SPREDD’s leadership and stakeholders view the CEDS as a mechanism to formulate strategies able to transform the region by means of reducing poverty, outmigration, unemployment and uncertainty while increasing the overall prosperity and sense of place/emotive bonds that many have for the region. By establishing an Evaluation Framework to measure these objectives, stakeholders and SPREDD leadership gain insight into the overall effectiveness of the CEDS. A well-constructed evaluation framework can also identify areas of the CEDS that may need to be adjusted.
The Evaluation Framework was compiled by means of answering the following:
• Which conditions are important? Employment and prosperity increasing
• Which trends need to be reversed? Outmigration and lingering damage from hurricanes and earthquakes
• Which assets are available to be leveraged? Ports, Foreign Trade Zone, Tax Advantages, Blue Economy, Sectors noted earlier.
• How will a strategy help achieve the economic vision? By means of a coordinated and regional approach.
The data used to create the economic profile of the SPREDD included in this CEDS, as well as the economic indicators that we propose to follow to evaluate the impact of the activities mentioned here, come from different State Agencies from Puerto Rico and the United States, which are listed here (in alphabetical order):
- The Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico, Office of Economic Studies
- The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Puerto Rico
- The Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce
- The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources
- The Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury
- The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority
- The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company
- The Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics
- The Puerto Rico Planning Board
In Strategic Direction / Call to Action, five primary goals were outlined, with numerous sub-tasks and deadlines noted. Tracking of progress on these goals will be made by using blockchain technology. Progress on these goals will be tracked through a series of transactions placed in a transparent, permanent, immutable ledger and verified by independent third parties. Blockchain has quickly become a mainstream technology and is being used in a wide variety of applications including large industry supply chains, large infrastructure projects, and The Department of Treasury and the Army are pursuing programs for device tracking using blockchain.
- Bureau of Economic Statistics
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- US Census Bureau
SPREDD does not intend to merely track progress on achieving goals and initiatives set forth in this CEDS. Instead, SPREDD will track underlying economic metrics to determine if the implementation of these goals is having an impact. If the metrics do not improve, then the initiatives may have to be adjusted accordingly. Rather than track numerous goals, SPREDD is going to track the following macro goals at the regional level to foster an enhanced sense of regionalism. Table 9 reflects the initial target metrics for SPREDD’s Validation Framework.
The target metrics are intended to capture a large portion of the regional economy based on outcomes that are important to stakeholders such as reducing outmigration and poverty and increasing jobs and though effective workforce development. The primary driver of the metric is 4% annual increases in GDBEAI (for the region), which tracks closely to GDP. Similar 4% annual increases are expected in labor force participation and job growth. The most ambitious goals are a 10% annual reduction in the poverty rate, and an 8% annual increase in per capita income.
Additionally, SPREDD intends to track a combination of economic and socioeconomic indicators (traditional and non-traditional) for each of the six municipalities for the purpose of identifying how the implementation of the CEDS goals affects the quality of life of the people of the SPREDD region.