The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world’s way of doing business for many sectors, including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The importance of being able to access and use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has grown exponentially and continues to be critical for remote working and person-to-person interaction.
As part of our efforts to collaborate more with civil society, the IDB Barbados Country Office last year partnered with the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) to support the initiative “Building the Resilience of the Barbadian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in a COVID-19 Environment.” Based on two regional impact summary reports conducted by the CPDC in 2020, one of the key findings was that the operational capacity of the NGO sector to deliver services to vulnerable groups was adversely impacted by the pandemic.
The CPDC/IDB partnership sought to determine their most urgent training needs. NGOs needed help to transition to a remote working environment. Another important limitation was stakeholder engagement and the need to better utilize online tools to assess vulnerable beneficiaries’ needs. Social distancing health protocols and occasional lockdown and curfew policies often restricted access to NGO beneficiaries. Finally, the assessment found the need to reevaluate and enhance the resource mobilization strategies of the sector. Due to the pandemic, many NGOs had to cancel their annual event-based fundraising initiatives. They recognized the need to diversify their fundraising.
This assessment reinforced the findings of the 2020 CPDC reports and paved the way for the development of three information and technology NGO training manuals that are available on CPDC’s website. Online training was also provided for 34 Barbados-based NGOs in ICTs for online project implementation and resource mobilization from May 17 – June 30, 2021.
NGOs welcomed the training initiative, and we believe these new training tools will help NGOs in their project implementation and improve their capability to mobilize resources. Participants told us the training will have a significant impact on their organization and the knowledge will be brought to good use in project implementation. Some said they would welcome further training around Concept Note Development, Online Fundraising, and Social Media Marketing, among others.
According to the CPDC, the IDB Technical Assistance proved to be a well-received initiative by the NGO community as 100% of the participants indicated that the Virtual Training Course was timely and necessary.