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Caribbean leadership project aims at strengthening future leaders’ capacity

Posted in: Regional News by admin | 30 May 2016 | 6804

    (L-R) Dr. Lois Parkes, Regional Project Manager, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris,Project Director Colleen Rossiter, Canada School of Public Service, and Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins. (Photo via SKNIS)
    (L-R) Dr. Lois Parkes, Regional Project Manager, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris,Project Director Colleen Rossiter, Canada School of Public Service, and Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins. (Photo via SKNIS)

    Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): An initiative known as the Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP) will be implemented in St. Kitts and Nevis to “strengthen the capacity of future leaders in the Caribbean so that they are equipped to contribute more effectively to regional integration and economic growth and support gender-sensitive public sector reform.”

    To achieve this goal, the CLP is following a modular programme which includes Leadership Development Programme, Enabling Environment, Research, Continuous Learning and Development Network, Communities of Practice and Caribbean Centre of Leadership Excellence. Each module will be held in a different participating country.

    In between modules, we will use a blended learning approach,” said Dr. Lois Parkes, Regional Project Manager of CLP.

    The participants will be involved in virtual learning, executive coaching as well as working in groups and individually on what we call learning stretch projects.”

    Dr. Parkes said that the CLP is geared at developing public sector leaders across 12 CARICOM countries and a decision was made to first start with persons who hold the post of Permanent Secretary. To date, three cohorts of persons have participated in the leadership development programme. These persons include permanent secretaries, heads of regional organisations and CEOs in the public sector. Level two, which targeted the fourth cohort including senior leaders who are below the post of permanent secretaries, has also been completed. The fifth cohort will soon be completed.

    The sixth cohort consists of leaders in St. Kitts and Nevis. It will start on Monday May 30 and end on June 3.  Four modules will be covered over the five days. Facilitators have been drawn from around the Region including facilitators from the Management Institute for National Development in Jamaica and Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. In addition, executive coaches employed by the CLP and cross cutting theme specialists will also facilitate the programme.

    This is a regional plan and we are focused on infusing in the leadership development programme to increase awareness of a number of themes that affect us in the region,” said Dr. Parkes.

    So critical areas such as gender, economic development, environment including climate change, wellness and regional integration will be covered. Out of this we want persons to have a better understanding that they are not only part of a country, they are a part of a Region. We want people to collaborate more to have greater regional problem solving and regional focus in how they carry out their public service functions.”

    The facilitators are also called action learning coaches and will be involved in helping the leaders to carry out what they have learned said the Regional Project Manager.

    It is a methodology that we use in the development programme from the start called action learning,” said Dr. Parkes.

    It really is a very powerful tool where we use effective questioning in order to solve very urgent problems. So for the St. Kitts cohort, each of them will have a learning stretch project that will not focus on something that is removed from their work but something from their work that they have to deal with. They will do so in partnership with the subset of participants but each of them will have access to an action learning coach that will help them to better clarify what the nature of the problem is and also help them to come up with strategies and an implementation plan.”

    Dr. Parkes along with Project Director Colleen Rossiter, who works at the Canada School of Public Service, visited Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins to discuss details of the project.

    The CLP’s executing agency is the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) while the Regional Project Office (RPO) is hosted by The Cave Hill School of Business/The University of the West Indies (CHSB/UWI) in Barbados.

    Officially launched in 2013, the CLP is a seven-year project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Development (DFATD) (formerly known as CIDA) to support the leadership and economic development training needs of regional and national public sectors in 12 CARICOM Member States.

    The countries participating in the project are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

    The CLP is committed to a collaborative approach in the design, development and delivery of a regionally relevant, multi-faceted and sustainable public service leadership development programme for the Caribbean Region.”