Prioritising Inclusion in Addressing Barbados’ Development Challenges

36 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2020

See all articles by Taitu Heron

Taitu Heron

University of the West Indies (Open Campus)

Donnya Piggott

Pink Coconuts Inc

Date Written: August 10, 2019


This is a policy paper which examines the development challenges of the Caribbean island of Barbados against the backdrop of the government's decision to enter into a structural adjustment agreement with the International Monetary Fund in 2018. The paper gives an overview of Barbados' trajectory as doing fairly well in terms of social development but having significant challenges economic dependency, structurally unequal economic framework and inadequate policy interventions and legal frameworks to address socio-economic inequalities rooted in colonialism. The paper argues that the development challenges need to be addressed from a more inclusive approach which seeks to integrate 'vulnerable groups', namely women, youth, LGBTQ people, persons with disabilities and Rastafarians. Vulnerability and inclusion are conceptualised and attention is drawn to the historically marginalised and discriminatory nature of participation in the economy of these groups. Through a series of focus groups and NGO consultations which took place in December 2018 and January 2019, feedback was garnered in terms of what specific areas they wished to see addressed in prioritising an inclusive approach in Barbadian development. The paper therefore examines these areas – employment and labour force participation, entrepreneurship, transportation and legal reform. The paper concludes by reiterating the need to adopt a more inclusive approach and makes recommendations for legal reform and policy intervention as to how this can be done.

Keywords: public policy, inclusive development, IMF programmes, Caribbean, Barbados, vulnerable groups; women; youth, LGBTQ people, religious minorities

JEL Classification: J16; J18; J21; J22; J7; P4; O1; O2; O54

Suggested Citation

Heron, Taitu and Piggott, Donnya, Prioritising Inclusion in Addressing Barbados’ Development Challenges (August 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Taitu Heron (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies (Open Campus) ( email )

Open Campus Country Site
1 Pine East-West Boulevard
Bridgetown, St Michael 11000

Donnya Piggott

Pink Coconuts Inc ( email )


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