The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) implemented a Local Capacity for Local Solutions (LCLS) project over a 32-month period.
The project aimed to strengthen the managerial, operational and administrative capacities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the ESC region so that they are more effective and sustainable and can contribute to improved development outcomes.
The Local Capacity for Local Solutions project targeted ten (10) project countries working in the focal areas of Environment, HIV/AIDS, Youth/Citizen Security and LGBTI. These countries included: 1) Antigua and Barbuda; 2) Barbados; 3) Dominica; 4) Grenada; 5) Guyana; 6) St. Kitts and Nevis; 7) St. Lucia; 8) St. Vincent and the Grenadines; 9) Suriname; and 10) Trinidad and Tobago.
Objectives of Project:
- To strengthen the capacity of local NGOs through building their capacity in managerial and operational areas; and
- To strengthen the connectivity of local NGOs by connecting them with each other as well as disparate entities.
Expected Outcomes/ Outputs:
- The creation and improvement of a wide range of NGO operational policies related to finance, procurement, HR and administration;
- The development and/or improvement of NGO strategies that relate to strategic planning, communications, and fundraising;
- Enhanced connectivity of NGOs external organisations;
- Improved NGO access to information;
- Improved mentoring and coaching skills of NGOs on operational and managerial areas;
- Increased NGO financial efficiency;
- Improved NGO communications and marketing with stakeholders and the public;
- Improved NGO data due to increased skills in monitoring and evaluating the effects of their project activities;
- Increased partnerships between NGOs and disparate actors;
- Improved NGO strategic plans that contain clearer benchmarks for success and roadmaps for achieving them; and
- Increased NGO accountability and transparency.
Major Project Successes:
- A robust NGO database and comprehensive market assessment that engaged 167 distinct organisations throughout the region in order to gauge their capacity, connectivity, priorities, and institutional profiles;
- The development of a wide range of capacity development materials which were used to implement training and other support to NGOs;
- An online learning forum and marketplace for NGOs to connect and equip NGOs through a dynamic virtual learning forum;
- Three hundred and forty-one (341) capacity development (CD) activities conducted for NGOs, such as workshops, online certificate in NGO Management and Organisational Assessments;
- Fourteen (14) organisational assessments (PLOCA) conducted with Institutional Strengthening Plans (ISPs) developed and completed for all grantees;
- One hundred and sixty-four (164) NGOs reached through various interventions;
- Five hundred and sixty-two (562) individuals participated in project CD Activities including trainings, workshops, online courses/training;
- Two rounds of scholarships for The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus accredited NGO Management courses;
- Sixty-one percent (61%) of NGOs demonstrated improved hard skills (proposal writing, financial management, monitoring and evaluation); and
- Twenty-three percent (23%) of CD milestones that NGOs achieved individually based on those outlined in their Institutional Strengthening Plans (ISPs).