The Caribbean has been experiening major socio-economic impacts since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020. The region’s vulnerability to natural disasters and existing debt crisis have exacerbated governments’ challenges which has impacted NGOs, and by extension, vulnerable groups. The effects of the pandemic have especially impacted the livelihoods of vulnerable groups, perpetuating social development challenges and hindering the region’s progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, NGOs have suffered because of the impact of COVID-19. The CPDC NGO Impact Summary Report (June and October 2020) have identified organisations have suffered the loss of funding, minimal inclusion in policy dialogues, and a shrinking enabling environment constrains the responsiveness to beneficiary needs.
The project ‘Strengthening Civil Society’s Capacity to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean includes activities that promote NGOs’ institutional and organisational capabilities through a number of core thematic areas, such as addressing the legislative environment through advocacy programming, promoting greater transparency within the sector, project management skills development, enhanced regional policy dialogue and improving access to small grants, to name a few.
- Enhanced knowledge base for effective planning by assessing the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable groups served by NGOs and the NGOs’ service delivery and advocacy programming.
- Improved quality and quantity of indigenous development solutions offered by NGOs serving and representing vulnerable groups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strengthened NGO sectors’ operational capacity to effectively and efficiently serve their vulnerable beneficiaries.
- Improved advocacy and lobbying capacity of the NGO sector by convening one NGO Policy Advocacy Network on COVID-19, undertaking research, national consultations, and serving as a platform for collective advocacy on national and regional socio-economic policy responses to COVID-19.