“This year’s Civil Society Forum, held March 2014 in Bahia Brazil, focused on Quality of Life, Partnerships for a Positive Impact. IDB’s Office of Institutional Integrity (OII) emphasized the responsibility of Civil Society groups to serve as the “watch dog” for IDB funded projects.
ConSOC is vital to country development; we have the obligation to organize ourselves to the point where our governments would seek our advice. ConSoc plays a significant role in developing IDB funded projects; politics, religion, classism and racism do not play a major role, but rather ordinary people working together on behalf of their countries ensuring that citizens get maximum benefit from IDB funded Projects.
Many IDB funded projects are not governmental; one such project mentioned at the conference, was that of soccer balls donated by a group who visited Haiti and other depressed areas where they saw children playing soccer with cans and other items. This group developed an indestructible ball for these impoverished children.
IDB funds are available to assist with sustainable development projects; we need better access to data and must be proactive in identifying projects that will enhance the well-being of our country. ConSOC Bahamas has a long way to go; I believe we are indirectly empowered to keep all who receive IDB funding, including the Government’s feet to the fire.
I thank IDB Bahamas for the opportunity to represent The Bahamas at the Brazil Forum; my life changed for the better.”
Ranford A. Patterson is President of the Bahamas Christian Council in Nassau, Bahamas.