Pinelands Creative Workshop working to Build Capacity among CBOs in Weston to improve Disaster Risk Planning and Implementation
A major threat to the sustainable development within the Caribbean is global climate change. Climate change is expected to lead to a more hostile regional climate and rising sea levels accompanied by coastal erosion, saline intrusion and an increase in the frequency and duration of weather events, which poses a potential threat to our survival, viability and security.
The vulnerability of the region to climate change is seen by the negative impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms, floods and other related disasters that expose their inability to manage disaster and reduce risk. The IPCC 2009 stated that over the past 3 decades, the region has suffered direct and indirect losses estimated between US 700 million and US 3.3 billion as a result of extreme weather events.
A national response to these issues from the Barbados Government, through the National Commission on Sustainable Development (NCSD) was issued. The former Chair (the late Professor Headley) determined that, “As a small island state with a high population density, Barbados needs to ensure that all members of our society have their legitimate needs met in ways that preserve adequate lifestyles…”. This foresight in relation to inclusive governance is welcomed in the face of this challenging phenomenon of climate change and disaster risk management, which requires all sectors to play a part.
Furthermore, it is noted that, “Civil society must be strengthened as a critical part of governance. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), will have increasingly important roles to play in the governance of our society which must be characterized by higher levels of self-reliance and greater diversity and tolerance.” In accordance with these ideals, we must increase the participation of civil society organizations to function as full partners in every aspect of community and national governance.
Although the importance of NGO’s has been expressed, studies on capacity development in Barbados have concluded that:
“There is evidence to support a perception that the success of CBOS /NGOs in the sub-region has been compromised due to overwhelming inability or struggle to fulfil obligations as development partners… for project implementation and management. In addition to understaffing, the lack of absorption of funds appears to stem from the need for better training in project management… that (lack of funding) ultimately leads to poor or less than adequate implementation.”
Therefore, with the understanding of institutional and capacity weaknesses among the civil society sector and the associated weak project design and management, a project developed through Climate Change Costal Community Enterprises: Adaption, Resilience and Knowledge (C-ARK), proposes to address this challenge through a focused approached at the institutional and programmatic level for greater effectiveness and reach.
Pinelands Creative Workshop in its capacity as an established NGO, with the support of C-ARK has embarked on a project called the Holetown-Weston Community Adaptation Plan which is a project undertaken to strengthen three promising CBOs to facilitate greater community mobilization, planning and implementation around disaster risk reduction actions, that positively impacts sustainable actions and livelihood opportunities in their communities. Twelve community leaders from the St. James Parish will be participating in these training workshops.
The PCW brings four main objectives to the table in this initiative:
- OBJECTIVE #1: To conduct institutional assessments over five days of three CBOs in the targeted area to determine their operational strengths and weaknesses
- OBJECTIVE #2: To undertake a five day training workshop in community mapping and assessments for twelve community leaders to assist in disaster management planning
- OBJECTIVE #3: To undertake an eight day training workshop in community management and project development and management for twelve community leaders to assist in the implementation of sustainable development projects in their communities
- OBJECTIVE #4: To deliver a four day training of trainers workshop in climate change and disaster risk management to assist in knowledge transfer and awareness raising
Well within its purview PCW seeks to guide these emerging CBOs and build their capacity in order to better develop their organization management, their resource network and their community presence.
On July 20th, 2015, Rodney Grant, the CEO of the PCW, stated as such at the launch of the C-ARK Micro and Small Grants Program in Barbados. Hosted at the Bellairs Research Institute in Holetown, the launch provided a platform for a sample of the grantees to discuss their adaption strategies, network and begin a civil society pool of knowledge and resources regarding adaption and resilience in Holetown-Weston and Barbados as a whole.
Some of the very worthy organizations present were the Barbados Association of Tourism Employees, Mann Made Designs, Barbados Blue Water Sports, UNDP and the Weston Fisherman’s Association.
We look forward to minimizing the gaps in civil society through this project, and confidently stride through to progress with our vital community partners.