October 24, 2020

iNews Briefs & Community Events

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iNews-briefs217Community Events

APRIL 28

BBQ Dinner Sale fundraiser

You’re invited to a BBQ Dinner Sale fundraiser for the young people of the George Town Wesleyan Holiness Church to attend congress in Jamaica. Chef John’s BBQ will be available on Tuesday (28) from 4 — 8pm at the church.

Boundaries Commission West Bay Meeting

The Boundaries Commission is hosting a public meeting at Sir John A Cumber Primary School in West Bay on Tuesday (28) at 8pm.

RENT auditions at Prospect Playhouse

iNews b unnamed-1Auditions for RENT will be held 27 & 28 April 7PM prospect Playhouse

Come prepared with 16 to 32 bars of a song from Rent, from the following list:

Seasons of Love

One Song Glory

Light my Candle

Today For You

Tango Maureen

Out tonight

I’ll cover You

Over the Moon

Take Me or Leave Me

Your Eyes.

See flyer for more details – click to enlarge

 

Grand Cayman Power outage on Sunday due to transmission line fault

Grand Cayman’s utility company CUC apologized to their customers in Bodden Town, North Side and East End who were without power from 1:53pm last Sunday (26). CUC said power was restored to all customers by 4:35pm.

Over 4,600 people were affected.

CUC said the outage was due to a fault on the Company’s 69kv transmission line between Rum Point and Frank Sound but the cause of fault could not be determined.

 

‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Son Sawyer Sweeten Commits Suicide

iNews b 0423-sawyer-sweeten-getty-3From TMZ

Sawyer Sweeten — one of the twins from “Everybody Loves Raymond” — committed suicide Thursday morning, according to his sister.

19-year-old Sawyer reportedly shot himself while visiting family members in Texas. His older sister Madylin Sweeten — who was also on ‘Raymond’ — confirmed the death to TMZ, saying … “This morning a terrible family iNews B 0423-sawyer-sweetengetty-2013tragedy occurred. We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend took his own life.”

Sawyer played Geoffrey Barone — one of Ray Romano’s twin boys — on the series from 1996 to 2005. He not only co-starred with Madylin, but also his real life twin brother Sullivan.

His 20th birthday was just a few weeks away.

Madylin posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon … “At this time I would like to encourage everyone to reach out to the ones you love. Let them have no doubt of what they mean to you.”

IMAGES: 0423_Sawyer-Sweeten_getty_2010

For more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/04/23/sawyer-sweeten-dead-suicide-everybody-loves-raymond-twin-son-dies-gunshot/#ixzz3YWJkFRec

 

Cayman Football: Cayman women’s team thrash St Claude 7-0

From Digicel Sportsmax

Cayman Women’s team, still smarting from a 0-2 loss to Guadeloupe last Saturday, took out their frustrations on the country’s mid-table women’s league team Saint-Claude on Monday.

Tatiana Ramoon scored a hat-trick as the national team ran out 7-0 winners. Judy Rivers, Nicole Whittaker, Britanny Bodden and Kaela Ebanks also scored in the rout. Cayman led 6-0 at the half.

“We made various changes to the team in the second half, in terms of personnel and formation, to look more closely at options and combinations of players,” head coach Alan Purvis said.

“It was a very disciplined and professional performance, particularly in the first half. We could have added more in the second half if it wasn’t for a string of saves from the opposition keeper.”

He said the win also provided the players with some confidence before their next match, which is against American college team University of New Haven on Sunday.

For more: http://www.sportsmax.tv/?q=articles/2015/03/11/cayman-football-cayman-womens-team-thrash-st-claude-7-0

 

Officials: US woman dies at Dominican plastic surgery clinic

Associated Press From Yahoo News

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominican authorities have shut down a plastic surgery clinic as they investigate the death of a U.S. woman who traveled to the Caribbean country to undergo a liposuction procedure, officials said Sunday.

The prosecutor’s office in Santo Domingo said the 23-year-old woman traveled to the Dominican Republic two days before her April 23 procedure but did not disclose where she was from in the U.S.

The clinic is run by Dr. Edgar Contreras, who has been the subject of three other probes by Dominican investigators over the years. He could not be immediately contacted for comment.

The U.S. citizen is the fourth woman and the second American who has died so far this year at Dominican plastic surgery clinics. They include a 35-year-old from

Hawaii identified who authorities say died after a liposuction procedure and a 24-year-old woman who died from an embolism in February after undergoing surgery to have implants removed from her buttocks.

Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.

The Caribbean country, like nations such as Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism, so-called because people will often tack on a few days at a resort before or after undergoing surgery.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/officials-us-woman-dies-dominican-plastic-surgery-clinic-222901587.html

 

Jamaica Gymnastics: Beckford given green light to represent Caribbean nation

From Digicel Sportsmax

English-born athlete Reiss Beckford has been given permission to represent Jamaica in gymnastics, as he aims to be the country’s first gymnast in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio Brazil. Beckford qualifies to represent Jamaica through his parents, and the 23 year old has now been giving the go ahead from the International Gymnastics Federation.

Beckford represented England in the Commonwealth Games in 2010, in Delhi, India, where he won three silver medals. He won them in the team event, floor and all-around.

The athlete looks forward to the opportunity and hopes to represent and compete to the best of his abilities to get Jamaica success in the event.

Other than track and field, Jamaica has only won an Olympic medal in cycling.

For more: http://www.sportsmax.tv/?q=articles/2015/04/25/jamaica-gymnastics-beckford-given-green-light-represent-caribbean-nation

 

Conyers Dill & Pearman advises Kosmos Energy on $225m private offering

Conyers Dill & Pearman has provided Bermuda and Cayman legal advice to Kosmos Energy on its private offering to eligible purchasers of $225m aggregate principal amount of its 7.875 per cent senior secured notes due 2021.

Kosmos intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under its commercial debt facility and for general corporate purposes.

Kosmos Energy is a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on frontier and emerging areas along the Atlantic Margin.

Jason Piney of Conyers’ Bermuda office and Matthew Stocker and Jonathan McLean of Conyers’ Cayman office advised on the matter working alongside Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

 

Report: NBC leaking Brian Williams details to force resignation

By Sandy Fitzgerald From Newsmax

NBC News appears to be trying to shame suspended anchorman Brian Williams into resigning, using an orchestrated a series of leaks to save the network the extra expense and complications of firing him, a new report says.

Williams is reportedly under a $50 million contract over the next five years, and there is speculation he would get $20 million to $30 million to leave, reports Politico. If he leaves for $20 million, he’d get less than 50 cents on the dollar for his remaining contract.

It’s unclear if the apparent strategy is workable, Politico reports, because the Williams camp believes it can disprove many of the leaks.

For example, on Friday, Paul Farhi of The Washington Post reported leaks from a private meeting with NBC News President Deborah Turness, in which reporters from the powerful Washington bureau demanded that he not be permitted to return to work.

And The New York Times on Saturday reported that the network’s inquiry into Williams’ reporting from Egypt in 2011 found exaggerations and news division employees had provided more examples for investigators to examine.

On Saturday, Farhi wrote another story, saying that the network found Williams embellished his stories “at least 11 times.”

Veteran journalist Dan Rather said Sunday that he believes the network is being “downright vicious” for leaking information about its investigation into Williams, and he thinks it will be “very hard” for Williams to ever return to work.

“Objectively it’s very hard to see how NBC brings him back,” Rather told CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter. “I said some time ago I thought his chances were slim to none. You could make a case that slim just left town.”

Corporations like NBC “want to put things behind them,” said Rather, and “if they make the decision to bring Brian back that doesn’t put it behind them.”

The decision about Williams likely remains weeks away, but on Saturday the Times, citing “people with inside knowledge” of the investigation, said the investigation is expected to expand even further.

“Why dump this on him when he’s not able to speak for himself?” Rather said. “When Brian is down, they come from behind him and give him a whack on the back of the neck.”

For more: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/brian-williams-leak-nbc-force/2015/04/26/id/640830/#ixzz3YVsilJoX

 

Qunar Cayman Islands receives $41.75 average PT from brokerages (NASDAQ:QUNR) Posted by Noah on Apr 26th, 2015 From The Legacy

Qunar Cayman Islands logoShares of Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) have been given an average recommendation of “Buy” by the eight brokerages that are currently covering the stock, AnalystRatings.NET reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and six have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $41.75.

Shares of Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) opened at 48.02 on Thursday. Qunar Cayman Islands has a 52 week low of $21.00 and a 52 week high of $52.38. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $39. and its 200-day moving average is $30.. The company’s market cap is $5.74 billion.

Qunar Cayman Islands (NASDAQ:QUNR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, March 16th. The company reported ($0.40) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.05. On average, analysts predict that Qunar Cayman Islands will post $-1.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

QUNR has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Summit Research initiated coverage on shares of Qunar Cayman Islands in a research note on Monday, April 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $52.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at Pacific Crest raised their price target on shares of Qunar Cayman Islands from $41.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 15th. Analysts at HSBC upgraded shares of Qunar Cayman Islands from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 17th. Finally, analysts at Credit Agricole initiated coverage on shares of Qunar Cayman Islands in a research note on Monday, February 9th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock.

Qunar Cayman Islands Limited is a search-based commerce platform for the travel industry in China. The Company’s customers include travel service providers (NASDAQ:QUNR) and display advertisers. The Company’s platform is designed to facilitate and enhance convenience, data accuracy, and transaction security for its users.

For more: http://www.lulegacy.com/2015/04/26/qunar-cayman-islands-receives-41-75-average-pt-from-brokerages-nasdaqqunr/452096/

 

England win after fairytale day for Anderson

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (Reuters) – A devastating spell from seam bowler James Anderson set England up for a nine-wicket triumph in the second test against West Indies on Saturday as the tourists went 1-0 up in the three-match series.

A fiery Anderson ripped through the West Indies middle order in the opening session of the fifth and final day, making excellent use of the new ball to record figures of four for 43.

The Lancastrian also claimed two catches and ran out Jason Holder as the home team were bowled out for 307 having resumed on 202 for two.

That left England chasing a small target of 143 to win and captain Alastair Cook (59 not out) and Gary Ballance (81 not out) helped them clinch their first test victory on foreign soil since beating India in Kolkata in December 2012.

“It was a lot of effort on that wicket,” Cook told the presentation ceremony. “It was a slow wicket throughout and a pretty flat one.

“To get 20 wickets the way we did was a great effort. We showed a lot of character and obviously a lot of skill.”

To add to West Indian misery promising all-rounder Holder was stretchered off the field after landing badly on his ankle in his delivery stride.

CARIBBEAN INQUEST

While there will be a Caribbean inquest into the way the home team collapsed, most of the credit for the momentum shift must go to Anderson. He claimed the important wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite for 116 after the centurion could not keep down a sharply rising delivery and was caught by Joe Root in the gully.

In addition, the paceman removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul for seven and Marlon Samuels for 37.

Anderson also caught Jermaine Blackwood at mid-off for 10 off Chris Jordan, ran out Holder for two and snaffled up Kemar Roach’s chip to mid-on as he fell to spinner Moeen Ali for 10.

Moeen also trapped skipper Denesh Ramdin lbw for 28 and removed last man Shannon Gabriel in identical fashion.

Jonathan Trott was the only batsman to fall in England’s second innings. He went for a duck after chopping a delivery from Gabriel on to his stumps.

“We fought hard for the first four days but that one session (before lunch) where we lost six wickets really cost us the match,” said Ramdin.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Tony Jimenez)

For more: http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/04/25/cricket-windies-england-idINKBN0NG0QQ20150425

 

Lawsuit filed by man alleges assault by Cayman Islands Police officer

Adolphus Myrie has filed a lawsuit dated April 9th against the Cayman Islands Attorney General and former Royal Cayman Islands Police officer, Rabe Welcome. The incident happened in June 2009 where Welcome, who was off duty, is alleged to have injured Myrie outside the On the Run gas station in Red Bay. Myries friend, Shari Gordan, had gone into the gas station where Welcome was inside and the police officer made a remark to her making her feel uncomfortable. She told this to Myrie and he went and confronted Welcome about it. Myrie admitted he used profanities.

A fight took place outside where Myrie received his injuries.

In the filed lawsuit it states as a result of the incident, he (Myrie) suffered concussion and loss of consciousness, a wrist fracture, headache, back pain, light-headedness and a growth in his left eye.”

Myrie seeks unspecified damages, exemplary damages and attorney’s costs.

The writ alleges Welcome assaulted Myrie by picking him up and throwing him to the ground, slamming his head into the ground and bringing his weight to bear on Myrie’s head and body.

Welcome was found guilty of wounding Myrie in October 2012 but the conviction was overturned on appeal in November 2013.

 

Windies players rise in world rankings

From Digicel Sportsmax

The West Indies trio of Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels have all risen in the ICC Men’s Player Test Rankings after their performances in the second Test against England in Grenada.

The 22-year-old Kraigg Brathwaite made the biggest move after hopping eight places to be ranked 34th among all batsmen in the world. This is the highest ranking that the former West Indies Under-19 captain has had since making his debut in Test cricket in 2011.

Jamaican Marlon Samuels also made progress, jumping three places in the rankings to be ranked 28th in the world. Darren Bravo moved up two places and is ranked 32nd in the world now.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul still remains the highest West Indies Test batsman on the list, as he is ranked at number 11, while Chris Gayle at 37th, rounds out the West Indies players in the top 50 Test batsmen in the world.

The number one spot is current held by Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka.

For more: http://www.sportsmax.tv/?q=articles/2015/04/26/windies-players-rise-world-rankings

 

Cayman FATCA portal registration a significant test for industry

From hedgeweek

Tim Thornton, Chief Data Officer, Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services comments on the upcoming deadline for registration on the Cayman FATCA portal…

The upcoming 30 April deadline for registration on the Cayman FATCA portal is another milestone in the implementation of FATCA. The relatively short window from the portal being available, combined with the fact that the portal has been set up to handle both US and UK FATCA, means that it is vital managers are confident in their FATCA process, be it in house or outsourced.

The requirement for notification or authority letters to be prepared and filed where registration is handled by a third party on behalf of the fund adds to the time crunch. Considering the number of entities that will have to register this will be a significant test both of the readiness of firms and service providers, and of the robustness of the portal registration process.

In addition to Cayman, other IGA 1 countries are opening similar portals with registration requirements. These will all differ slightly meaning that staying on top of announcements from different regulators and the processes involved is a significant task.

The first reporting deadlines come quickly after the registration, with 31 May reporting required for the Cayman Islands. By this point firms impacted should be comfortably running FATCA compliance programmes and a considerable way through all catch up exercises on pre-existing investors.

For more: http://www.hedgeweek.com/2015/04/27/222348/cayman-fatca-portal-registration-significant-test-industry

 

Hurricane Hunters provide information on the ground as well as in the air in Caribbean tour

By Mike Lacy From WLOX 13

The Hurricane Hunters of Keesler Air Force Base don’t have to be inside a hurricane to help people on the ground. And their work is not just for this country. It’s also for others in vulnerable areas whose lives literally depend on what information Hurricane Hunters provide.

The annual Caribbean Hurricane Awareness Tour took a 25-member group of Hurricane Hunters and members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane forecasters to two Mexican and five Caribbean cities.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Lt. Col. Jon Talbot, chief meteorologist for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. “You get to meet everybody and explain to them how you do your job. And they get to tell us how much they rely on us for their information. It’s amazing how many people in the Caribbean region rely on the information from these aircraft and they know all about us. We are well known in that part of the world.”

The trip attracted up to 15,000 people, many of those were school children. The outreach program began in the 1970s and is conducted prior to hurricane season.

The Hurricane Hunter tour isn’t over yet. Beginning in May, the Hurricane Hunters will begin the East Coast Hurricane Awareness Tour from Halifax, Nova Scotia, all the way to the Florida Keys.

On this trip, Caribbean officials were updated on how to use the information provided by the Hurricane Hunters.

“You really can’t evacuate there,” he said. “So you have to kind of shelter in place, and it’s very important that they know how strong the winds are so they can put people in the right shelters because you’re limited to what you have structure wise on some of these islands.”

Talbot said it’s worth the effort to help protect a vulnerable region.

“We provide a lot of the aid to a lot of these countries after a disaster, so if we can help them prepare better, then maybe that will reduced how much aid we have to provide, but it saves lives.”

For more: http://www.wlox.com/story/28903278/hurricane-hunters-provide-information-on-the-ground-as-well-as-in-the-air-in-caribbean-tour

 

[St Lucia] Cathedral killers sentenced to life in prison

From St Lucia Times

The two men responsible for the deadly attack on the Roman Catholic Church in Castries fifteen years ago have been sentenced to life in prison.

The judgment was handed down to Kim John and Francis Phillip in the High Court on Friday.

The convicts pleaded guilty to manslaughter after their death sentence for murder was struck down by the Privy Council in London.

Defense Lawyer – Alfred Alcide said the life sentence translates to twenty-five years under St Lucian law.

However he added that it was unclear whether the sentence would take into account the fourteen years the convicts have already spent behind bars.

Kim John and Francis Phillip stormed the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 31, 2000, dousing worshippers with gasoline before setting them alight.

They were accused of fatally beating Sister Theresa Egan, 73, with a piece of wood and setting on fire Rev. Charles Gaillard, 62.

 

Thirteen worshippers also suffered burns, some of them so serious that the victims had to be treated overseas.

For more: http://stluciatimes.com/article/cathedral-killers-sentenced-life-prison

 

A [sound] experiment

By Paul McGowan From PS Audio

As we start our series on the mysterious power cord, asking the question of why it should make such a difference in sound, I want to offer an experiment for the adventurous few. I will make two assumptions: you have a separate power amplifier, and you haven’t changed your power cord in some time. If true, the experiment’s easy. Find an acoustic track you are familiar with, one preferably with a voice or voices and a few stringed instruments, like a plucked guitar, or even a piano. Listen closely to the presentation of the instruments, their tonality, space within the recording and in particular, the length of decay of overtones. Focus also on the humanness of the voice. Note the exact volume level it is played at, then shut down the amplifier.

Next, remove the power cord from the amplifier and the wall or conditioner. Put it back in the AC source and the amp itself. Turn the system back on and repeat the listening test ensuring the volume remains identical. Chances are quite good that careful listeners on revealing systems will note improvements: longer decay of notes, more lifelike presentation, better separation between instruments. The contrasts should be readily apparent.

This experiment works because the act of removing and inserting a power cable removes surface oxidation from the receptacles in the wall and equipment. Metal surfaces grow ‘barnacle-like’ protrusions over time, reducing connectivity and you can hear the difference once cleaned. The experiment only works the once and time must pass before repeating it.

I bring this to your attention so you’re not fooled into hearing improvements that do not exist when trying a new power cable. You must always begin by following the process just mentioned, then evaluate the old one, and get ready for the new.

For more: http://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/an-experiment/

 

US$30.8-m cocaine seizure in Caribbean Sea

From Jamaica Observer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it has intercepted a vessel attempting to smuggle 42 bales of cocaine into the country through the Caribbean Sea.

The CBP said the drugs, weighing 2,425 pounds, had a street value of US$30.8 million.

It said the operation, led by the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), took place south of the island of Vieques, an eastern island off Puerto Rico.

Two United States citizens were arrested, and a two-engine vessel was seized, the CBP said.

It said US Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas authorised a complaint charging Adalberto Rodríguez-Ortiz and Angelo Burgos-Gómez with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

If convicted the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years up to life in prison, CBP said

“This week federal and local law enforcement worked together to intercept thousands of kilograms of cocaine before they reached our shores,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, US Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

“We cannot, and will not, halt our efforts to protect our communities from the countless societal problems caused by drug trafficking.”

For more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/US-30-8-m-cocaine-seizure-in-Caribbean-Sea

 

The Courtyard by Marriott brand continues its Caribbean expansion

iNews B17_04_15_Courtyard_by_Marriott_Curaao_lrgFrom Hotel Designs

Marriott International has recently announced plans to open the first Courtyard by Marriott brand hotel in Curaçao in the city of Willemstad. The project will be developed by CMC Real Estate N.V.

The 177-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel, scheduled to open in 2017, will be located only a few blocks from the existing cruise ship terminal. The property will be part of a mixed-used development that will include retail space, an entertainment area, three restaurants and a casino.

“The Courtyard by Marriott brand was a perfect fit for this hotel, and combined with Marriott’s backbone and sales engine, we are confident that the hotel will be highly successful and play a large role in the continued emergence of island,” said Mr. Klaus Moser, one of the shareholders and operator of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Curaçao.

“The changing economic climate across the world and today’s technology has changed how people travel,” said Andrew Houghton, Area Vice President of the Caribbean at Marriott International. “Our guests want a room that has purpose and flexibility that enables a seamless transition between relaxing and working. Courtyard is designed to offer them a relaxing and functional space to work and enjoy their vacation the way they want to, when they want to.”

“With the success of the brand across Latin America and the Caribbean, the Courtyard by Marriott brand has become a favourite amongst regional travellers”, Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Caribbean & Latin America, Marriott International. “The new hotel in Curaçao will be a significant milestone in our rapid expansion across the Caribbean.”

The hotel will feature the brand’s signature refreshing business lobby, lobby bar, a coffee shop, an outdoor pool, fitness centre and flexible meeting space. Additionally, it will include the brand’s new modern guestroom design which is intuitive and thoughtful, offering flexible yet comfortable spaces that enable technology.

Marriott International is currently represented in Curaçao with the 248-room Curaçao Marriott Resort & Emerald Casino, and the 240-room Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino.

For more: http://www.hoteldesigns.net/industrynews/news_14314.html

 

The big data revolution for inclusive and sustainable development

By Alicia Bárcena From CARIBBEAN360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, – The digital revolution, one of the biggest paradigm shifts seen on a global level, has a major impact that cuts across all of our societies’ activities. This has generated exponential growth in the volume and types of available data, which are produced continuously and at great speed by people, machines and sensors, electronic transactions and via the use of Internet, among other sources. At the same time, there is greater demand today for increasingly disaggregated, updated and timely information.

In addition to the traditional sources of data and indicators—such as censuses and polls by national official statistics systems—other sources have emerged, boosted by information and communications technologies (ICT), the massive use of mobile devices, the Internet of Things and the digital economy. All of these factors have given rise to so-called Big Data.

Big Data goes beyond computer systems that store sizeable volumes and new types of information. It is part of a new digital ecosystem. Its use, through analytical tools for structured and unstructured data, allows for improved decision-making in critical areas of development, such as health care, employment, productivity, crime-fighting, security and natural disaster management.

Due to growing citizen demands for greater transparency, access to information and effective accountability mechanisms, multiple initiatives have been developed that are oriented towards open data.

These phenomena constitute the so-called data revolution, which is already a reality, not an alternative. Our societies’ challenge is to understand this process: we must create awareness about its potential, risks and challenges, while also setting priorities.

This new paradigm redefines the balance of power due to the emergence of new actors that make strategic use of data and question the ways in which public actors, the private sector and civil society act, as we indicated in the report A World That Counts, by the Group of Experts convened by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General.

This year, the UN will adopt a new post-2015 development agenda, in which economic, social and environmental dimensions will be integrated and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be defined. How can we ensure that the data revolution will be a vector in this new development agenda?

First, it is essential that it be an instrument for closing gaps in terms of socioeconomics and the accessibility of digital resources. Secondly, it should serve to echo the voices of the most disadvantaged and marginalized populations, while also reflecting their needs for public action and services.

The data revolution entails significant risks, in particular in terms of privacy and ensuring the anonymity of data in an aggregate form, which is why standards and regulatory frameworks must be established.

Up to now the private sector has led the data revolution thanks to its investment in infrastructure and, especially, due to its ability to innovate and generate, store and process large amounts of new data. On a social level, there is an urgent need to give more opportunities to empowered citizens—who demand reliable and open information in real time—so they can keep contributing to the creation of innovative solutions to social problems.

Governments, public institutions and national official statistics systems must get involved, adapting their capacities promptly. This is an opportunity to obtain new tools to facilitate decision-making and guide an inclusive and sustainable development agenda.

The main challenge for our societies is to convert the data revolution into a powerful catalyst for a new State-market-society equation, with new alliances between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society organizations. It is also fundamental that innovative initiatives are promoted in the framework of the new digital ecosystem and the sustainable development agenda for the common good.

Alicia Bárcena is the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

For more: http://www.caribbean360.com/business/the-big-data-revolution-for-inclusive-and-sustainable-development-alicia-barcena#ixzz3XfKfgB00

 

 

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