The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is currently hosting the CDB’s Public Policy Analysis and Management Training Programme for Public Officers.
The Programme got under way on Monday, June 11th, 2018, at Frenches House with Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments.
Based on feedback from CDB’s borrowing member countries, the CDB conducted a training needs analysis in 2013 which identified these areas for training. The program is therefore part of the wider transformation agenda driven by the CDB, to catalyse the change needed in the region to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the opening of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' face-to-face portion of CDB’s Public Policy Analysis and Management Training Programme 2016-2018, Director General of Finance and Planning, Edmond Jackson, registered his disappointment at the low turnout of targeted Public Officers at the training workshop. Addressing the issue, he said “It is not always good to start with negatives but this is a negative that needs to be addressed here and now. One of the challenges that I have noticed in the public service generally is that we are sometimes too busy as heads of departments and permanent secretaries to invest in activities that can lead to transformation.” He added that public officers must always make time for transformative activities because investing in these activities is what will shift their organizations, the public service and the country.
The Director General of Finance and Planning pointed out that the government invests heavily in the enhancement of human capital but “training appears to be an activity in and for itself, it is not an activity that is seen as to allow us to make some changes.” He added that many officers do not usually apply what they learn after these trainings. "There is always a gap between knowing and doing, knowledge and performance” and this initiative by the CDB and the Government of SVG is a direct response to filling that gap.
In outlining the objectives of the workshop, Jackson said it is designed to meet the needs of the public sector and the trainees, to enhance effectiveness, to deliver better results for the organizations and the country, change organizational behaviour, to be transformative and sustainable. He implored the participants to participate actively and to take what they learn to their organizations and departments to make a difference in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Meantime, Coordinator, Regional Cooperation and Integration, CDB, Ms. Andrea Power, has said the CDB remains deeply committed to delivering sustainable development outcomes for the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She noted that the decision to develop and offer this training in Public Policy Analysis and Management Training Programme to SVG and other CDB borrowing member countries is rooted in a deep appreciation of the very challenging development context of our region. She said “In this region we remain constrained by low economic growth and high debt exasperated by external and environmental shocks. It is still costly to do business across the region and this in turn affects productivity and competitiveness.”
Ms. Power said reforming age old administrative practices and improving human capital in the public service is not a simple and straightforward task and it requires a commitment to change a commitment to manage the change and it also requires financial resources. “The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines boldly embarks on this complex mission with a number of partners including the World Bank and the UKFDI.” She pointed out that investing in Public Officers in this training exercise will help us to achieve a better alignment of projects with our national development plan and help to improve our implementation of infrastructure projects.
The face to face training will prompt participants to explore their own working practices and challenges through the use of case studies and scenarios as well as practical task based learning. Participants will reflect on their own experience and the learning objectives of the session to develop a personal action plan that will guide their transfer of learning to their work setting.
The Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments are the first set of public officers to be engaged in the Public Policy Analysis and Management Training Programme.
Over the months of June and July, other levels and categories of Public Officers will also be trained in these areas. The Program will run from June 11th-15th and June 27th to July 27th 2018.