The Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF), Project, of the Caribbean Development Bank, hosted a two-day workshop on Effective Community Engagement at the Jewel’s Dunn’s River Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica on 30th and 31st October.
The aim of the workshop was to broaden the knowledge of the participants on Effective Community Engagement Techniques and to provide information on how an improvement in this skill-set could help to increase community participation in development interventions and by extension sustainable development.
There are Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), sub-projects, under implementation or approval for financing in Belize, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Parishes of St. Thomas, St. Mary, Clarendon and Westmoreland in Jamaica.
Thus, the workshop targeted audience included representatives from these sub-projects and key public sector agencies responsible for community actions, aimed at improving DRR and CCA.
Presentations were made by experts in the field of the Community Engagement Techniques, Gender Studies, Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development.
Day one saw presentations on Community Engagement and Sustainable Development by Dr. Orville Taylor, Head of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work; the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, Community Development Committee Consultations, by Sherrine Francis, Governance Director, Social Development Commission; Individual Perspectives on Community Engagement by Mr. Richardo Aiken, Community Development Specialist, Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund; Engagement and Community Development by Dr. Dwayne Vernon, Executive Director, Social Development Commission; Gender and Community Engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development by Dr. Leith Dunn, Head of the Institute for Gender Development Studies, Mona Unit, the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Day one also saw group presentations and discussions from participants on Engagement at the Village and Parish levels, Gender Inclusiveness, can this help to improve Community Engagement?
On Day 2 participants were exposed to presentations on Monitoring and Evaluation, Assessing the Effectiveness of Community Engagement Activities by Mr. Asad Magana, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, CDRRF; the Community Assessment Tool (CART), by Kishona Maxwell-Gordon, System Analyst, Jamaica Social Investment Fund; and Community Engagement Plan, Humana People to People Belize Project, by Ms. Cordelia Forman, Rural Development Officer, Rural Development Agency, Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, Belize.
Day 2 also included group presentations and discussions from participants on Identifying Gaps in Community Engagement and Solutions, Action Planning-Improving Community Engagement and the participant’s evaluation on the workshop.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was represented at the workshop by Information Officer at the Agency for Public Information (API), Ms. Ashecia Sam; Community Development Officer within the Community Division of the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Gender, Family Affairs, Persons With Disabilities & Youth, Mr. St. Clair Yearwood; Community Radio Communication’s Officer of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Mr. Jerwayne Laidlow, and Contractor Officer for the SVG Volcano-Ready Community Project, Ms. Monique Johnson of the UWI Seismic Research Center.