With the civil society space sometimes shrinking in the Caribbean, the CCWG has become an important platform for members to build and share skills in lobbying and advocacy. 

Hazel Brown (Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women) who has worked in the civil society for many years, described her membership of the group as “an amazing experience, going to school about advocacy”. 

“The work that we do in the CCWG is important, because it is building the capacity for advocacy and lobbying, and learning the ways in which you can be effective without having to shout and scream and demonstrate. Although there is a time for shouting and screaming and demonstrating.” 

Ashley John (Constructive Solutions Inc) sees the Working Group as a means for civil society to regain its voice in parts of the Caribbean. 

“One of the things that we have learned and we appreciate is that there are really no shortcuts. You have to be informed on your issues and what’s going on around you – not only in terms of your local island, but in the region and globally. You have to frame that into all your advocacy because you’re no longer stand alone. So this process has brought us on a par with global best practices.” 

Sandra Ferguson (Inter Agency Group of Development Organisations (IAGDO) sees the group as “an excellent opportunity to learn about engaging more effectively. It also provides the opportunity for the regional to reach down to the national – so more synergy.” Ms Ferguson highlighted that members have been able to build their capacity in advocacy research, being able to draw on the knowledge and experience of others in the group. “This will also enable us to build the capacity of those engaged in the network, and also to expand it, as we think critical mass is important. For me, participatory governance is really about stakeholders – particularly our constituents or the marginalised – being part of the process of decision-making, of policy, of implementing, monitoring and designing.” 



Other project updates

  • Special event: Writing the literature of Indenture and its legacies

    Posted on

    To mark the centenary of the abolition of indenture in the British Empire, Commonwealth Writers is partnering with the School of Advanced Study, University of London, to host a high-level panel discussion with writers from across the indentured labour diaspora. The panellists include the Award winning writers Ananda Devi (Mauritius), Hon. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo (Guyana), Lakshmi […]

  • Speaking of Partition by Rita Kothari

    Posted on

    In the summer of 2014 a panel discussion titled “Partitioned Voices, Divided Tongues?” held in Delhi, invited the panellists to think of “What happens to a language when its land and people are partitioned?” In the organizers’ scheme of things, this comprised Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi and Bengali as languages that have undergone “the experience” of […]

  • The Full Picture: The Partner’s Learning Exchange 2017

    Posted on

    As part of capacity development support to the South African Alliance on Youth Employment (SAAYE), the Commonwealth Foundation brokered a learning exchange with Citizens UK, trialling a new model of support. This multimedia story explores the techniques used in the exchange to help civil society to better organise. 

  • Luis by Jo-Anne Mason

    Posted on

    ‘First you don’t use nails, hurricane eat them up and spit them out like little bones in your fried snapper.’ Adda is a project of Commonwealth Writers, the Commonwealth Foundation’s cultural initiative and it offers an online gathering of stories. This month we feature Jo-Anne Mason’s story of living through Hurricane Luis and the devastation it wrought on her island home of Anguilla.

  • Explainer Video: What is the Commonwealth Civil Society Forum?

    Posted on

    The Forum, supported by the Commonwealth Foundation, takes place annually in Geneva prior to the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting and gives Commonwealth civil society a chance to discuss policy issues raised at the Commonwealth Health Ministerial Meeting (CHMM). This video provides a summary of the process and its potential value to participants. Find out more  […]