Guest Blogger, IDB ConSOC Suriname
As an IDB policy, the Bank engages Civil Society organizations of its member countries seeking feedback and suggestions on the Bank’s policies, programs and actions both at the general and country specific level. In order to structure this engagement, Civil Society Consultative Groups (ConSOCs) were established in all member countries including Suriname. This non remunerated group, comprising prominent non-governmental organizations, functions as an advisory board to the IDB for development projects and activities.
The Suriname ConSOC consists of several umbrella organizations that represent the priority sectors included in the IDB Country Strategy with Suriname 2011-2015.
The Surinamese ConSOC meets regularly to discuss topics such as education, agriculture, youth development, competitiveness and finance. All efforts to reduce poverty in Suriname in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner are taken by ConSOC Suriname.
Agricultural development and options is a frequently discussed topic within the group. Experience and market research has shown that Suriname could derive greater benefits from the agriculture in furtherance of the countries’ development and enhancements in general welfare of the population. It is a fact that a lot needs to be done to develop the production system in order for Suriname to compete on international level and to meet the need of the Caribbean. However, partnerships between the local government, IDB and relevant local organizations have led to the first initiatives. To ensure continuity of these initial steps, ConSOC is supporting the collaborations.
Another major focus of the Suriname ConSOC is on youth development. The aim is to stimulate the improvement of the education system and propose a comprehensive social safety network for this group.
A well-known phrase says: “the youth are the future of tomorrow”. Thus to improve our future we must nurture our youth. The ConSOC supports youth by promoting education of basic life skills and advocating for employment opportunities. It is appreciated the organizations who have been working to improve the above mentioned aspects and the ConSOC will provide support to them.
According to a ConSOC member at the conclusion of the annual IDB ConSOC Meeting, “Participation in the IDB’s regional meetings has brightened the scope of ConSOC members and added value to their work. When returning from international forums and being exposed to best practices from the neighboring regions, we can continue to work successfully on partnerships for development”.
ConSOC Suriname is on the GO!