Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development
CPDC has been a champion for civil society concerns and views around issues relating to trade liberalisation. The organisation has been at the fore front of advocating for a people centred approach to trade liberalisation and economic policy making. The main aim of this programme is to ensure that poverty reduction is the key outcomes of trade agreements and negotiations. CPDC has undertaken extensive work producing research and positions papers on all areas of trade negotiations including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). CPDC’s work in these areas have provided education and awareness raising for civil society throughout the Caribbean, enhancing their capacity to critically engage these processes.
NGO Strengthening and Capacity Building
As a representative of the NGO sector, one of the critical areas of work for the organisation has been to enhance the institutional framework and environment for NGOs to operate. This involves not only building the capacity of the sector but also advancing ideas for strengthening the sustainability of the sector. CPDC is one of the few organisations in the region that has produced a body of work geared specifically at NGO financing. Under this programme area, research was conducted to analyse the state of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Caribbean, as well as, ground breaking work on the Establishment of a Regional Community Development Foundation. More recently, CPDC has hosted a number of Leadership Training Workshops aimed at enhancing the skills of persons working in the Caribbean NGO sector.
Governance and Participation
Under this programme area, CPDC has sought to answer the call for enhanced accountability and participatory approaches to governance in the region. Specifically, this programme area gives priority focus to interventions designed to ensure and encourage the NGO sector itself adheres to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. To this end, CPDC piloted a civil society Code of Conduct and Ethics and draft NGO Legislation, as a means of seeking to establish an enabling environment which will give rise to the upholding of good governance practices. Many organisations have signed onto the Code of Conduct and Ethics, and many others have indicated their intent to sign. In the spirit of participation and inclusion, CPDC allowed for organisations to provide feedback on The Code of Conduct and Ethics. The document has been revised and is currently being finalized. As it relates to the draft NGO legislation, CPDC is now in the policy formulation stage. A core component of this programme area is participation, and CPDC strives to ensure that it builds the capacity of key groups to participate effectively in decision making processes.
This programme areas aims to ensure that the sustainable livelihoods of peoples in the Caribbean are protected through the development of innovative strategies and partnerships. Under this programme area a major initiative was undertaken in 2004 to foster better linkages between Agriculture and Tourism in St. Lucia. This involved bringing small farmers and hotels together, in order to develop agreed standards to ensure a better market for agricultural produce. CPDC’s presence and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals, remain a priority.