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  • Violence Prevention Alliance

CVSS and EU Partner to Build Capacity of Civil Society Organisations

Minister Pearnel Charles (second right), in conversation with Aniceto Rodriguez Ruiz (left), of the EU and Nancy Pinchas, Executive Director, CVSS at the launch of AIM.

The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) and the European Union (EU) have partnered to build the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) through an initiative called Advocate, Innovate and Mobilise (AIM), which is being spearheaded by the CVSS and funded by a grant from the EU.

Nancy Pinchas, Executive Director of the CVSS indicated that the “CVSS is committed to building the capacity of its members and the extended community. Central to our organisation’s initiatives is representing the concerns of the social sector, especially those representing the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in Jamaica,”.

Mrs Pinchas said that robust collaboration and organisation between CSOs have been widely recommended in the development space to enhance their engagement with government and policy dialogue.

“The CVSS will fulfill its role as the coordinating body to facilitate stakeholders’ engagement, whether CSO-CSO or CSO to Government of Jamaica. Utilising a coordinated voice guided by a framework to address priority issues, allows multiple voices and perspectives to be considered in the advocacy efforts, minimises duplication of efforts, and enhances communication,” she said.

The proposed 30-month intervention will target the CVSS’ 135 members, local CSOs, community-based organisations and volunteer groups with diverse interests such as health, education, youth and gender, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and the environment.

Through AIM, CVSS will implement a series of complementary and integrated activities that involve a CSO needs assessment survey, a series of training modules (including communication strategies, institutional strengthening, MEL and advocacy), micro-grants for CSOs and quarterly forums for sharing and collaboration. These will serve to strengthen internal capacities and efficiencies to ultimately improve and enhance CSO initiatives and programmes.

Aniceto Rodriguez Ruiz, First Counsellor and head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas welcomed the partnership with CVSS and said CSOs are key actors in protecting and promoting democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which are fundamental values of the European Union.

“They are key partners in devising and implementing policies and programmes that meet people's needs, reduce inequalities, and fulfil the central commitment of the global 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind,” he said.

“In Jamaica, the CVSS is one of the largest and most established umbrella organisations of CSOs. We anticipate that the cascading effects to the CSO sector from grant funding provided to CVSS by the European Union, will lead to incremental and sustainable changes for all stakeholders and contribute to Jamaica achieving its Vision 2030 goals,” he added.

The initiative was officially launched on Thursday, October 12 at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston.

The VPA conducted a research study on sector scan of civil society organisations. The findings of the research will informed how AIM will be implemented.

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