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The SVG Non State Actors Project

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Tue, Jan 17. 2012

Background

The SVG Non State Actors Panel was granted funding in 2011 to undergo a Civil society capacity Building Project. This funding was granted by the European Union Development Fund. The funding is in the amount of 80,000 Euros for a three year project. This programme estimate is part of the 10th EDF Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF) and Support to Non-State Actors.{{more}} The TCF Financing Agreement (FA) seeks to provide support for the implementation of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (GoSVG) development strategies and policies. It is anticipated that stronger involvement by Non-State Actors (NSAs) in the planning and implementation of EU-GoSVG projects and programmes will positively impact the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The overall objective of the project is intended to contribute to the social and economic development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The project purpose is to strengthen the institutional capacity of Non-State Actors so that they can effectively partner in the national development process.

The activities to be implemented under this programme estimate are: an awareness and registration programme for the NSAs; the development of a strategic plan and action plan for the NSAs; to facilitate dialogue on the role and expectations of each NSA; the establishment of a national NSA platform and NSA Advisory Panel Secretariat and to assist with the development of income generating ventures.

Under the Cotonou Agreement, opportunities are created for Non-State Actors (NSAs) to participate in all aspects of the development cooperation. In particular, Article 4 of the Cotonou Agreement stipulated that “NSAs be provided with capacity-building support in critical areas in order to reinforce the capabilities of these actors, particularly as regards organisation and representation, and the establishment of consultation mechanisms including channels of communication and dialogue, and to promote strategic alliances.” A response to this was discussed during the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Joint Annual Report 2003 and it was concluded that in order to strengthen civil society involvement in EU-SVG development partnership, a Non-State Actor Advisory Panel, that is, a representative of SVG’s civil society would be established by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (GoSVG).

The NSA Advisory Panel was established in 2006 but has been slow in implementing activities based on limited resources. Now through the 10th EDF under the Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF) funds have been allocated to provide the Non-State Actors of St Vincent and the Grenadines with resources to help improve their capacity so that NSAs can contribute to the sustainable development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The members of the NSA Advisory Panel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are:

o SVG Fair Trade National Committee

o SVG Hotel and Tourism Association

o St Vincent Co-operative Credit Union League

o St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust

o National Labour Congress

o Projects Promotions Ltd

o St Vincent and the Grenadines Save the Children Fund(VINSAVE)

o St Vincent Planned Parenthood Association

o SVG National Council of Women

o National Youth Council

This Panel was established within the country’s existing National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). Though the idea of the Panel is to play a consultative role in setting St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ development priorities, strategies and programmes for channelling EU aid, the configuration and structure of the Panel also makes it an important subset of the civil society component of NESDC.

The notion of non-state actors is very broad and includes multiple families of actors which are not homogenous and which have complementary but very different objectives. These differences provide a multi-dimensional view of the challenges that confronts society.

Ownership and Beneficiaries

The direct beneficiaries of the project will be the NSA Advisory Panel as well as other the NSAs, CBOs, FBOs, trade unions and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Identified Problems

The following is a typology of the challenges faced by both the emerging and established NSAs in SVG:

1. Lack of cooperation between NSAs: In general, societies in the Eastern Caribbean do not have a tradition of representation of organizations with shared interests. Consequently, civil society is fragmented; it does not use scarce resources in an efficient way and does not share information and experience.

2. Loss of positioning of Civil Society: Donor funds that were used to finance the NGOs have become scarce.

3. Lack of legitimacy, transparency and accountability of NSAs: NSAs do not always meet basic standards of operations, governance, transparency, and accountability in their relationship with their constituencies and the Government.

4. Limited access to information: Due to a lack of human and financial resources the NSA sector has not developed an information base and network that allows individual NSAs to inform themselves on national, regional and international developments of relevance to their operations.

Project purpose

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of Non-State Actors so that they can effectively provide advice on programming and review of EU related development assistance in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Results

The expected results from the activities carried out over the period covered by this programme estimate are:

1. A holistic strategy for the positioning of the NSA sector in the development process in SVG is determined in a participatory way and adopted by NSAs.

2. Increased co-operation and efficiency of the NSA sector through the functioning of a Secretariat.

3. Increased legitimacy and enhanced governance of NSAs in terms of transparency and accountability

4. The NSA Advisory Panel is functioning and meaningfully advising the Government and the EC Delegation on national priorities for EU development assistance and related matters.

Activities

The activities that will be carried out to achieve each of the expected results listed in the previous section are:

1. To make operational the Secretariat for the Non-State Actors Advisory Panel

1.1 Hire Coordinator. A consultant has been been hired to run the secretariat and to plan and coordinate activities earmarked by the Panel – Miss Angella Ideisha Jackson.. s

1.2 Set up a Secretariat for the NSA Advisory Panel. The secretariat has been set up at the Projects Promotion Building, Murray’s Road.

2. To organise the Non-State Actors Sector

2.1 Implement an awareness raising, outreach and registration programme. This aims at providing an opportunity to all NSAs in the country to become involved in this project – so organisations are asked to call 496-4621/ write to svgnonstateactors@gmail.com or visit the office in Murrays Road.

2.2 Develop a Strategic Plan and Action Plan for NSAs: In order to enhance the efficient organisation of the NSA Sector, the programme will also assist the NSAs to generate a plan of action for organisation and representation in four sub-groups (NGOs, CBOs, private sector and trade unions).

3. To strengthen the Non State Actors Sector for effective programming, coordination and networking

3.1 Run workshops to build capacity among Non-State Actors; workshops will provided training in group dynamics, conflict resolution and consensus building.

3.2 Training in EU Cooperation. Provide basic training for members of the NSA Advisory Panel so that there is a better understanding of the EDF, NIP, SFA and other relevant funding mechanisms, and the wider context of EU-SVG/region relationships, e.g. trade negotiations and EPA.

4. To monitor and participate (where possible) in EU projects in SVG

4.1 Participate in meetings. The NSA Advisory Panel will participate in Steering Committee Meetings for the ongoing EU projects in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Currently projects are taking places in sectors including: Education, Tourism, Health and Rural Transformation.

4.2 Maintain communication with EU Projects. NSA Advisory Panel Secretariat will maintain open lines of communication so that the NSA Panel is continuously updated with the implementation of EU projects and may offer support where possible.

The SVG Non State Panel is therefore looking forward to the support and participation of the Non State Actors in SVG. We would also like to ask all organisations to call and register with us and share your input on the way forward for Civil Society Organisations in SVG. We will also like to take this opportunity to extend best wishes to all for the New Year and pray that we will all work even harder to make our country grow and develop.

Let’s all build stronger NGO’s, CBO’s, stronger communities, for a stronger Nation.

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