Civil society can play more critical role in region


Agitators, Watchdogs and Nation builders, these were the key words used by Juan Carlos De La Hoz Vinas, Country Representative in Barbados for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), while speaking about the importance and focus of civil society.
The Country Representative in his brief opening address at the IDB Barbados Civil Society Forum held at the Hilton last week, reaffirmed the IDB's active engagement in civil society.
“The IDB sponsors and coordinates training, meetings and a number of activities with civil society; such activities are designed to stimulate creative thinking, which we think is a crucial element in creating solutions to respond to development needs, challenges and initiatives, present in all countries and here in Barbados. 
The IDB perspective is that we strongly believe that civil society organisations can support their countries and achieve sustainable growth by finding collaborative solutions between private sector and government; tapping into community needs to create demand-led services, coordinating resources with government and private sector…”
The IDB representative reiterated, “It is recognised that civil society organisations by their very structure and existence serve several critical roles as agitators of change, social watchdogs and nation builders. At the strategic level the IDB is committed to developing human capital…”
He also spoke to the importance of civil society towards regional integration, He stated that the IDB provides different channels to assist with institutional capacity, design and implementation of projects.
The IDB Barbados Civil Society Forum is a workshop for NGO leaders to network and gain knowledge to strengthen their institutional capacity. The forum focused on innovative strategies to raise funds for sustainable management of nonprofit organisations. (NB)

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