Monday 24 September, 2018

NGOs want bigger say in national policy

FILE - President of the BVHS, Kemar Saffrey.

FILE - President of the BVHS, Kemar Saffrey.

Efforts are on to enhance the effectiveness of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Barbados.

This as several stakeholders met on Thursday morning at the Bridgetown headquarters of the Barbados Vagrants & Homeless Society (BVHS) to discuss the launch of the Barbados National NGO Network.

President of the BVHS, Kemar Saffrey, said, the network will seek to have stronger representation at the policy level, with greater input in government decisions.

“We believe as a sector that we have not been heard enough,” he asserted.

“We should be involved in the Social Partnership committees; we should be involved in most of the committees that the Government is now [establishing]; having someone from the NGO committee being an Independent Senator, so that when Government is making policies or legislation… that there could be input from someone who has knowledge and that would be a vocal person on behalf of the NGO committee.”

“We are the ones on the ground doing the work; we are in the communities every day and we are the ones seeing and hearing the cries of Barbados more so than a lot of people. We are the ones also with the statistics that Government needs to help drive policies. We believe that if we can bring the NGOs under an umbrella organisation, we would be definitely able to really fulfil that overall goal.”

The network will also seek to pool members’ resources and technical support to allow them to be less dependent on government assistance.