|Overview : |
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) is committed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has acknowledged that challenges remain to achieve a nation that is equitable, inclusive and prosperous. This would include a need to establish national measurements on multi-dimensional poverty linked specifically to SDG 1. The country’s Survey of Living Condition (SLC) report for 2005 identified the prevalence of poverty at 16.7%. The SLC 2014 is pending Cabinet approval for release, which is expected in 2017. The report includes a Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) guided by nationally-driven dimensions and variables that reflect the reality of poverty in the country, utilizing Census 2011 data.
In addition, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is working towards developing a National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS), complementing the Vision 2030 planning document as well as to meet the commitments to translate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve local solutions. Specifically the SDG1 on No Poverty and its accompanying targets will be most relevant when developing the NPRS. The Vision 2030 is being led by the Ministry of Planning and Development while the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, who is the custodian to address social challenges of poverty, social inequality and social exclusion, is responsible for developing the NPRS. Other key social sector Ministries are being closely consulted with throughout the process as they also have responsibility for developing and executing various poverty reduction programmes and services in Trinidad and Tobago. In undertaking the development of this strategy, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is collaborating closely with development partners, UNDP and UNICEF.
This important national policy will be in-line with the Caribbean wide UN-Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN-MSDF) Priority area 1: An Inclusive, Equitable and Prosperous Caribbean. Social and non-social Ministries will collaborate closely to deliver programmes that are most efficient and effective in achieving social inclusion in Trinidad and Tobago.
The development of a National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS) must take into account the linkages between human development, human rights and the SDGs and the final strategy should focus on ensuring an enlargement of capabilities, protecting freedom of choices and ensuring a monitoring process that holds claimants and duty bearers responsible and accountable for the attainment of goals. Monitoring of the SDGs would require adherence to the principles of inclusivity, accountability and transparency. Therefore, consultations from various levels and groups of different stakeholders in the community to the policymakers are crucial to reflect a strategy that is collectively owned and utilized by all. The NPRS will ensure that the national measurement of poverty including child poverty reflects one that is multi-dimensional, based on quantitative inputs such as the SLC 2014 and the qualitative component based on the national consultations. Measurements of multi-dimensional poverty will also address understanding the deprivations of children in the regional consultations as well as through qualitative inputs.
The NPRS will inform the delivery of existing poverty reduction programmes and strengthen a coordinated and integrated universal social protection floor towards realization of social and economic rights of human development. Furthermore, the NPRS, once implemented, will also increase efficiency and effectiveness in the social sector resource allocation and investment. Improved implementation of programmes especially among women, children and families, articulate clear roles for all stakeholders, provide time-bound targets necessary for transparent monitoring and evaluation and the localization of the SDGs are also objectives to be met with the development of the NPRS.