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Statistical Report for the Governance Assessments and Measurements Project for Barbados and the Eastern Carribean

Producer: 
UNDP Barbados
Publication year: 
2012
Source of the information: 
GAP

The   UWI/UNDP   DGA   Assessment   project   emerged   out   of   a   longstanding problematique  within  the  Eastern  Caribbean,  that  is,  the  limitation  and  often  lack  of comprehensive  statistical  indicators  of  key  facets  of  democratic  governance.  Such indicators are needed to guide dialogue within civil society with a view towards redesigning democratic  systems  to  be  more  inclusive  and  sustainable  for  all  citizens.  Although  an important  exercise,  determining  the  nature  and  quality  of  democratic  governance more  closely  so  that  all  actors  can  understand  the  challenge  it  presents  is  complex. What should one measure? How should one measure? These  are important questions. It is equally important to consider the interpretation of such measurements, which can be  contentious.  We  believe  however,  that  it  is  only  through  the  ventilation  of contending  perceptions,  ideas  and    issues  with  reasoned and  enlightened  debate  that the renovation of democracy is enhanced.  
 
Participants in the wide-ranging focus-group discussions conducted in Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados signalled that democratic governance is under threat of erosion in myriad ways and is perceived by as inadequate. This  report will show varying facets of governance responsible for these worrying trends by drawing on survey data collected in Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados. In almost every disaggregated category surveyed on the critical  values  essential  for  effective  democratic  governance,  less  than  40  percent  of  respondents    viewed    these  markers  of  flourishing  democracy  as  “good”,  or  “very good”.  Less  than  50  per  cent  of  those  surveyed  generally  considered  the  prevailing structures and systemic features in place for good governance as “average” (or were “neutral”).  On  a  positive  note,  generally,  outright  dissatisfaction  with  democratic features  was  noted  as  “poor”  or  “very  poor”  by  less  than  30  percent  of  survey respondents. The general sentiment towards the functioning of democracy in the two countries  under  study  can  be  encapsulated  by  the  following  comment  from  a respondent in Antigua and Barbuda: “we just dey (there), we just going ‘long.”

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The following sections of this report present the data collected in surveys conducted in   Antigua   and   Barbuda   and   in   Barbados   by   the   UWI/UNDP   Democratic  Governance  Assessment  team  in  efforts  to  assess  good  governance  in  the  two countries.