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Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Trinidad and Tobago is one of 15 small developing states that comprise the regional integration grouping known as the Caribbean Community. Several agencies were recently created outside of the government using a strategy known as agencification to support the implementation of public policy in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. However, there is little available information explaining the rationale for the choice of the strategy, no evidence-based scholarly evaluation found on the effectiveness of these types of agencies, and therefore limited information on whether this strategy results in effective public policy. The purpose of this case study was to gain an in-depth understanding of these semi-autonomous agencies in the implementation of public policy in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the Caribbean Community. The central research question sought to explore the successes, failures, and experiences with executive agencies created through agencification. Principal-agent theory provided the theoretical framework for this qualitative case study. Using a purposive sampling strategy, data were acquired through interviews with 10 individuals representing public servants, agency officials, and academics and a review of public documents. The data were inductively coded and then organized across themes. The findings indicated that while the agencification strategy is being utilized with varying levels of success, several barriers and constraints hamper successful policy implementation. Positive social change implications of this study include direct recommendations for greater autonomy for the directorate of all agencies in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. These recommendations would serve to facilitate the implementation of the policies that they were created to support.