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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Express: Vision 2020 coming closer to the people

A statement from the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development on the much-maligned Vision 2020, published in the Sunday Express of November 18th, 2007, with emphasis mine.
Please permit me the opportunity to respond to some issues raised in the Sunday Express editorial of November 11 with regard to Vision 2020.

The first point I wish to underscore is that Vision 2020 represents the change in the quality of life of all citizens which is expected to be attained by the year 2020, as a result of the policies, strategies, programmes and projects being pursued. Such initiatives as well as the indicators and targets to track and measure progress are all identified in the Vision 2020 National Strategic Plan and related Operational Plans which were all tabled in Parliament.

Some of the key indicators are:

Per capita income; employment/unemployment levels; price stability; productivity levels; literacy rates; access to quality education at all levels; availability of quality housing; access to quality health care services; state of the environment; incidence of serious crime; poverty levels; commuting time; availability of basic amenities.

Fundamental to the social and economic transformation that is envisioned is a critical change in values and attitudes at both the individual and national levels and in the social relationships which will have to characterise our everyday lives. All citizens must want a better society and must be prepared to make the commitment and sacrifices consistent with the attainment of this goal.

Formulation of the National Strategic Plan drew heavily on the expert contributions of a wide range of nationals drawn from both the public and private sectors including representatives of civil society, and as the work progressed, it was further informed by nationwide consultation both in Trinidad and in Tobago. Moreover, plan implementation is being driven on a continuous basis by the Programme Management Office of the Planning Ministry.

The Vision 2020 National Strategic Plan became a public document since 2004. The Strategic Plan as well as the Operational Plans are all available online at the Vision 2020 website: www.vision2020.info.tt and were also distributed in hard and electronic copies to all the media houses including the Express.

As part of its communication strategy to bring Vision 2020 closer to the population, the Planning Ministry will continue its outreach programme in communities and schools throughout the country. The media will also be important for updating the population on the status of plan implementation.

The ministry wishes to thank the Express for the focus it has brought to the Vision 2020 project through its editorial. We certainly appreciate the opportunity presented for updating and enlightening the national community on this project of national importance.

Anthony Bartholomew
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Planning and Development
If we want it, we have to work for it too. All of us do... Not some of us on behalf of the rest of us... Not some of us only if we see someone else making an effort...

If not, then the bureaucrats are wasting their time fighting to achieve a standard that the populace at large seems to refuse to believe that it deserves.

We are far better than the pit in which we choose to wallow, covering ourselves over with pity at our collective perceived condition. But we must want better, be willing to work for better. We must stop throwing up our hands in frustration that things are not better faster. We must be patient with those who don't or can't see it, and not chastise them but encourage.

It's not going to start over night. Indeed, it's already started. But it needs to continue with you.

You don't need to wait on Central and Local Government and the public service to take charge of things within your personal sphere of control.

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