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VIRTUAL SECURITY CONFERENCE 2020.

From 27 – 31 July, 2020, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) will host the first-ever Virtual Security Conference in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), under the heading of ‘Securing Our Caribbean Community Within The Era Of Covid-19 and Beyond’.

The crisis presented by coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented in CARICOM. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governments across the Region imposed several measures, including social distancing, restrictions, border closures and suspension of non-essential services to prevent the spread of the pandemic. In support of these measures, law enforcement and security officials played a crucial role to prevent and control the spread of the virus, while at the same time managing and operating within the changing multi-dimensional security environment.

In an effort to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the security environment and the operations of law enforcement and security officials, as well as to identify best practices that can be applied to similar situations in the future; CARICOM IMPACS will bring together a network of practitioners, security experts, government officials, academics, private sector representatives and civil society officials to discuss the challenges, impact and implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Security of our Region. The Virtual Conference will address the following thematic areas such as:

 

 

  • Peace, Security & Development – A Roadmap For The Future In The Context of COVID-19;
  • Criminality & Organised Crime During COVID-19: Present and Future Trends;
  • Policing In The Time of a Pandemic- Lessons Learnt;
  • Enhancing Cyber Security In The Age of COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 & the Future of Borders;
  • Crisis and Gender Based Violence;
  • Climate Change and Security- Building Resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
  • Impact and Implications of COVID-19 on Prisons and Correctional Services; and
  • Maritime Security and the Blue Economy

CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES

The CARICOM Virtual Security Conference will gather leading representatives from government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society organisations to discuss the impact and implications of COVID 19 and measures to respond.

Specifically, the Virtual Security Conference will:

  • Consider how COVID-19 is shaping the security landscape today and in the future;
  • Identify how COVID-19 has impacted criminality and organized crime and the implications for the future;
  • Facilitate constructive exchange of information, best practices and lessons identified during the COVID-19 outbreak, so that states can strengthen their abilities to continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare and response to future pandemics;
  • Assess and evaluate the threats and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Explore how the pandemic impacted law enforcement and security officials roles, responsibilities and standard operating procedures, resilience and food security among other issues;
  • Provide a consultative forum for discussion between leading practitioners and representatives from the government, regional and international agencies, academia, private sector and civil society. This is especially important when speaking of Border Security and border movements post pandemic.

CONFERENCE OUTCOME

The Virtual Conference will serve as source material for the development of a “Lessons Learnt and Guidance Document for Preparing for and Responding to Threats such as Pandemics and other crises”. 

 

Caribbean Countries among those benefitting from UN SDG Financing.

Media Release Courtesy UN Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados – As Eastern Caribbean countries strive to build back better from COVID-19 and accelerate progress toward attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),  support is being provided as part of a historic United Nations Joint SDG Fund US$60 million grant launched to close the SDG financing gap and foster more inclusive, sustainable and resilient countries across the world.

In response to a global call, United Nations Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in collaboration with the governments of Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has been awarded a USD$1 million Joint SDG Fund Grant after successfully submitting a proposal for a joint programme entitled ‘Harnessing Blue Economy Finance for SIDS Recovery and Sustainable Development’. 

The initiative will support the efforts of the three participating Eastern Caribbean governments to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and create an enabling framework for SDG investment. The successful proposal was among 62 joint programmes selected from 258 submissions supporting interventions in over 100 countries.

The two-year USD$1,140,000 Joint Programme will be led by the United National Development Programme (UNDP), with participation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It will also benefit from counterpart funding of USD$140,000 from the three participating UN agencies.

The joint UN SDG Fund is a critical facet of the ongoing global UN reform, which enables the UN Sub-regional team in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to access funding for SDG acceleration support to countries, working under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, by leveraging the individual strengths of specialized funds, agencies and programmes, to ‘deliver results as one’ and ensure that no one is left behind.

In welcoming the new joint initiative, that exemplifies the UN’s approach to ‘deliver as one’, UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq noted:

“This presents another opportunity for the UN development system working cohesively, to deepen its partnerships with Governments of the Eastern Caribbean and to foster blue economic growth through innovative financing mechanisms, while ensuring that the SDGs are at the forefront of national policy and no one is left behind.”

With the Blue Economy engaged as a driver for regional economic recovery and development, emphasis will be placed on creating an enabling environment for Blue Economy financing by identifying policy gaps, key opportunities and specific financing mechanisms for achieving resilient growth. This catalytic investment will address the current financial challenges of the beneficiary countries, including the additional financial burden arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and build on existing partnerships with the private sector and development financing institutions, as well as existing UN projects on Blue Economy and other SDG-related areas in-country.

Speaking on the significance of the initiative, UNDP Resident Representative Magdy Martinez-Soliman stated:

“The COVID-19 crisis has affected the Caribbean’s ambitions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has drained away resources that were much needed to finance the SDGs. This Joint Programme will support Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in their efforts to develop financing strategies in the Blue Economy and SDG investments. The three countries are at the vanguard of the Blue Economy “wave” in the region.”  

The UN investments in 62 Joint Programmes around the world will offer pragmatic solutions, all assessed as relevant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis: from addressing reduced fiscal space to align with the SDGs amidst COVID-19 recovery and financial planning to co-creating a new generation of risk-sensitive and responsive Integrated National Financing Frameworks. The results of the investment in SDG financing interventions will begin to materialize in the first quarter of 2021, and a second component is expected to be launched by the Joint SDG Fund soon that would allow other countries to benefit.

Learn more: SDG Financing portfolio.

COVID 19’s Effect on Emerging Market and Developing Economies.

St Peters Sint Martin: By Wade A Bailey.

 

 

I cite the World Bank 2020 report listed below under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO license (CC BY 3.0 IGO) http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/3.0/ igo. Under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

 

World Bank. 2020. Global Economic Prospects, June 2020. Washington, DC: World Bank. DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-1553-9. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO.

ISSN: 1014-8906 ISBN (paper): 978-1-4648-1553-9 ISBN (electronic): 978-1-4648-1580-5 DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-1553-9

 

What follows are various citations and highlights from the report listed previously, the report is used in documenting pertinent facts, that will highlight the dire looming possible economic crisis, that could engulf the global economy. The dire economic scenario presented previously, proves the unsustainability of the ‘one pillar’ economic model used, in the past by regional governments including Sint Martin, its inability to sustain the island’s populace, in a post-Covid19 world.

Global Outlook: Pandemic, Recession: The Global Economy in Crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has, with alarming speed, delivered a global economic shock of enormous magnitude, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in eight decades, despite unprecedented policy support. Per capita incomes in the vast majority of EMDEs are expected to shrink this year. The global recession would be deeper if bringing the pandemic under control took longer than expected, or if financial stress triggered cascading defaults. The pandemic highlights the urgent need for health and economic policy action—including global cooperation—to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and improve countries’ capacity to prevent and cope with similar events in the future. Since EMDEs are particularly vulnerable, it is critical to strengthen their public health care systems, to address the challenges posed by informality and limited safety nets, and, once the health crisis abates, to undertake reforms that enable strong and sustainable growth. Regional Macroeconomic Implications of COVID-19. The rapid rise of COVID-19 cases, together with the wide range of measures to slow the spread of the virus, has slowed economic activity precipitously in many EMDEs. Economic disruptions are likely to be more severe and protracted in those countries with larger domestic outbreaks, greater exposure to international spillovers (particularly through exposure to global commodity and financial markets, global value chains, and tourism), and larger pre-existing challenges such as informality. Growth forecasts for all regions have been severely downgraded; Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Europe and Central Asia (ECA) in particular have large downgrades partly because of the size of their domestic outbreaks and exposure to global spillovers, while South Asia’s substantial downgrade is primarily the result of stringent lockdown measures. Many countries have avoided more adverse outcomes through sizable fiscal and monetary policy support measures. Despite these measures, per capita incomes in all EMDE regions are expected to contract in 2020, likely causing many millions to fall back into poverty. This edition of Global Economic Prospects also includes analytical chapters on the short- and long-term growth impact of the pandemic, as well as on global implications of the recent plunge in oil prices. Lasting Scars of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has struck a devastating blow to an already-fragile global economy. Lockdowns and other restrictions needed to Executive Summary COVID-19 has triggered a global crisis like no other—a global health crisis that, in addition to an enormous human toll, is leading to the deepest global recession since the second world war. While the ultimate growth outcome is still uncertain, and an even worse scenario is possible if it takes longer to bring the health crisis under control, the pandemic will result in output contractions across the vast majority of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). Moreover, the pandemic is likely to exert lasting damage to fundamental determinants of long-term growth prospects, further eroding living standards for years to come. The immediate policy priorities are to alleviate the ongoing health and human costs and attenuate the near-term economic losses, while addressing challenges such as informality and weak social safety nets that have heightened the impact on vulnerable populations. Once the crisis abates, it will be necessary to reaffirm credible commitment to sustainable policies—including medium-term fiscal frameworks in energy-exporting EMDEs suffering from the large plunge in oil prices—and undertake the necessary reforms to buttress long-term growth prospects. For these actions, global coordination and cooperation will be critical. xvi address the public health crisis, together with spontaneous reductions in economic activity by many consumers and producers, constitute an unprecedented combination of adverse shocks that is causing deep recessions in many advanced economies and EMDEs. Those EMDEs that have weak health systems; those that rely heavily on global trade, tourism, or remittances from abroad; and those that depend on commodity exports will be particularly hard-hit. Beyond its short-term impact, deep recessions triggered by the pandemic are likely to leave lasting scars through multiple channels, including lower investment; erosion of the human capital of the unemployed; and a retreat from global trade and supply linkages. These effects may well lower potential growth and labor productivity in the longer term. Immediate policy measures should support health care systems and moderate the short-term impact of the pandemic on activity and employment. In addition, a comprehensive reform drive is needed to reduce the adverse impact of the pandemic on long-term growth prospects by improving governance and business environments and expanding investment in education and public health. Adding Fuel to the Fire: Cheap Oil during the Pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the wide-ranging measures needed to slow its advance have precipitated an unprecedented collapse in oil demand, a surge in oil inventories, and, in March, the steepest one-month decline in oil prices on record. In the context of the current restrictions on a broad swath of economic activity, low oil prices are unlikely to do much to buffer the effects of the pandemic, but they may provide some initial support for a recovery once these restrictions begin to be lifted. Like other countries, energy exporting EMDEs face an unprecedented public health crisis, but their fiscal positions were already strained even before the recent collapse in oil revenues. To help retain access to market-based financing for fiscal support programs, these EMDEs will need to make credible commitments to a sustainable medium-term fiscal position. For some of them, current low oil prices provide an opportunity to implement energy-pricing policies that yield efficiency and fiscal gains over the medium term.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, with alarming speed, delivered a global economic shock of enormous magnitude, leading to steep recessions in many countries. The baseline forecast envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020—the deepest global recession in eight decades, despite unprecedented policy support. Per capita incomes in the vast majority of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are expected to shrink this year, tipping many millions back into poverty. The global recession would be deeper if bringing the pandemic under control took longer than expected, or if financial stress triggered cascading defaults. The pandemic highlights the urgent need for health and economic policy action—including global cooperation—to cushion its consequences, protect vulnerable populations, and improve countries’ capacity to prevent and cope with similar events in the future. Since EMDEs are particularly vulnerable, it is critical to strengthen their public health care systems, to address the challenges posed by informality and limited safety nets, and, once the health crisis abates, to undertake reforms that enable strong and sustainable growth.

Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has spread with astonishing speed to every part of the world and infected millions   The health and human toll is already large and continues to grow, with hundreds of thousands of deaths and many more suffering from diminished prospects and disrupted livelihoods. The pandemic represents the largest economic shock the world economy has witnessed in decades, causing a collapse in global activity   Various mitigation measures—such as lockdowns, closure of schools and non-essential business, and travel restrictions—have been imposed by most countries to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ease the strain on health care systems. The pandemic and associated mitigation measures have sharply curbed consumption and investment, as well as restricted labor supply and production. The cross-border spill overs have disrupted financial and commodity markets, global trade, supply chains, travel, and tourism. Financial markets have been extremely volatile, reflecting exceptionally high uncertainty and the worsening outlook. Flight to safety led to a sharp tightening of global and EMDE financial conditions. Equity markets around the world plunged, spreads on riskier categories of debt widened considerably, and EMDEs experienced large capital outflows in much of March and April that bottomed out only recently. Commodity prices have declined sharply as a result of falling global demand, with oil particularly affected (Figure 1.1.D). Many countries have provided large-scale macroeconomic support to alleviate the economic blow, which has contributed to a recent stabilization in financial markets. Central banks in advanced economies have cut policy rates and taken other far-reaching steps to provide liquidity and to maintain investor confidence. In many EMDEs, central banks have also eased monetary policy. The fiscal policy support that has been announced already far exceeds that enacted during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. In all, the pandemic is expected to plunge a majority of countries into recession this year, with per capita output contracting in the largest fraction of countries since 1870. Advanced economies are projected to shrink by 7 percent in 2020, as widespread social-distancing measures, a sharp tightening of financial conditions, and a collapse in external demand depress activity. Assuming that the outbreak remains under control and activity recovers later this year, China is projected to slow to 1 percent in 2020—by far the lowest growth it has registered in more than four decades. Due to the negative spillovers from weakness in major economies, alongside the disruptions associated with their own domestic outbreaks, EMDE GDP is forecast to contract by 2.5 percent in 2020. This would be well below the previous trough in EMDE growth of 0.9 percent in 1982, and the lowest rate since at least 1960, the earliest year with available aggregate data. EMDEs with large domestic COVID-19 outbreaks and limited health care capacity; that are deeply integrated in global value chains; that are heavily dependent on foreign financing; and that rely extensively on international trade, commodity exports, and tourism will suffer disproportionately. Commodity-exporting EMDEs will be hard hit by adverse spillovers from sharply weaker growth in China, and by the collapse in global commodity demand, especially for oil. With more than 90 percent of EMDEs expected to experience contractions in per capita incomes this year, many millions are likely to fall back into poverty. With advanced economies contracting, China experiencing record-low growth, and EMDE growth savaged by external and domestic headwinds, the global economy is expected to shrink by 5.2 percent this year in a baseline forecast. This would be the deepest global recession since World War II, and almost three times as steep as the 2009 global recession.

The 2020 global recession is expected to be the deepest in eight decades, and the subsequent recovery will be insufficient to bring output to previously projected levels. Amid heightened uncertainty, worse outcomes could arise if the pandemic and economic disruptions persist or cascading defaults amid high debt lead to financial crises. A lack of space is constraining fiscal responses in many EMDEs. Building resilient health care systems is critical to prevent similar crises. With ongoing recessions exerting scarring effects on potential output, pursuing reforms that bolster long-term growth prospects will be essential.

 

The forecast assumes that the pandemic recedes in such a way that domestic mitigation measures can be lifted by mid-year, adverse global spill overs ease during the second half of the year, and dislocations in financial markets are not long-lasting. Although a moderate recovery is envisioned in 2021, with global growth reaching 4.2 percent, output is not expected to return to its previously expected levels. Since uncertainty around the outlook remains exceptionally high, alternative scenarios help illustrate the range of plausible global growth outcomes in the. In particular, the baseline forecast for 2020 could prove optimistic. If COVID-19 outbreaks persist longer than expected, restrictions on movement and interactions may have to be maintained or reintroduced, prolonging the disruptions to domestic activity and further setting back confidence. Disruptions to activity would weaken businesses’ ability to remain in operation and service their debt, while the increase in risk aversion could raise interest rates for higher-risk borrowers. With debt levels already at historic highs, this could lead to cascading defaults and financial crises across many economies .Under this downside scenario, global growth would shrink almost 8 percent in 2020. The recovery that follows would be markedly sluggish, hampered by severely impaired balance sheets, heightened financial market stress and widespread bankruptcies in EMDEs. In 2021, global growth would barely begin to recover, increasing to just over 1 percent. In contrast, in an upside scenario, a sharp economic rebound would begin promptly if pandemic-control measures could be largely lifted in the near term, and fiscal and monetary policy responses succeed in supporting consumer and investor confidence, leading to a prompt normalization of financial conditions and the unleashing of pent-up demand. However, even with these positive developments, the near-term contraction in global activity of more than 3 percent in 2020 would still be much larger than during the global recession of 2009, and EMDE growth would also be negative. Once pandemic control measures are fully lifted, global growth would rebound markedly in 2021, to above 5 percent. Policymakers face formidable challenges as they seek to contain the devastating health, macroeconomic, and social effects of the pandemic. During the last global recession, in 2009, many EMDEs were able to implement large -scale fiscal and monetary responses. Today, however, many EMDEs are less prepared to weather a global downturn and must simultaneously grapple with a severe public health crisis with heavy human costs. Particularly vulnerable EMDEs include those that have weak health systems; those that rely heavily on global trade, tourism, and remittances; those that are prone to financial market disruptions; and those that depend on oil and other commodity exports. EMDEs where poverty and informality are widespread, including many low-income countries, are also vulnerable, since their poor have limited access to proper sanitation and adequate social safety nets, and often suffer greater food insecurity . An arsenal of macroprudential support policies has been deployed in EMDEs to maintain financial sector resilience and promote lending during the crisis. These include relaxing capital and liquidity coverage requirements, allowing banks to draw down capital and liquidity buffers, and encouraging banks to offer temporary loan repayment holidays to distressed borrowers. Further, many countries have initiated debt moratoria and government guarantees on bank loans to strengthen bank balance sheets and support distressed borrowers. Policymakers would, however, need to carefully balance some of these actions against jeopardizing the future stability of the financial sector. Once economic activity begins to normalize, they will also need to prudently withdraw the large-scale policy stimulus provided during the crisis without endangering the recovery. Meanwhile, many EMDEs have introduced fiscal measures to expand social safety nets and protect those most vulnerable, including wage support to preserve jobs, increased access to unemployment benefits, and targeted cash transfers to low-income households. In EMDEs with wider fiscal space, the policy response has been markedly greater than in those more constrained by higher debt levels. For many energy exporting EMDEs, fiscal balances are deteriorating as oil prices have fallen below fiscal break-even prices. Elevated debt burdens in some low- and middle-income countries also underscore the need for temporary debt relief. In this context, global coordination and cooperation—of the measures needed to slow the spread of the pandemic, and of the economic actions needed to alleviate the economic damage, including international support—provide the greatest chance of achieving public health goals and enabling a robust global recovery. In the near term, COVID-19 has underscored the need for governments to prioritize the timely and transparent dissemination of accurate information in order to stem the spread of the disease, and to build public trust. In the long term, the pandemic has laid bare the weaknesses of national health care and social safety nets in many countries. It has also exposed the severe consequences of widespread informality and financing constraints for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in many EMDEs   There is a critical need to invest in resilient health care systems that prioritize national health security, in order to prevent and mitigate similar crises   It is also necessary to put in place social benefit systems that can provide an effective, flexible, and efficient safety net during disasters. Such systems can be augmented by measures to deliver income support and emergency financing to vulnerable groups such as the poor, urban slum dwellers, migrants, and informal firms. In particular, digital technologies can enhance the provision of cash transfers and other critical support measures, as well as facilitate the flow of remittances. In many countries, deep recessions triggered by COVID-19 will likely weigh on potential output for years to come. Governments can take steps to alleviate the adverse impact of the crisis on potential output by placing a renewed emphasis on reforms that can boost long-term growth prospects.

More to follow.

 

 

 

 

Regional Mobility actors charged to ‘Get Started.

(Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Press Release, 25 June 2020 |Bridgetown, Barbados) –  Stakeholders in the energy and transportation sectors were charged not to wait until a comprehensive plan and perfect conditions are available in order to get started on the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy during an online discussion, which focused on innovation opportunities and the Caribbean reality.

The discussion, which was hosted by the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) and the Energy Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat, saw more than two hundred and fifty stakeholders gathered to hear from regional and global experts in the field. Stakeholders also had the opportunity to express their opinions and have their queries addressed.

The Need for Regional Coordination

During the online event, attendees in majority identified cost as the most important factor when deciding on an electric vehicle (EV) purchase versus an Internal Combustible Engine (ICE) vehicle. In response, panelist Xavier Gordon shared that the total cost of ownership of an EV was lower when compared to an ICE vehicle, as global market trends show a decline in EV costs.  He warned, however, that there was a need to produce economies of scale in the region, which could, in turn, further reduce costs for CARICOM Member States and consumers, particularly procurement costs.

Mr. Gordon added that both public-private partnerships, particularly in the installation of charging infrastructure, and regulator-utility collaboration for the development of attractive charging prices for consumers, were key innovative approaches to support the adoption of EVs. To stimulate market response in the region, project implementation and demonstration were important, panelists shared.  Antonio Sealy of the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited revealed that when the Electric Bus Project commenced in Barbados, they began to receive significant interest from global EV service providers.

Innovation Opportunities & Challenges

Head of the CARICOM Energy Unit, Dr Devon Gardner, responded to the charge to “get started” by sharing that CARICOM, with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) implemented TAPSEC Project, was in the process of having a Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy (REVS) prepared. Project implementation will continue at the same time, with a view to having relevant projects inform the strategy. This was in line with another recommendation from panelist Andrea Denzinger, who suggested that the region implement pilot projects and allow them to create data and build trust.

In their quest to support the development of the sustainable transport sector, the CARICOM Secretariat – through its Energy Unit – and the CCREEE have established a Regional Electric Vehicle Working Group to produce the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy Framework. Having been presented with an overview of the framework, eighty-five percent (85%) of participants joining the discussion indicated that they were sufficiently convinced of the need for such a strategy. Nonetheless, there were cautions in light of the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelist Xavier Gordon shared that he completed the region’s first empirical meter reading study in 2017 and, the results show that electrification makes sense for the region. Nevertheless, he noted that access to finance may be significantly slowed as countries and donors redirect available funds.

The Caribbean Reality

Within the region, several opportunities exist to propel a transition towards wide-spread use of electric mobility, according to panelists. Sharing on the Barbados experience in implementing the Electric Bus Project where 33 electric buses are being procured, panelist Antonio Sealy told attendees that there was tremendous value to the transport sector, through electrification of public transportation. He maintained that cost benefits were to be found through fueling and maintenance, with estimated savings of BBD $2M annually for the current project. Improved comfort and commuter experiences, as well as reduced environmental impact through lessenend noise and greenhouse gas emissions were also identified as advantages.

The University of the West Indies is also supporting the electric mobility sector through their Electric Vehicle Research and Development Platform (EVRDP) and, an application developed to control charging time, to avoid congestion in the electrical network. Professor Chandrabhan Sharma explained the characteristics of EV charging, noting that uncoordinated charging could put significant stress on the power system, whereas providing power from a vehicle to the grid could contribute to stabilising the power grid and improve contribution of intermittent renewable energy supply to the electrical network.

This discussion was another step toward the development and implementation of the Regional Electric Vehicle Strategy which will lean on lessons learned from other jurisdictions and projects; and incorporate plans and approaches to produce economies of scale, within CARICOM. This is all to be accomplished with the ultimate goal of transforming the regional energy sector, for the benefit of Caribbean people.

Research Training for Multi-Dimensional Poverty underway in the OECS.

Regional trainers develop skills to train others in research methodology

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 — Training seminars that build the capacity of public servants, and community representatives, in data collection on multidimensional poverty, are currently being held in select OECS Member States.

 

The OECS Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Sub-regional Office for the OECS and Barbados, is conducting Training of Trainer Workshops in Participatory Action Research on multi-dimensional poverty.

 

The initiative, which forms part of the Multi-dimensional Approaches to Poverty Eradication Project (MDAPP), has successfully completed training in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda. Additional training sessions are scheduled to continue in Dominica and St. Lucia in the weeks to come.

 

UNDP Project Coordinator at the OECS Commission, Dr. Julie Xavier, said the MDAPP intends to leave each project country with trainers who will be equipped with the skills to train others in the implementation of this research methodology. Participants were targeted from various social service ministries, as well as Departments of Statistics.

 

Project Coordinator at Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW) Ms. Jacqueline Pascal said that, despite her years of experience in the field as a researcher, the training highlighted areas for development.

 

“I have experience in doing research, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as interviewing techniques at the highest level. This gives a person a bit of complacency [with regards to] their knowledge base but, coming here, I have realized that I was on a learning curve as far as research is concerned,” Pascal said.

One participant from St. Vincent and the Grenadines commended the comprehensive nature of the new approach stating that “participatory action research encourages community participation and ensures that some specific action comes out of the research.”

 

Overall, the project is aimed at promoting greater awareness of the multi-dimensional nature of poverty through the development of policies and programmes that move away from the traditional focus income or employment, and underscore the importance of other dimensions of holistic human development such as experiences in health, housing, education, and feelings of safety and security.

 

The MDAP project is sponsored by the Government of Chile through the Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AGCID).