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Civil Society Organizations in Jamaica: Building Capacity for Greater Impact

Photo courtesy of Brodrick Watson –from left Mr. Keith Whyte-PMP Coach, Dr. William Lawrence – Mona School of Business and Management, Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones –IDB Country Representative, Professor Claremont Kirton- UWI Consulting and Ms. Flavia Milano -IDB Specialist, VPC

 

by Brodrick Watson and Dorothea Less

In this Age of Global Inter-connectivity where people are constantly connected together through social media and other means, a platform has been created for the role of civil society as a development partner to become more impactful and visible.

Moreover, the prominence of civil society and civil society organizations (CSOs) have increased in recent times. According to the Yearbook of International Organizations, the number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was reported to have increased from 6,000 in 1990 to more than 66,000 in 2012 and according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an estimated USD$19.3 billion was channeled through CSOs internationally for development assistance.

Jamaica has a diverse and vibrant CSO community that continues to work hard in protecting vulnerable groups, alleviating poverty, acting as watchdogs over public affairs through anti-corruption, advocating for the protection of the environment, and so forth. However, some of these CSO’s struggle to execute these pivotal mandates due to limited operational capacity.

A Project Management Training was held July 22-24, 2015 for CSOs at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. This was the first activity of the regional IDB-financed project, JA-T2393 Strengthening Civil Society in LAC- The Caribbean, being led by the Vice Presidency of Countries to improve CSOs knowledge and ability to design and implement sustainable projects.

It was good to see the enthusiasm expressed by the participants while they shared experiences and networked at every opportunity they got.  All were appreciative of the emphasis placed on the “people” part of Project Cycle Management as the instructor put it.

Jamaica is pleased to have kick-started this activity in the region and we hope that the other participating countries will have as much fun and as productive an experience as we did.

 

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