The Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) has impacted positively on the professional development of local councillors, according to National Coordinator of the project in Guyana, Roger Rogers.
CARILED is a Canadian funded project, implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities across seven countries in the region, including Guyana. The project has as it goals, creating sustainable development, at the local level, with a particular emphasis on development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and youth.
National Coordinator of the CARILED programme in Guyana, Roger Rogers
It is within this context that Guyana, through then Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, now Ministry of Communities, introduced the project to its local government structure in August 2012.
Since the launch, CARILED has partnered with the ministry to support the implementation of a number of training programmes, workshops and fora.
Rogers in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) today, posited that much of the project’s success in Guyana came in the recent months, when the new national focus on a greater role for local democratic organs presented expanded opportunities for the project’s concept and priorities.
“The alignment of the national priorities with the project priorities, enabled over the last 18 to 20 months for us to do a number of things in terms of institutional strengthening,” Rogers explained.
Over the last eight months, the project in collaboration with the ministry facilitated training sessions covering inter-governmental relations, governance, the legal framework of local government, good practices of local government and planning.
Another important concept that was shared with local authorities related to creating the local environment to support micro and small enterprises in the local areas. Particularly, toward this focus, CARILED worked with four municipalities (Linden, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton) and two Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) (Buxton and Soesdyke) in creating local economic profiles (an inventory list of the resources) at their local level, Rogers said.
The project is also working with the six local councils to pilot business facilitation desks. “The idea is to have a focused service provision at the community level that would enable the local authority to collate relevant information and bring it to the community in terms of opportunities available for MSME development, and other capacity building initiatives that can add value to the community,” Rogers explained.
He said that the formal launch of the business desk will occur in the coming weeks.
Rogers explained that the concept of the local economic profiles has been adopted by the Ministry of Communities and is to be replicated in a number of areas in which CARILED was not directly involved, Rogers said.
Another key output of the institutional strengthening training workshop delivered under the programme was the development of a guidebook for elected officials, which summarises experiences at the regional and global level that can be brought to bear locally.
Rogers explained that the guidebook is currently in the final rounds of technical validation. He pointed out that once that process has been completed, the book will go to print.
CARILED is currently in the phase of wrapping- up its efforts in Guyana.