• Management of Energy Resources for National Development –Looking at the Trinidad & Tobago Model


    The unpublished essay that follows was prepared in 2005, to help inform the ongoing discussion in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) on how to best use the development of recently discovered, large natural gas fields for national sustainable development. Although issues in T&T have progressed since, the context then is familiar to countries where oil and natural gas are being discovered in abundance) as is the case in Africa, so the original essay is produced intact, in the hope that it might help with ongoing discussions in new producer countries. However, we have added a brief epilogue to illustrate how some of the recommendations were either implemented or not, along with and some of the consequences. These examples are very limited, as this is not the primary intent of this chapter.

    The purpose of the Chapter is to illustrate how lessons learnt from one boom in production and prices in an extractive industry within a single location might be applied to a second such boom, in just over 25 years, in that same industry and location, to increase the benefits from the extracted resource and support sustainable development. Given the nature of the extractives industry and the state of development of T&T at the time of the report, the findings and recommendations might be applied to other resource rich countries that are experiencing similar booms at this time. With luck, these new producers, learning from the lessons of T&T, and others will be able, not just to emulate T&T, but to surpass it in the level of value retention from the resources and in creating sustainable economies.

    This essay built on previous work done by Anthony E. Paul and which is included in the Vision 2020 for the T&T Energy sector (2004), some of which was subsequently included in the National Development Plan for T&T (2007). We have added a brief Epilogue with select examples of the current state of T&T, looking at instances of the application and non-application of the recommended initiatives made in the essay and some of the outcomes.

    Read Full Article Here: Management of Energy Resources for National Development –Looking at the Trinidad & Tobago Model

  • Know Thy Council

    In the face of what many may consider too many allegations of healthcare malpractice, medical negligence and quackery in Trinidad and Tobago, it may be useful to take note of the mechanisms in place for healthcare oversight and monitoring in our country. One such mechanism, and the focus of this article, is the appointment of Councils by Government to regulate healthcare practices through the registration and monitoring of healthcare practitioners.

    In Trinidad and Tobago, these Councils include:

     – The Dental Council of Trinidad & Tobago

    – The Medical Council of Trinidad & Tobago

    – The Nursing Council of Trinidad & Tobago

    – The Pharmacy Council of Trinidad & Tobago

    – The Trinidad & Tobago Opticians Registration Council

    – The Council for Professions Related to Medicine of Trinidad & Tobago (having oversight of boards of   Radiographers, Medical Lab Technicians, Physiotherapists, Medical & Psychiatric Social Workers, Nutritionists & Dieticians and Occupational & Speech & Language Therapists)

    Read Full Article Here: Know Thy Council – Linkage Q4 2016

  • Expanding IT Training to Enable the Internet of Things

    In response, the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá joined in a strategic alliance with Intel to advance the state of knowledge in Colombia about the Internet of Things (IoT). Michael A. Smith PhD, director of the Intel® Software Academic Program for IoT, worked with Diego Méndez, an assistant professor of electronics engineering at the university, and Antonio F. Mondragón Torres, an Intel research scientist, to create an advanced IoT program consisting of four classes.

    To Read Full Article: Expanding IT Training to Enable the Internet of Things

  • Training the next generation of brilliant developers in Colombia

    Intel® Software Academic Program’s Michael Smith recently completed an assignment with the Universitaria de Investigación y Desarrollo (UDI) in Bucaramanga, Colombia as a Fulbright Senior Specialist. The goal of his visit was to establish research and education collaborations in high performance computing, perceptual computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). During his stay, he introduced new courses to the computer science and engineering programs utilizing the Galileo Board and Intel® RealSense™ technology. He also established Intel® RealSense™ technology as a research platform for robot navigation and vision, and worked with the engineering school on a STEM initiative to promote education in robotics to K-12 students in Bucaramanga.


  • Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Risk Management

    Analysis of the survey suggests that while subregional disaster management agencies have fairly good access to technology infrastructure and enjoy an information sharing culture, challenges exist with regard to the information governance frameworks as well as the capacity and availability of human capital with regard to ICT. The study findings indicate that the regional DRM sector would do well to:
    • – Deepen connections with policy makers and other communities of practice
    • – Modernize ICT Infrastructure for DRM
    • – Consider a subregional e-strategy for DRM
    • – Improve ICT governance
    • – Urgently develop programmes of ICT human capacity development.

    Read Full Article Here: ECLAC –Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Risk Management

    Also available online: ECLAC – Digital Repository

  • Leading in the Information Age

    Over the last 30 years the world has seen one of the most significant shifts in human history – the shift from the industrial to the information economy.  Like the shifts before it – from feudal to mercantilist, and from mercantilist to industrial – this latest shift has brought with it a sea change in terms of access to knowledge and information, in terms of what is valued as capital, how economic activity is structured and has impacted the basis of competition between nations.

    This global information and knowledge society has been driven by the democratisation of the internet and the proliferation of computers, the “Cloud” and mobile telephony. These developments have profoundly changed how we conduct almost every activity in our daily social and business activities. Equally notable has been the steady decrease in the cost of computer hardware, mobile communication devices and broadband connectivity, not only for government and big business, but more importantly for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and individuals. The result has been a paradigm shift in the way that communication between entities (individuals, businesses, governments) occurs and in the manner in which information is disseminated, accessed, manipulated and consumed.  This shift has even a profound impact on social culture and introduced a multitude of new terms to the technology, management and business jargon, both in the academic and casual usages.

    Read Full Article Here: Contact – Leading in the Information Age

  • ICT and the Building of an Education Cluster in T&T

    Education, skill development and the generation of new ideas are keys to human development, civil society, economic growth and national competitiveness. Innovative societies and economies are shaped through the development of high quality and diverse education, training and research foundations as well as a culture of knowledge sharing and a significant investment in people as the most valuable national asset. For such goals to be attained in this modern age, all this must be predicated on robust information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

    In this regard Vision 2020 specifically calls for a Trinidad and Tobago which produces people who are “highly skilled, well educated … aspiring to a local culture of excellence that is driven by equal access to learning opportunities.  Our people acknowledge and actively pursue the development of self and country by being socially responsible and contributing to economic development.”

    Read Full Article Here: Contact – ICT and the Building of an Education Cluster in T&T

  • Tourism and ICT – the Hidden Opportunities

    In many of the smaller tourism-focused islands of the Region, during the peak tourist season, the number of tourists on the island rivals the size of the citizen population. The total contribution of travel and tourism to the 2012 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Caribbean was 14 percent, the highest for any region in the world (WTTC 2013). Tourism’s contribution to GDP in 2012 was 27.1 percent in the British Virgin Islands, 22.9 percent in Anguilla and 22 percent in the Bahamas – an indication of the important role of the sector in the Region’s economies. When one considers that, at its essence, what the tourism industry is attempting to do is attract the spend of geographically removed persons to non-domestic locales, luring them based upon information that they receive prior to making the journey, the value of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) begins to become evident. Indeed ICTs are pervasive throughout the travel and tourism space, as all stakeholders, destinations, hotels, airlines and visitors, send their information ahead of them so as to optimize efficiency, facilitate value creation and enhance the transaction experience on all sides.

    Read Full Article Here: Tourism and ICT – the Hidden Opportunities

  • Achieving Sustainable Growth

    Many developing countries possess a primary export industry which disproportionately contributes to their GDP and national wealth. Examples of these include the oil industry in Venezuela, precious minerals in Angola, columbite-tantalite (coltan) in the Congo, natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago, among others. Furthermore, these industries are many times based on non-renewable natural resources which will only sustain the economies linked to them, for a finite period as technological substitutes advance and reserves dwindle.

    A prototypical feature of these economies is their unstable nature due to dependence on fluctuating world commodity prices, changes in preferential market access arrangements, depleting reserves and a host of other possible market structure shocks. These changes invariably have detrimental social and economic affects on the nations and societies in question.

    Read Full Article Here: Linkage Article – Achieving Sustainable Growth

  • Creative Industries go Digital – Do we understand the implications?

    The days of brick and mortar businesses are slowly dwindling as creative industries are increasingly undergoing a ‘digital migration’. ‘Creative Industries’, defined as being “economic and social activities in the areas of the performing arts are actively being consumed on fixed internet and mobile platforms”, says Atiba Phillips, Principal Consultant of INFOCOMM Technologies (ICT) Ltd.

    Over the next four years, digital technologies will become progressively widespread across all segments of Entertainment and Media (E&M). Presently, global digital consumption constitutes 27% and is projected to represent as much as 47% of E&M spending by 2017. The global E&M market as a whole is expected to grow at a rate of 5.6% annually, generating revenues in excess of US$2.0tn by 2017.

    Similar to international creative industries, the Caribbean is a haven for creative output with an abundance of innovative cultural products. However, the production of online and mobile content with associated infrastructure and business models, is considered new territory in the Caribbean. “In order for the Region to succeed in taking advantage of new opportunities and ultimately, have the ability to compete in the global marketplace, it must to improve creation and distribution of rich Caribbean e-content and urgently address the barriers that inhibit progress” proffers Phillips.

    For Caribbean economies to benefit meaningfully from the interaction with the Internet, the development of e-content driven by the creative industries will be a significant factor.

    Read Full Article Here: CONTACT Article – Creative Industries go Digital – Do we understand the implications?