Developers and Socio-Economic Responsibility

In the current economic climate in the Caribbean, it is becoming more and more critical that developers address social and economic concerns early in the project development cycle.   Individual government and regulatory processes, such as Environmental Impact Assessments, place a high level of compliance on the technical merits of a project, but fall short of ensuring social responsibility.   Developers who are driven primarily by profit will provide the “absolute minimum” to obtain required project approvals and may allow public outcry to go largely unheard.  It is unfortunate that public opinion is often valued only during political election cycles.

Cozumel Birdseye Rendering Flat

Social responsibility should be considered a positive attribute for any developer planning a project in the Caribbean; however, some view this responsibility as a low priority and in some instances as a bargaining chip to leverage local authorities.   Local community groups and activists will look to developer’s social responsibility efforts to improve local conditions, but in some cases may make unrealistic demands. It is the developer’s responsibility to be receptive to these demands and treat each request with proper respect.  Developers must answer questions related to job opportunities, economic growth potential and be prepared to make commitments to the community.   Any project being developed in the Caribbean region must recognize that if business goals are truly genuine and intentions to invest in a community are noble, that those goals must be aligned with the local population.   Recognition of good corporate citizenship as well as required approvals must be paramount for quality conscious developers.

When making a move to invest in or develop projects in the Caribbean, listen to the community as well as political leaders and invest in a local campaign to improve the community as a whole while pursuing the project.   Developers must initiate a public relations campaign that not only informs a community of the project plans, but also listens to their needs and concerns.

Quality developers invest in the noble pursuit of responsible planning and execution that stimulates the local economy. Those who do not will continue to see costly challenges and experience difficulties in the long run.   Proactive investment and genuine interest in the community will benefit all players, while an aggressive stance motivated by short term gains will place the developer in a permanent defensive posture.

IDEA Inc., as a developer and consultant, goes to great lengths to learn about a culture, its people and how they want to be seen by the world. We ensure these concerns are infused into the project to create an authentic sense of place for visitors to experience. Sometimes authenticity and social responsibility appear to be in conflict with other business goals, but a well defined vision plan and executed project can strike the correct balance.

Walk Good and Inspire others to Dream!