Delivery of Institutional Audits
CPDC provided the audits to umbrella NGOs in the CARIFORUM region with the aim to assess the key issues, challenges and appropriate strategies to help improve the operational capability of NGOs. The audits provided a detailed knowledge base to help guide NGO responses to the institutional capacity building in the short and long term. While twelve organisations were invited to participate, only ten completed the first phase of the audit, while seven organisations, completed the entire process. The findings of the audit indicated that a process of long-term strategic intervention might be needed in order for some change to be evidenced in the sector. In the face of the difficulties experienced in the sector, the organisations are committed to their work and to serving their beneficiaries, even in difficult circumstances. Additionally, the Institutional Audit report helped in the design of the call for proposals of small grants to umbrella NGOs aimed at improving the organizational effectiveness.
Provision of Sub-grants to Umbrella Organisations
A closed call for proposals was undertaken to invite qualified national and regional umbrella NGOs in the CARIFORUM region to apply for sub-grants. The objective of the sub-grant is to enhance the capacity of umbrella NGOs to effectively service their constituencies by providing financial support to actions that improve their operational responsiveness and performance with regards to members’ needs. In total, there were six grant awardees from five CARIFORUM countries. See Full List of Grantees
Provision of Sub-grants to Vulnerable Groups
A number of vulnerable groups presently exist within the Caribbean and many of the organisations which represent them often lack the resources to effectively advocate and represent their rights and interest in the policy arena, nationally, regionally and internationally. A call for proposal was undertaken to invite all qualified national and regional NGOs in the CARIFORUM region to apply for a sub-grant. The objective of the sub-grant is to strengthen the voice of the marginalized social sectors and groups within Caribbean society by providing small-scale funding to actions that enable civil society organisations representing vulnerable groups to better advocate and lobby on their behalf. In total, there were eight grant awardees from four CARIFORUM countries. See Full List of Grantees
Non-Governmental Organisation Leadership Training Workshop
The NGO Leadership Training Workshops seeks to support efforts at growth, sustainability and succession planning. The face-to-face leadership workshop underpins other efforts aimed at institutional and human resource strengthening.
The first leadership training course was held in November 2016 in Trinidad. It was held 21st-25th November 2016 with sixteen (16) participants in attendance, from 10 CARIFORUM countries. Originally, CPDC targeted approximately twelve (12) organisations for the first workshop. However, an additional four (4) organisations participated. This was due to the high demand for the training with fifty-four (54) NGO leaders applying for scholarships to attend the training activity. The leaders benefited from a range of topics such as Disruptive Thinking and Thought Leadership; Harnessing Research for Policy Advocacy; Recruiting Board Members; and Use of Social Media as a Development Tool. Overall, the evaluation feedback was positive with a 100% approval rating- 60% of participants thought the workshop was “excellent” while the remaining 40% thought it was “good” for their leadership development.
Participating NGOs were from the following countries:
Non-Governmental Organisation Professional Management Certificate Course
CPDC undertook this activity to provide the necessary training for the sector to improve its human resource capacity. In partnership with The University of the West Indies, Open Campus, the CPDC established an online NGO Management Course for civil society leaders and managers across the region. It is offered in three cycles.
The key areas around which the Course is administered includes:
- Essentials of NGO Management
- History and role of the NGO Sector in the Caribbean
- Understanding Development Issues
- Advocacy and Lobby Interventions
- Resource Mobilization
- Developing and Managing Projects
- Project Cycle Management
- Project Development and Grant Proposal Writing
- Budgeting and Financial Management for Development Projects
- Results Based Reporting and Evaluation
For the first cohort, CPDC received 283 applications. From this, CPDC provided 30 scholarships for NGO personnel across the region. At the end, 22 NGO personnel from 9 Caribbean countries successfully completed the course and were issued certificates. The successful participating NGOs were from the following countries:
Youth Volunteer Recruitment Guide and Campaign
The Youth Volunteer Recruitment Guide is envisioned to be a tool of reference and guidance to the leadership of NGOs and other civil society organisations within the CARIFORUM region and beyond. It provides information on how to best engage, motivate, and manage youth volunteers. Additionally, it offers information on the benefits of offering youth volunteers an enriching experience and how in turn, the organisation benefits from the presence and input of these youth volunteers. This guide comes after a Market Assessment conducted by CPDC which sought to understand the youth volunteerism environment in the CARIFORUM region from the perspective of young person’s (18 – 25 age group). Read Youth Volunteer Guide.
This action is supplemented by the provision of service contracts which seeks to support the placement of volunteers within approved national or regional civil society organisations for a six-month period. Volunteers will also be recruited on the basis that they can support critical elements of the projects by the assigned NGO.
Capability Building Hub: “Strengthening Caribbean Civil Society”
Through this initiative, CPDC aims to host the premier online data platform to deliver capacity building services and/or information in the civil society sector across the Caribbean region. It provides information to help civil society in its pursuit of operational sustainability. In the same token, the hub is a useful resource to support efforts of achieving sustainable human development. Visit the Hub now.
Under the Capacity Building Hub, in September 2017, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) officially launched its Caribbean NGO Trends Series. This research series seeks to enhance the capacity of NGOs in the CARIFORUM region. The main goal of this undertaking is to research and report on trends and developments occurring in Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the CARIFORUM region. This will be done through the provision of relevant, up-to-date information on the Civil Society sector in particular Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) across the region. The topics in which this series covers will be wide-ranging, with the sustainable development goals and the NGO funding environment in the Caribbean, already being researched and published respectively. Read Caribbean NGO Trends.