Caribbean (Civil Society) Consultative Working Group
The Caribbean (Civil Society) Consultative Working Group (CCWG) is a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) policy advocacy coordination process and consultative mechanism of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), that provides CSOs, particularly Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with an opportunity to have input into regional policy making. The working group constitutes a network of vast sectoral and national organisations.
CPDC initially started the CCWG as a pilot in 2014 in six countries, and has since expanded its reach and initiatives. The CCWG is primarily thematic based, focused on working collectively on one key policy issue each cycle. Over the years of its initial operation and with the kind support of the Commonwealth Foundation (CF) the mechanism focused specifically on Sustainable Energy as the priority issue. Based on the agreed outcome of the Antigua and Barbuda Workshop in January 2016, came the execution of seven (7) National Policy Dialogues. The National Policy Dialogues were undertaken in:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
One of the outcomes of the dialogues was the finalization of a Policy Advocacy Paper on Sustainable Energy which was circulated regionally to CARICOM, Caribbean Governments and other relevant Ministries and NGOs.
The completion of the pilot phase led to the formation of an expanded CCWG comprising civil society representatives from fourteen CARIFORUM countries. The current CCWG is set to cover the period 2017 – 2018 and has already begun its work on the agreed priority focus of “Civil Society Participation in the SDGs”. The work of the current CCWG is funded and supported by the European Union.
Objectives of the CCWG
- To Engage in policy dialogue on issues of concern to Caribbean People;
- To Undertake research to inform policy positions;
- To Contribute to increasing policy options for the region through the drafting of policy papers; and
- To Increase civil society participation in the policy development process.
Composition of the CCWG
Recognising the need for transparency and accountability, the CCWG established a Steering Committee which is responsible for providing governance oversight on behalf of the participating member organisations of the CCWG. The Steering Committee is also charged with selecting persons who form part of their membership to serve on the Technical Working Group (TWG). The main aim of the TWG is to assist with strategic inquiry of relevant political and public policy environment and present strategic options to the Steering Committee. As Chair of the Steering Committee, CPDC will provide guidance on the CCWG mechanism process as required, and to monitor participation and performance of the member organizations.
The Caribbean (Civil Society) Working Group comprises 14 members from 14 countries across the CARIFORUM region.
List of CCWG Members
- Antigua – Volunteers United (SC)
Volunteers United is committed to capacity building and resource mobilization within civil society; better enabling NGOs to foster greater social change across their respective areas of focus.
- Bahamas – Civil Society Bahamas (SC)
Civil Society Bahamas is committed to Re-education, Training and Development.
- Barbados – Ichirouganaim Council for the Advancement of Rastafari
The purpose of ICAR is to centralize Rastafari into the New Millennium around the theme Reparations and Repatriation”. ICAR addresses issues of discrimination and human rights issues affecting the Rastafari community
- Belize – Productive Organisation for Women in Action
Productive Organization for Women in Action (POWA) works to eliminate discrimination and gender inequity in southern Belize and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. POWA seeks to build the capacity of girls and women and engage the community in bringing an end to violence against children.
- Dominica – Dominica National Council of Women
The Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) concerned with empowering Dominican women and families.
- Dominican Republic – Alianza ONG (SC)
Alianza ONG focuses on social affairs and corporate social responsibility
- Grenada – Inter-Agency Group of Development Organisations
IAGDO main areas of focus are advocacy and capacity building.
- Guyana – Women Across Differences
WAD is a national network of women and women s organisations committed to individual and social transformation in Guyana.
- Jamaica – Jamaica Network of Rural Producers
To promote cooperation among rural women and create partnerships with institutions and private sector to support the development of agri-businesses and micro-enterprises.
- Kitts and Nevis – The Ripple Institute (SC)
The Ripple Institute (SKN), is a national social development and community service non-governmental organization (NGO). The Organization engages a wide prospective NGO-partnership sector in soliciting support for its operational and programming activities.
- Lucia – Sacred Sports Foundation
Sacred Sports Foundation Inc (SSF) is family owned and operated legally registered, economically, politically independent, non-denominational NGO. It is dedicated to social development for Caribbean youth using sport and physical activity as a catalyst for change.
- Vincent and the Grenadines – Windward Islands Farmers Association
The Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) was established in 1982 initially as an informal association of farmer groups to provide support to small-scale farmers’ initiatives in attempts to remain self-sustaining. WINFA has been working to develop a small-farmers diversification programme to prepare the foundation for the introduction into a de-subsidized banana market in Europe.
- Suriname – Pater Ahlbrinck Stichting
Works to improve the situation of the communities of Maroons and Indigenous people in the Surinamese interior by improving community organizations and the leadership within them and increasing income through agricultural and forestry activities and tourism.
- Trinidad and Tobago – Veni Apwann (SC)
To build capacity in existing and potential Caribbean non-profit organisations by providing training, technical support and guidance to empower them to become visionary leaders in their communities.
(SC) – Steering Committee Member
CCWG (2014 – 2016)
Over the period 2014 – 2016, the CCWG engaged various spaces through a number of actions.
To establish a more comprehensive, cohesive and complementary approach to development by promoting renewable energy programmes – wind, solar, water etc. as well as, energy conservation, efficiency and security.
- During the period (May – June 2016), seven (7) National Policy Dialogues across 7 countries were convened. These consultations were used to aid in the development of a regional policy paper as a main lobbying tool, and input into a proposal for a Caribbean Sustainable Energy Strategy.
- Based on numerous consultations with the CCWG, a Policy Advocacy Paper on Sustainable Energy was compiled by Advocacy School and disseminated regionally to Caribbean Governments and other relevant Ministries, NGOs and CARICOM.
- Meeting Reports
- National Policy Dialogues on Sustainable Energy
- Policy Papers
- Caribbean Sustainable Energy Strategy Policy Proposal
- CCWG Playlist
- Policy Advocacy and Research Training
- Barbados National Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Energy
CCWG (2017 – 2018)
At present, the CCWG is expected to carry out research and advocacy around Civil Society Participation in the SDGS.
CCWG and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
On September 25th 2015, countries across the globe adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new Sustainable Development Agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. It was understood that for the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector and civil society.
The bigger goal of the CCWG is to provide its members with the resources and information needed to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since its inception, the region has been working assiduously to achieve the SDGs set for the 2030 Agenda. The United Nations listed 17 SDGs that they believe is attainable for the region. In 1990, 47% of the world lived on less than $1.25 per day. The MDGs set out to reduce this proportion to 23.5% (and actually ended up achieving 22% in 2010). The SDGs take this goal to the logical conclusion by aiming to reduce the percentage of people living in extreme poverty to zero by 2030.
Recognizing that the SDGs directly respond to Caribbean realities and vulnerabilities and that development goals can only be attained through partnership, the CCWG introduces a regional civil society collaboration for addressing the SDGs through exploring how targets can be met and sustained.