The Caribbean Local and Economic Development Project has been allotted $15 million in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
It seeks to stimulate local and economic development by building the capacities of community-based micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, local authorities and other key players.
These entities will be able to mobilise and use, primarily, local resources, assets, institutions and human capital, to create employment and stimulate economic activity.
The project, which got underway in July 2012, is funded through a grant by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. It is expected to be completed by March 2018.
Physical achievements up to February 2013 include: completion of interviews for the post of national country coordinator; and designing of a template to assess the feasibility of projects that will receive assistance, with the pilot parishes and local authorities shortlisted.
Anticipated targets for 2013/14 include: engaging the selected national country coordinator and local economic development officers for pilot parishes and monitoring their performance; and partnering with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to design and convene a symposium to facilitate knowledge transfer in local and economic development.
There will also be collaboration with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter