Group Title: Forward together consultation : strengthening the involvement of civil society in the Caribbean Community
Title: Address by President fo the Caribbean Development Bank
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Title: Address by President fo the Caribbean Development Bank
Series Title: Forward together consultation : strengthening the involvement of civil society in the Caribbean Community
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: Caribbean Community Secretariate
Publisher: Caribbean Community Secretariate
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
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Bibliographic ID: UF00078160
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Press release 83/2002
(02 July 2002)

The Caribbean Development (CDB) applauds the Caribbean Community Secretariat and Civil
Society for convening this Conference. I know that it required much effort and determination to
bring it off. We are very pleased to have an opportunity to participate in what we confidently
expect to be a set of most fruitful discussions about social partnership for Caribbean

CDB recognizes the very crucial and important role that non-governmental organizations,
community-based organizations and civil society organizations need to play in the social and
economic development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). This role as a social partner
is critical simply because Caribbean governments cannot do all that is needed on their own and
must rely on empowered partners to help especially in the area of social development.

Given this recognition, the CDB has assisted non-governmental organizations in several
activities, two of which may be highlighted:

* A programme was developed to train the management of non-governmental organizations for
the Council for Social Voluntary Services in Jamaica. This programme was designed and
prepared by the Continuing Studies Department of the University of the West Indies (UWI)
whose expertise was utilised by CDB in order to make this programme available through
UWI's distance education facilities to all non-governmental organizations in the Caribbean;

* A feasibility study was funded (utilising DFID funds) on the creation of a trust or endowment
fund for non-governmental organizations throughout the Region. This exercise was
undertaken through the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) a non-governmental
organisation umbrella body. CDB does not necessarily support the idea of one such fund and
we expect that several non-governmental organizations will be trying to establish their own
dedicated fund. CDB supports this concept because it provides a mechanism to promote
philanthropy which is crucial to the support and long term viability of non-governmental

During the last Special Development Fund funding cycle (1996-1999), CDB=s technical
assistance grant provision was formally targeted with specific allocations being made to each
borrowing member country. There was also a ARegional@ allocation amounting to about 30% of
the total TA Grant funding.

Under these arrangements non-governmental organizations could only access funding from the
allocation and CDB could only fund the regional activities of non-governmental organizations if a
government was willing to make part of its very small and inadequate allocation available to a
national non-governmental organisation. These arrangements did not work well.

It is therefore proposed under the latest SDF funding cycle (2002-2005) that a small portion of
technical assistance grant funding be made available for national non-governmental
organizations to undertake activities which meet the priorities established by CDB for use of its
limited Grant resources.

The CDB wishes to promote the concept of legitimacy of non-governmental organizations. In
creating a strategy to assist non-governmental organisations/civil society organizations, CDB has
to be conscious of the large number (over 1000) of such organizations operating in borrowing
member countries and be prepared to deal with them effectively. Our strategy needs to focus on
specific areas of action such as corporate government and sustainability but must also deal with
legitimacy. Too many civil society organizations are ad hoc, unreliable and not adequately rooted
in their communities. It has been proposed therefore that CDB should establish eligibility criteria
for access to its financial assistance for civil society organizations. Suggested criteria include the

* Legal registration as a charitable trust
* Broad-based impact on socio-economic development
* Established network linkages outside of the civil societies immediate community
* Audited accounts for a minimum of two years immediately proceeding the request
* Evidence of a financial sustainability objective including a willingness to establish an
endowment fund
* Track record of sustained fund raising
* Track record of mobilising volunteers
* Track record of good management which is reflected in adequate forward planning and
achievement of objectives
* Services/administration expenses ratio must be greater than say 1:1
* Legitimate system of corporate governance based on democratic principles

I stress that these are suggestions for consideration by the Bank and not decisions by the Bank.
CDB would welcome comments and discussions on them.

Reference was made previously to the funding of civil society organizations. I am troubled by the
history of their dependence on grants, usually from the international community, and by the
volatility of financing which ensues from shifts in donor preferences and the weaning of local
organizations after some time has elapsed. A way should be found to stabilise the financial
condition of civil society organizations. I think it would be useful to explore a model in which the
services of civil society organizations may be purchased by governments whenever those
services can be provided more cost-effectively by the civil society organizations. The financial
transactions would in such circumstances be commercial rather than charitable. Since the
success of such a model would turn upon the capacity of civil society organizations to deliver,
complementary programmes of capacity building might be necessary.

Mr. Chairman, I conclude by once more complimenting the organizers of this conference and by
expressing my own belief that together we can make a positive difference. The specifics of such
programmes would depend upon the actual circumstances of particular organizations but in many
instances would include both management training and systems support.

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