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‘Trying a thing’ no longer the norm
Tobagonians, normally a peaceful and rational people, were recently provoked to voice their disapproval of the THA’s approach to upgrading the Crown Point Airport. This unfortunate explosion forcefully emphasises that we in T&T are deficient in community and development planning. Indeed, in the THA’s case, the Peter Principle clearly reared its head. Certainly, amateurs must never be given professional responsibility.
One professional in the research literature, commenting on people’s participation, lamented “If you want to know how the shoe fits, ask the person who is wearing it, not the one who made it.” Yes! People’s participation is imperative—especially when property and reallocation are involved.
We in T&T have to realise that “trying a thing” can no longer be the norm when we have to address the imperative of development and marching to the beat of 21st century drums. In the case of community development and planning many factors have to be considered:
1. Getting all the relevant property owners and agencies to agree on a development strategy for a proposed project that is both visionary and based on what local people want;
2. Honouring the best practice matrix of principles, methods, scenarios, case studies, policy and law; and
3. The Imperative of Implementation and Development dollar and opportunity costs.
Without doubt, we have to be more people oriented and professional when undertaking project management the magnitude of the Tobago project.
RAYMOND S HACKETT
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