Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett

Government will soon be in discussion with the Caribbean Development Bank to establish two new initiatives – a National Growth and Reduction Strategy and a Social Policy Framework.

This disclosure has come from Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, as he addressed a National Consultation on the draft report on the Country Assessment of Living Conditions (CALC), today at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Speaking to representatives of government ministries and non-governmental organisations, Minister Blackett said that the results of the CALC were the "solid empirical base upon which these broad-based policies [could] be elaborated".

He explained that the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy would "focus on the interrelated objectives of stimulus and diversification of the economy, job creation, human resource development and establish measures to cushion the society from the adverse effects of the current economic crisis…"

With regards to the establishment a Social Policy Framework, the Minister stated that it had been successful in other countries, and could "shape the evolution of social policy in Barbados".

He pointed out that the intention was "to achieve an overall objective of developing an integrated multi-sectoral human rights based social policy framework which allows for the full development of all persons".

"I would also expect that issues such as the relationship between human rights and social and economic equity, governance, transparency, citizen participation, social exclusion, vulnerability and integrated national development planning [would] be…captured within any such policy framework," Minister Blackett added.

He, however, noted that the success of this methodology would depend on "the implementation of a coherent and well-articulated framework".

??"One thing must be clear, and that is the idea of shared responsibility… There must be a shared understanding, recognition and commitment to the pursuing and adoption by all sections of Barbadian society of the core values underpinning social policy as a means to ensuring equitable social outcomes for all," the Social Care Minister asserted.


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