UTech, Jamaica/JMMB Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture Explores “Reducing Corruption and its Impact on Jamaica’s Development”


Ms. Jeanette Calder
Executive Director of the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP)

“Reducing Corruption and its Impact on Jamaica’s Development” is the theme of this year’s Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL), University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) in collaboration with the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation. The lecture is slated for Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm at the Amphitheatre, Shared Facilities Building, Papine Campus. The memorial lecture honors the vision, mission and passion of the late corporate leader and JMMB co-founder, Joan Duncan.

The lecture will be delivered by Jeanette Calder, civil society advocate and Executive Director of the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP), established in 2016. A member of the 7- year old Jamaica Civil Society Forum (formerly Jamaica Civil Society Coalition), Ms. Calder has been consistently vocal and fully engaged in governance issues in Jamaica, particularly those relating to procurement, corruption and public sector reform.

Calder’s most recent contributions prior to JAMP involved researching and producing Jamaica’s first simplified Citizen’s Budget and Guide, as well as conducting research into the work of the Auditor General of Jamaica, to identify gaps and weaknesses in the country’s accountability framework.  In her delivery of the main address at the upcoming memorial lecture, Ms. Calder will share insights from her work in this area and will present perspectives from the “space of the citizen” in advancing some concrete solutions to corruption.  She will also provide information on digital innovations and other solutions being developed by JAMP, aimed at increasing public understanding and participation in the accountability and governance framework, in support of Jamaica’s growth and development.

Ms. Calder is an architect by training and a technical consultant and trainer for the execution of public-private partnerships.  She previously managed the Government of Jamaica’s Joint Venture Housing Programme in the Ministry of Housing.  Additionally, she has served on a number of Government boards and committees including the National Contracts Commission Sector Committee, Rent Board, the Land Divestment Board, among others.

Chairman, JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation notes that the theme for this year’s lecture is timely as Jamaica continues to grapple with the far-reaching effects of corruption in our society. Corruption is estimated to cost the country upwards of 5% of GDP annually, according to findings from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2014. “It is against this background, in addition to the other ill-effects of corruption in undermining: our financial sector, justice system, the moral fibre of society, that we believe it is important to provide a forum to engage the relevant stakeholders drawn from: civic society, academia, governmental bodies and other key citizen groups, in a national conversation, to chart a plan of action geared towards overcoming the problem of corruption.” The theme is also in keeping with JMMB Group’s core values that are built on love, care, integrity, honesty and openness.

UTech, Jamaica President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie meanwhile, stated that the “University is in solidarity with efforts to strengthen public participation in reducing corruption in all forms and sectors of society,” adding that he “welcomes anti-corruption innovations to combat the scourge of corruption that stymies Jamaica’s capacity to grow and to flourish.”

Background on Joan Duncan

Joan Duncan is seen as the pioneer of the money market business in Jamaica, having co-founded the Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited in 1992 with Dr. Noel Lyon. The company was formed as a result of the inability to convince the established financial houses to enter the money market. As a result Joan Duncan braved all difficulties and entered the market through a joint venture with National Development Bank, Mutual Security Bank, Jamaica Producers Limited, Jamaica Venture Fund and Antrim Ltd.  

This tenacity and drive has been a legacy left by Joan Duncan who transitioned at the age of 58, to start a company where any Jamaican could walk in off the street, take a few hundred dollars out of his or her pocket and invest it. Her dream also encompassed the creation of a different kind of work place from the traditional organizations she had encountered in the Jamaican business world. Instead she built a company on the vision of love where employees would work in a fun-loving atmosphere with a commitment to innovation and creativity, integrity and responsibility and each member of the team has the opportunity to learn and grow.

The company has become one of the leading financial groups in the Caribbean boasting over 290,000 clients and J$3.02 billion (as at December 2018) in net profit.  One of Duncan's most notable achievements was being honoured posthumously in 2011 through the official renaming of the University’s School of Entrepreneurship - The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership, (JDSEEL).

The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL)

The JDSEEL, UTech, Jamaica is the first School of its kind in the English Speaking Caribbean to offer a specialized B.Sc. Degree in Entrepreneurship. The school officially started in February 2010 and graduated its first cohort in November 2014. It is also the first school of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean to have an active business entrepreneurship incubator centre – The Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) for start-up businesses. Currently, the TIC has 40 clients enrolled in various programmes and has recently been certified by GrowthWheel – one of the world’s leading incubation management programmes.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm