workshops and seminars are used at all school levels to promote environmental education.

Generally, on an ad hoc basis, stakeholder involvement in decision-making is ensured through workshops and national consultations.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

Primary and secondary schools study environmental health, safe drinking water, sanitation, recycling, energy efficiency and ecosystems. Steps have been taken to foster opportunities for women in non-traditional fields and to eliminate gender stereotyping in curricula. Education in Barbados is compulsory up to the age of 16. There is co-education, and both child care facilities and maternity benefits are available. The majority of teachers are women.

The school curricula have been reviewed and revised to adequately address environment and development as a cross-cutting issue at all school levels; there is also a single national curriculum. One of the priority areas for reorienting education towards sustainable development is the development of a teachers' training manual. There are pre-service and in-service training programmes available for teachers, administrators, educational planners, and non-formal educators in all sectors concerning the nature and methods of environment and development education. Environment and development concerns have been introduced in teacher training programmes and teachers are trained through various in-service programmes and workshops.

Courses being offered at the Tertiary institutions are being upgraded. Public Officers are given leave to pursue studies in Human Resource Development. And ten (10) National Development Scholarships are offered every year for persons to pursue studies which would contribute to the general development of the country.

Barbados Community College, Health Science Division offers courses in Human Health Care. At the Primary Level, there is a module for first 3 years in basic education. Special courses are offered for teachers in Education Administration and Management. Administration Courses are offered at U.W.I and Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) for Mid-management and Managers. BIMAP is given a subvention by Government every year.

In addition, training courses are provided under the second IBDR (World Bank) project in the following areas:

Awareness-raising programmes and activities include television programmes, demonstration projects in the areas of tree planting and beach clean-up. There are also National Debushing and Clean-Up Campaigns. In addition, Photography and poster competitions are used to raise awareness and appreciation of nature as well as cartoon skits. Some examples of innovative public awareness acitivities are:

The Barbados Water Authority conducts public awareness programmes utilizing the television, radio and print media. This awareness drive focuses on reasons for water conservation and sound use practices as well as actual measures and actions that can be taken at the domestic level. These programmes have complemented the free distribution of water saving devices to paid-up customers by the Barbados Water Authority.

Challenges  

Priority constraints to implementing effective programmes to address the issues raised in this area are limited funds and the need for continued training of available human resources.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

National information available to assist both decision-makers and planners working in human resource development in contained in the Inter-Ministerial Report on Human Resource Development Strategy - 1995, readily available at the Resource Centre of the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture. Barbados is also undertaking compilation of a database on Education, Training and retraining. The database forms part of the Labour Market Information System (LMIS) providing information for formulating development plans, employment policies and programmes. Every Ministry and private enterprise is required to prepare a database on education training and retraining to be included in the database at the Manpower Research and Statistical Unit (central agency for this information).

Additionally, under the National Indicators Programme (NIP) approved in 1998, indicators for sustainable development are being developed, including those which would facilitate monitoring and evaluating on human resource matters. Further, the Human Resources Committee under the NCSD will collaborate on indicator development.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing 

This sector is financed mainly through the national budget and external assistance.

Cooperation  

UN agencies and organizations have supported educational programmes on environmental and sustainable development issues. For example, UNESCO provided funding for training of teachers in physics and environmental studies as well as for a workshop on human development strategies with regard to structural adjustment and education policy.

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th, 6th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: January 1999

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Housing and Lands along with the Town and Country Planning Department are responsible for all new settlements. Consultations are held with various interests groups and local communities when certain housing developments are being planned.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The indicators developed by the United Nations to assess a nation's housing conditions, when applied to Barbados, invariably lead to the conclusions that Barbadians are well housed. A range of housing programmes implemented or facilitated by Government, with notable contribution from the private sector, should have attributed to the significant national growth in housing standards over the years. Yet the various initiatives undertaken have not alleviated the existence of poor housing conditions or eliminated the absence or need to upgrade infrastructure and utility services within existing communities. Furthermore, as new construction falls behind required production levels by some 20%, the need to develop programmes to embrace a wider scale of beneficiaries is necessary.

Current programmes include:

As the facilitation of home ownership is a fundamental goal of Government's housing policy eligible tenants of Government rental units have the option to purchase their residences. In addition, financial packages are available to families in the various income groups to assist in the purchase, repair or improvement of their homes.

During the 1995/96 period, Government embarked on two new housing programmes, the Urban Renewal Project and the Rural Development Programme which are targeted to address the housing deficiencies of residents within these distinct geographic regions. Basically, the two programmes seek:

The pilot project phase of the Urban Renewal project is worth BDS$1.2million. The project is expected to be fully operational by late 1997.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

Issues which still present a challenge to the upgrading of substandard housing conditions include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Training in Geographic Information Systems takes place within the Ministry of Housing, while integration and computerization are undertaken within the Town and Country Planning Department.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Ministry of Housing and Lands works in conjunction and cooperates fully with UNCHS HABITAT.

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This information is based on Barbados's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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