Strengthening Civil Society in the Caribbean

November 6th, 2015

Workshop held in Project Cycle Management

by Pamala Proverbs

Photo by Pamela Proverbs

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in partnership with the UWI Consulting Inc. and the Mona School of Business and Management, is hosting a series of regional training workshops for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) throughout the Caribbean.

The three-day full immersion ‘Project Cycle Management’ course is being delivered in seven Caribbean countries – The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The aim is to strengthen regional CSOs’ skills in project design and management, as well as to promote regional integration and partnerships between civil society, governments, and associated bodies.

From September 9-11, 2015, some of Barbados’ CSOs attended an interactive workshop at UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, which included discussions around project selection, planning, implementation and monitoring & evaluation. CSO representatives were given the opportunity to share ‘real life’ experiences and ideas, as well as to network with each other to boost development in the region.

In his opening remarks, IDB Barbados Country Representative, Joel Branski acknowledged the significance and importance of CSOs in development. “It’s essential for us to provide training like this to really strengthen civil society,” he said. His sentiments were echoed by Professor Claremont Kirton, Deputy Executive Director UWI Consulting Inc., who thanked the IDB for providing such critical and timely training for regional CSOs to strengthen their capacity in project delivery and hence enhance their operations.

Representing the IDB Vice President for Countries, Civil Society Specialist, Flavia Milano said that the IDB was proud to offer such training opportunities to Caribbean CSOs. “Development is so complex, and we cannot do it alone. Therefore, the IDB is seeking to uplift CSOs institutional capacity – we see robust civil society organizations as an opportunity to add technical value to the Bank’s efforts to advance development,” she said.

There was overwhelming support and gratitude from CSO workshop participants, who shared the view that they needed help with the proper planning of their projects, as well as with looking for appropriate corporate partnerships and businesses with which to strategically align themselves.

These workshops are funded through a Regional Technical Cooperation designed with specific focus on the strengthening of Civil Society Organisations in the Caribbean, with special emphasis on the six countries, which fall under the ambit of the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department (CCB) and Haiti. The next workshop will be held for CSOs in Bahamas followed by Haiti, Suriname, Guyana.

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