The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) will meet this week from the 2–4 May, 2018. The main focus of the meeting will be the implementation of the Human Resource Development (HRD) 2030 Strategy. The Strategy was endorsed by the Conference of Heads of Government at its Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting in Grenada in July 2017, based on prior consideration and approval by COHSOD XXXII in March of the same year.
The COHSOD will also focus on the discussion and approval of a Regional Action Plan (2018 – 2020) for the Strategy, and agreement on arrangements for monitoring and evaluation at both regional and national levels of implementation. Specific attention will be given to the imperative of inter-sectoral action in the context of approved strategies in the areas of social, economic, environmental and technological resilience as articulated in the Caribbean Community Strategic Plan (2015 – 2019).
The meeting will kick off with an opening ceremony at the Theatre Guild in Guyana that includes an unprecedented thought leadership forum on “Positioning Human Resource Development (HRD) as Central to Caribbean Resilience and Development”. The forum will be led by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, and two discussants Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport of Montserrat, the Hon. Delmaude Ryan, and Artist, Economist and Recipient of the Caribbean Laureate of Arts and Letters Award, Mr. Adrian Augier. According to Director, Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Myrna Bernard, a wide range of stakeholders were invited to the meeting. She said this was important as a holistic approach was needed when addressing Human Resource Development.
Ms. Bernard advised that an implementation plan for the strategy had already been devised and will be done in three phases. She said the first phase would go up to the year 2020 and the COHSOD meeting would be looking at the actions that needed to be taken up until then. She added that there were two components in the strategy, a regional component and a national component. She said that, at the Regional Level, they would try to provide “Regional Public Goods” that would enable Member States to be better able to carry out the implementation on the national level.
She added that all the issues to be addressed in the meeting would be tied to the Human Resource Development Strategy and its implementation. Some of the topics included early childhood education, tertiary and secondary development, developing youth who were already out of school and training of managers. She said the main objective was to get buy-in from Member States for all the initiatives that would be undertaken during the implementation.
Following a workshop held in May 2017, Ms. Bernard gave the assurance that the Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy would not just sit on a shelf, but would be implemented. Participants of that workshop included representatives from the 15 CARICOM Member States, the Associate Members, International Development Partners, Private Sector/Civil Society Organisations as well as Regional Institutions in education and business. The focus of this COHSOD bears testament to that assurance.
The Regional Education and Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy and Action Plan are intended to form the basis for converged action by Member States.