My Dissertation Research Diary: Discussion of the CREAD and other matters continues…

Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit speaking at a Year in Review’ television and social media event on Tuesday, 8th, 2019. (Government of Dominica)

Inside this edition

Welcome again. In today’s diary entries, I lead with my discussion of the cover story: Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit’s Year in Review broadcast. I continue to analyse Dominica’s newly-launched, Climate Resilience execution Agency (CREAD) against the backdrop of other recent events taking place on that island. and I’ll also reflect on how my preparations for the official commencement of T802 are progressing.

Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit reflects on 2018

Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit speaking at a Year in Review’ television and social media event on Tuesday, 8th, 2019. (Government of Dominica)

2018 an exceptional year in Dominica’s history

It can be easy for some, particularly those of us who live in the diaspora, not to attach the significance that the year 2018 deserves. Especially, those of you whose only acquaintance with the region is through the images that the world’s media houses published in the wake of of the catastrophic, widespread destruction wrought by two category-5 Hurricanes– Irma and Maria (BBC News 2017) (Euan McKirdy, C 2017) 2018 was an exceptional year for Dominica.

Speaking on a Year-in-Review, programme last Tuesday, Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit ruminated over the year gone by. He also has another reason to be pleased, Because 2019 sees him , not only being bestowed with another doctorate, but also achieving another milestone in his stellar political career. That of surpassing Dame Mary Eugenia Charles as the longest, serving prime minister of Dominica. Charles who led the Freedom party to electoral victory in 1980, served from 21 July 1980 to 14 June 1995, amassing a total of 14 years and 328 days. Meanwhile, Skerrit, who took the oath of office on January 8, 2004, following the demise of his predecessor, Charles Pierre, who served for 3 years and 97 days, holds the record at present for 15 years and 7 days to-date serving as the nation’s leader.

(to be continued)

Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data (OECD, 2018)

In the last edition of my  blog  I ended with a reference to the Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data (OECD, 2018).
The Oslo Manual briefly defines innovation as any new or improved product or process, or combination of both, that differs significantly from the previous product or process deployed by or within a specified setting or organisation. I was introduced to the Oslo Manual during my 2016- 2017 studies of T848- Managing Technological Innovation ( (2019)

The manual was launched in 1991 in the City of Oslo, Norway, and signaled the inaugural formal agreement reached by technologists, policymakers and practitioners in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators which was became the internationally agreed standard and guidelines used by European countries to measure business innovation.

( 2019)

The manual is now in its fourth edition and takes into consideration what it says are “major trends, such as the pervasive role of global value chains, the emergence of new information technologies and how they influence new business models”(OECD iLibrary 2019p3). According to the authors, it became recognisable that the importance knowledge-based capital and the realisation that understanding innovation processes and their impacts on countries development were in keeping with its goals of Going Digital initiative which also seeks to promote the process of digital transformation of the business environment (OECD iLibrary 2019 p3).

The OECD says further that since 1991 and the initial testing of the manual’s guidelines in the EU and the OECD, innovation surveys utilizing its recommendations, 80 countries have attested to it value. Additionally, the instrument, has been further validated through the inputs of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank who are are also desirous the seeing the development of an ‘evidence-based approach towards the support of investments in innovation
(OECD iLibrary 2019 p3)

Meanwhile The Open University, in introducing the scope of the 2005 edition of the Oslo Manual in the T848 module cited four main types of innovation (OECD, 2005):

  • Product innovation – a good or service that is new or significantly improved. For example ‘smartphones and tablet computers.
  • Process innovation – a new or significantly improved production or delivery method.For example, the shift in many retail sectors such as clothing, books and groceries to online sales and associated distribution.
  • Marketing innovation – a new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing.
  • Organisational innovation – a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.

(Adapted from 2019)

T802 deliverables and milestones

Fig 1 An activity model showing the major milestones to complete my dissertation

T802- The Research Project is the Open University’s capstone project for a number of postgraduate qualifications including the MSC Technology Management that I am aiming to achieve by 2020.

My dissertation research topic is based on my chosen Area of Practice (AoP) Disaster management. There has been an emergence of interest from the academic community of the vulnerabilities of small Island states, like Dominica since two category 5 hurricanes devastated 30 percent of the Caribbean islands two weeks apart in September of 20-17.

Moreover, the world has been intrigued by the declaration of Dominica’s Prime Minister Hon Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, three days after Hurricane Maria destroyed his country, to rebuild his country as the ‘first climate resilient country in the world.’

System of interest (SoI)

Consequently, pending further recommendations from my supervisor when the module officially opens February 1, my working title of my system of interest within my AoP that I am exploring, investigating and analysing is:


There is the potential that my focus my change slightly to meet the objectives of the module. This will be determined by my methodology to gather the data I may need, and to establish memorandum of engagement with some of the stakeholders in Dominica and the region and beyond. This particularly so since, Prime Minister skerrit has announced that a number of international parties have pledged support for the the CREAD.


In the meantime, here are a few ideas I am working on to act as the core reasons for carrying out this research.

  • To ascertain the technology readiness of the CREAD.
  • To explore concepts and frameworks associated with the management of technology.
  • To propose an adoption of a Community of Practice (CoP) to promote the CREAD as a self-learning institution in partnership with regional and international disaster management agencies.
  • To suggest a business model based on technology-centric, driven organisation.

Justification for research

I am of the opinion that my research is both timely and necessary. Further, I think that my findings will benefit the wider disaster management community, in the Caribbean region and beyond. Because this area of study is so dynamic and always changing, evidence-based documentation is not taking place with an equal momentum. It is the duty of academics like myself, therefore, to identify shortcomings and gaps in the published literature, especially in academia.

In my dissertation, despite the fluid nature of the disaster management landscape, I will investigate the findings of researchers as far back as possible up to the present time of writing on the topic of climate change and disaster risk reduction and the like in the Dominica and the Caribbean.

Next time

I’ll stop my musing on the task-at-hand for the moment. in my next installment, I will continue to explore more scenarios appropriate for my research and some immediate next steps to take just as the course starts.

References (2019). Sign IN – Open University. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Jan. 2019].

OECD iLibrary. (2019). Oslo Manual 2018 | READ online. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2019

OECD (2005) Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data, 3rd edn, Luxembourg, OECD/Statistical Office of the European Communities.

Rothwell, R. (1992) ‘Successful industrial innovation: critical factors for the 1990s’, R&D Management, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 221–39. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Jan. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Year In Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Jan. 2019].

BBC News. (2019). Irma’s trail of destruction in Caribbean. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Jan. 2019].

Euan McKirdy, C. (2019). Dominica PM: Hurricane Maria ‘devastates’ island. [online] CNN. Available at: [Accessed 15 Jan. 2019].