Institute for Sustainable Development

Dr. David C. Smith



Teaching and Supervision

The Institute for Sustainable Development (IDS) offers postgraduate programmes and facilitates graduate research. During the reporting period, total student enrolment was 41; 18 students enrolled in the MSc Natural Resource Management and 23 pursuing research degrees. ISD staff also support learning by teaching in the BSc Life Sciences, the BSc Gender, the MSc National Security and Strategic Planning, and the MSc Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health. Staff also supervise and examine in other departments at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and elsewhere.

Research Projects

Energy Security

Net Zero Energy Building

This project was funded by the Global Environment Facility, the IDB and The UWI at a total value of US$7,461,000. Among the project achievements are:

  • The completion of the Net Zero Energy Building (ZEB) and the testing of smart building systems. The building will be used for research and teaching energy solutions.
  • The upgrade of the Jamaican National Housing Trust Headquarters, to modern standards of energy efficiency under the energy retrofit component. The major public building will be used to showcase energy solutions.
  • The drafting of a new energy strategy for Jamaica for the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology under the policy component.

IANAS Energy Programme

Professor Anthony Clayton chairs the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS) Energy Programme, which represents the most distinguished scientists and academics in the Americas. The task of the programme is to develop sustainable energy policies for the billion people that live in the Americas.

Disaster Risk Management


Dr. Barbara E. Carby and Dr. David C. Smith are Principal Investigators (PIs) for the Enhancing Knowledge and Application of Comprehensive Disaster Management (EKACDM) project funded by a CDN$2.7 million grant from the Government of Canada. The project ended in December 2018. The project website details outputs summarised here:

  • Eleven online graduate courses on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) offered.
  • Six research scholarships awarded. One student has been awarded a PhD, one has submitted research while another has upgraded.
  • Software for estimating earthquake risk was acquired for the Kingston metropolitan area, Portmore and Barbados. Caribbean disaster specialists were trained in the used of the software.
  • Three case studies on Caribbean disasters were conducted.
  • Staff and students benefited from exchanges to universities and regional institutions to develop skills and knowledge on Disaster Risk Management (DRM).
  • Fifty-one persons participated in piloting DRM courses in Barbados and Jamaica.
  • Guidelines and policy frameworks to reduce disaster risk for tourism and agriculture were presented to 25 policymakers and technical officers.
  • Two manuals for mainstreaming comprehensive disaster management for small businesses in agriculture and tourism were developed.
  • Five courses on increasing resilience to disasters for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tourism and agriculture were offered.

CDEMA and Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Dr. Barbara E. Carby evaluated the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) regional response mechanism in the context of hurricanes Irma and Maria. The DRRC, GAC and the OAS trained business owners in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Lucia on business continuity and building resilience following the hurricanes of 2017.

National Security

In 2018/2019 ISD, Professor Anthony Clayton worked on several projects in the area of national security. They included:

Organised Crime and Marginalised Communities: This project explored links between organised crime and terrorism. Terrorist organisations recruit gang members, which may serve as a ‘force multiplier’ for terrorism, being a source of recruits, weapons and local knowledge. The University of Surrey, The UWI, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Avon and Somerset Constabulary collaborated on the project. It was funded by the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research Programme of Research Councils UK for £33,513.

Assessment of Zones of Special Operations in Jamaica: This assessment of the State of Emergency Areas and Zones of Special Operations in Jamaica found that they substantially reduced homicides, causing a 20% fall in the national rate. However, the programme is at risk because of implementation failures by other arms of government.

Support for Security Forces: This work developed the strategic threat assessment for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Strategic Defence Review and advised the JCF on staff retention. Training was also conducted with the JCF, JDF, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Port Authority of Jamaica with regional and Jamaican government agencies, in collaboration with the US Naval War College, and the US Embassy’s Capstone programme – an induction programme for all newly commissioned Generals in the US armed forces.

Professor Clayton is developing a new research project between the JCF, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the University of Surrey and The UWI. He served as Deputy Chairman of the JCF Oversight Committee and developed a new regulatory approach for the media industry, including redesigning the zoning and fee systems, as well as developing a new strategy for protecting social media from penetration by criminal or terrorist networks.

Urban Planning

Professor Clayton is the team leader for an ISD/SALISES project for Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation. This involves a foresighting and horizon scan to develop the parameters for Jamaica’s next city.


Public Service and Consultancy

The ISD works at the science-policy interface with staff supporting the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at high levels of intergovernmental, academic, scientific and civil society organisations. Dr. David C. Smith worked on the Global Sustainable Development Report and represented The UWI at the UN’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The DRRC joined the Risk and Resilience Network with UK-based universities which use history and culture to inform effective policies and practices for resilience. Professor Anthony Clayton wrote the Jamaican SDG Report’s chapter on cities.

ISD staff are members of notable organisations and committees in resilience, sustainable development, science, government and other related arena. They include:

  • The International Science Council
  • The World Academy of Sciences
  • The Caribbean Academy of Sciences
  • The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency
  • The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • The Government of Jamaica Rule of Law Committee
  • The National Medal for Science and Technology Committee
  • Vision 2030 – Jamaica
  • The Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience
  • The Student Loan Bureau of Jamaica
  • The Agricultural Credit Board of Jamaica
  • The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
  • The Jamaica Red Cross

Professor Anthony Clayton chairs the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and the Social and Economic Sciences Admissions Committee for The World Academy of Sciences. Dr. Barbara E. Carby developed the Regional Pathway for Resilient Development with CDEMA and participated in the Regional Policy Dialogue on Building a Caribbean Pathway for Disaster Resilience for CDEMA Participating States.

IDS Environmental Economist, Mr. Maurice Mason developed technical reports for the governments of Jamaica and Belize. He has also completed economic analyses of the value of implementing a REDD+ project in Belize and The Hope and Yallahs Watersheds Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Plan for Jamaica, which will be implemented in 2020.


Dr. Barbara Carby chairs the University Council of Jamaica and has published a book on higher education systems in Latin America and the Caribbean with UNESCO and CINDA. Professor Anthony C. Clayton is founding editor and member of the Editorial Board of The Caribbean Journal of Strategic and Security Studies. Dr. David Smith is a member of the Editorial Board of Caribbean Quarterly.


The UWI approved the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Development which was developed by ISD Coordinator, Dr. David C. Smith, Dr. Leonard Nurse of The UWI’s Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies CERMES and colleagues from Empire State College (SUNY). The Certificate will be taught by The UWI and Empire State College in 2019/2020. ISD has collaborated with the US Naval War College, the University of Surrey, Florida International University, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the JCF and the JDF, for research and teaching programmes coordinated by Professor Anthony Clayton. Dr. David Smith chairs the Caribbean chapter of the UN SDSN and is a member of the SDSN’s Academic Committee.

ISD staff also support the work of The UWI under the IAU cluster on SDG 13 (Climate Change). The first meeting of the Climate Change Resilience Network Fiji was attended by adjunct faculty Mr. Jeremy Collymore and the Coordinator, Dr. David C. Smith. The UWI and the Association of Commonwealth Universities hosted the network at The UWI’s Regional Headquarters. Members are The UWI, University of the South Pacific and the University of Fiji. During the period under review ISD staff organised and participated in a workshop held in association with Liverpool University on Financing Coastal Resilience for the Caribbean. ISD staff also participated in the Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas organised by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCM) and its symposium on Sargassum.