Description of the project

In 2015, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) along with 192 other nations committed to implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda –  a global plan for people, planet and prosperity with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets.  Contributions from all spheres of society is recognised as critical to implementing this Agenda, and there is a need to support civil society organisations (CSOs) in T&T: to effectively advocate on national sustainable development priorities; to meaningfully engage with government and other partners in national development processes; and to work together to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach across civil society.

From April 2017 to March 2020, CANARI is working as part of a consortium of seven leading CSOs[1] to implement the project CSOs For Good Governance: Enhancing Civil Society’s contribution to governance and development processes in Trinidad & Tobago (CSOs4GoodGov). The project is aimed at catalysing transformation to a more environmentally sustainable, socially just, inclusive, accountable and resilient model of development and governance through supporting the effective involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in T&T. The project is funded by the European Union (EU) with an overall budget of €340,000 and an additional €100,000 in co-funding from project partners.  See information about the project here.

The CSOs4GoodGov project is implemented via four interlinked components.  CANARI is responsible for coordinating implementation of component 1 on developing a mechanism for effective civil society engagement in the SDGs and will support implementation of other components. The heart of this mechanism is the establishment and facilitation of an SDGs Catalysts Network – an informal network of leading CSOs working across sectors to address the full range of SDGs in T&T. The Catalysts further engage CSOs in their respective sectors and other CSO networks, catalyse joint action and develop and amplify civil society’s voice on the SDGs. The resulting ‘network of networks’ enables broad-based collaboration of CSOs in T&T for development, implementation, monitoring and reporting on the SDGs.

Key activities and results

Establishment and facilitation of the SDGs Catalysts Network as a mechanism for civil society engagement in the SDGs in T&T: Members of the SDGs Catalysts Network are CSOs working across the full range of development sectors in T&T (e.g. environment, education, gender, health, poverty, youth).  They work together, guided by a Terms of Reference, to ensure that the consultative process determining the national priorities within the SDGs framework is inclusive and transparent, that government is held accountable for its commitments and actions to deliver the SDGs and that the contribution of civil society is recognised. The Catalysts serve as a group of informal advisors, sources of exemplary practices and specific experience and act as a bridge between civil society and other partners. A representative selected from within the Network will act as a focal point to liaise with and input into the prescribed national mechanism established by government for implementation of the SDGs in T&T.

Knowledge sharing by CSOs for awareness and advocacy on the SDGs in T&T via an online SDGs Knowledge and Advocacy Platform: This platform will be a dedicated website developed to facilitate knowledge and information sharing by the SDGs Catalysts Network members and wider civil society for awareness and advocacy on the SDGs in T&T. The platform will provide a widely and easily accessible virtual space for civil society engagement, interaction and learning around the SDGs and forum for highlighting of practical experiences, ideas and voices from across civil society in T&T. The platform will host information on project activities, innovative actions, results, lessons and recommendations including written reports, an advocacy toolkit and case studies, as well as web pages, audio-visual material, social media and other communication by participating CSOs will be made available on the platform.

Development and implementation of an advocacy campaign to amplify civil society’s voice on the SDGs: A national consultation workshop will be held with members of the SDGs Catalysts Network and other civil society participants to distil a collective civil society position on the SDGs in T&T, including priorities for the national SDGs agenda. Please see a copy of the report here. A joint advocacy campaign will then be developed and implemented to widely promote and amplify civil society’s position, especially in government-led processes.

Communicating work by civil society on the SDGs:  Advocacy and on-the-ground actions undertaken by Catalysts and other CSOs will be documented to evaluate and share results and lessons to build capacity.  This will include:

  • facilitating peer sharing and learning via meetings and other activities of the SDGs Catalysts Network;
  • preparing a guidance package of information on the SDGs to help identify opportunities and support Catalysts to mobilise and engage with their sectors on collective advocacy and action on the SDGs;
  • developing and sharing a list of critical governance issues requiring advocacy by civil society, a report of successful examples of advocacy actions to provide inspiration and guidance to the Catalysts and an Advocacy Toolkit to guide civil society advocacy on the SDGs (which will reflect lessons learnt over the span of the project and include models and case studies of successful advocacy actions); and
  • preparing annual reports detailing the contribution of civil society to implementation of the SDGs in T&T and a final evaluation report on the SDGs Catalysts Network as a mechanism for civil society engagement in national development.

Recent news and blogs

Publications and Reports

Social Media 

For more information, please contact Candice Ramkissoon, Technical Officer at(868) 626-6062 or candice@canari.org

[1] Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Environment Tobago (ET), Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women, United Way Trinidad and Tobago (UWTT), University of the West Indies-Institute for Gender and Development Studies (UWI-IGDS), Veni Apwann (VA), Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD)