The Baseline Report (BR) is intended to be used as a guide for policy dialogue on the development of regional targets for the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy (C-HRD 2030 S), as well as the actions that are required to achieve them. The report provides a snapshot of the region’s readiness to report on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Phase One of the Regional Action Plan (RAP) for implementation 2017-2021.

It presents regional baselines and recommended targets for measuring access and participation, quality, equity, and relevance in Basic Education (BE), Skills for Life-Long Learning (SLL) and the Tertiary Education (TE) sectors. Targets for these indicators, including the cross-sectoral enablers that are envisaged as critical to successful strategy implementation, are also proposed. Significantly, 17 Member States (MS) submitted responses to the baseline survey (Situational Analysis Matrix – SAM), indicating a growing regional commitment to evidence-based policy action. However, no MS was able to complete the survey in its entirety, which highlights challenges with data management and reporting in the region that will undermine the ability to measure progress on the C-HRD 2030 S if not addressed. As it relates to the three sectors emphasised in the C-HRD 2030 S, MS appear more ready to report on indicators in the BE sector.

There are concerns, however, for the apparent underdeveloped capacity to measure strategic imperatives in the SLL and TE Sectors. Across the region, MS demonstrate challenges in reporting on equity. In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, MS need to take steps to remove barriers that constrain access, quality, and relevance, for vulnerable populations. They also need to help improve data management for various equity groups (e.g. socio-economic, gender, special needs, geographic locations, non-native speakers, migrants, ethnic groups, etc.). Inadequate student attainment in literacy and numeracy signals the continued struggle to achieve high quality BE and training. Further, difficulties encountered by MS in reporting on indicators for relevance, limits an assessment of regional developments in this regard. Hence, there is a need to harmonise approaches, not only to engender quality and relevance at all levels, but also, to monitor the same. For example, how concepts such as “career guidance”, “apprenticeships” and “continuous professional development” are operationalised and measured must be standardised to increase the utility of these indicators to assess regional quality and relevance in Human Resource Development (HRD).

Critically, the successful rate of implementation for the C-HRD 2030 S rests with MS and with the coordinating support of the CARICOM Secretariat. As such, there is an urgency in the region for rapid and relevant responses so that it may move from aspiration to action and realise the vision of the C-HRD 2030 S.

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