The UNDP T&T office supports a range of projects under the democratic governance programme area, focusing on working with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through initiatives that seek to facilitate an environment for trust-building and consensual decision-making. Though the Government is our main partner in these initiatives, our projects are focused on ensuring that the local population benefits from improvements in governance.
This includes efforts at improving participation in the democratic process, especially among under-represented or marginalised groups; improving the accountability of democratic institutions to the people who they represent; and a general fostering of the universally accepted principles of democratic governance, namely anti-corruption, women’s empowerment, equal opportunities, and human rights.
A notable example of this, is a project undertaken to improve the local government system in Trinidad and Tobago, aimed at empowering local communities and encouraging local economic development. This project involved drafting new legislation and developing a decentralized system, that devolves to local communities, authority that was previously vested within the central government.
Outside of Trinidad and Tobago, the UNDP T&T office is also undertaking projects in two new self-governing countries that emerged out of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, Sint Maarten and Curacao, which are now directly responsible for their respective national development. Via the project Capacity Development for Nation Building in the Netherlands Antilles, the UNDP was able to lend support in the area of capacity development, to the five member territories of the Netherlands Antilles immediately prior to, and following dissolution.
Projects and Initiatives
Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening
In the case of Saint Martin, this project with the Ministry of General Affairs seeks to support the process of nation-building and the development of good governance, via a series of outputs associated with the birth of a new country. These outputs are, the formulation of a national vision, utilising the process of democratic dialogue; the drafting of a National Development Plan also utilising the process of democratic dialogue; the building of capacity in the areas of Resource Based Management and Evidence based management (DevInfo – Data); and the strengthening of national capacities to achieve MDGs, via drafting a 2013 MDF Report, a MDG Acceleration Framework for MDG 1 (poverty) and 7 (environmental sustainability) (which were jointly agreed upon by the UNDP and government of Saint Martin as requiring urgent intervention), and developing a coordination mechanism for donors and aid effectiveness.
Start date: October 2011
End date: September 2014
Capacity Development for Nation Building of Curacao
In the case of Curacao, the drafting of a national development plan has also been identified as a key output of this project. Employing the principle of participatory dialogue, this national development plan will be based on the Governing Programme, prepared by the Government of Curaçao, as well as on the first MDG Report for Curacao and Saint Martin, which was jointly undertaken by the UNDP, and Governments of Curacao and Saint Martin. The remaining outputs for this project are the development of a national socio-economic database (DevInfo), with corresponding capacity development within the public sector; the strengthening of national capacities at the local level to achieve MDGs, via the implementation of pilot programmes on MDG 1 and 7, and the publishing of a new MDG Report; and the development of a plan focusing on aid coordination and resource mobilization.
Start date: December 1, 2011
End date: November 30, 2014