1. Greetings from our Senior Technical Advisor
Hello from Pat Bidart in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia!
I am pleased and excited to have been hired as CICan’s Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for the Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) Program in the Caribbean region. I bring post-secondary education sector experience to the program having worked at Selkirk College (B.C.) Bow Valley College and Olds College (AB). I was previously one of the STA staff working on the C-EFE Program. I worked with Canadian and Caribbean partners in Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana and Belize. I feel blessed to be working with amazing Caribbean partners and Canadian institutions. Our journey is just beginning and I know that with the energy of the team in Ottawa and the partners we have in the Caribbean and Canada we will have a very successful program. The program’s field office is now open in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. If you are in the region on mission or official business, please drop by the office for a visit!
2. News and Events for the SAGE Program Countries of Focus
Partnership Selection Event - Winnipeg, November 18-21 2019
Between November 18-21 2019, the SAGE Program held an Institutional Partnership Selection Event in Winnipeg. The goal of the 4-day event was to facilitate the establishment of institutional partnerships between Caribbean and Canadian training institutions. In attendance were eleven participants from the six Caribbean partner countries, the twelfth representative participated online. In addition, during the interviews on November 19th between Caribbean and Canadian Colleges/Institutes, 65 representatives from 24 Canadian colleges/institutes were in attendance. Other activities included workshops on gender equality, monitoring and evaluation and planning for the February 2020 SAGE Program kick off event in St. Lucia. The group also visited Red River College and toured the college’s Aboriginal Student Service and Mechanical Engineering centres.
SAGE Country Updates
In advance of the in-person interviews conducted in Winnipeg, the Caribbean training institutions reviewed their short listed proposals and prepared a set of questions for the Canadian colleges/institutes applying to work with them.
During the interviews, the Canadian colleges/institutes had 20 minutes to present themselves to the Caribbean partners and the Caribbean partners had one-hour to lead a Q&A session in order to clarify the submitted proposal. The Caribbean partners completed rating sheets and final scores for each interview and together, selected their winning partner. The results of the interviews and the newly developed institutional partnerships between Caribbean training institutions and Canadian colleges/institutes are as follows:
Belize (SAGE-01 Sustainable Agri-Forestry and Fisheries)
Dr. Clement Sankat from the University of Belize and Dr. Margarita Gomez (online participation) from the Ministry of Education conducted three interviews and chose Vancouver Island University, Parkland College and the Marine Institute, Memorial University as their institutional partners.
Dominica (SAGE-02 Sustainable Building Techniques)
Mr. Rawle Leslie from Dominica State College and Mr. Merrill Mathew from the Center Where Adolescents Learn to Love and Serve (CALLS) conducted three interviews and selected Algonquin College and Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture as partners.
Grenada (SAGE-03 Coastal & Fisheries Management)
Mr. David Fleming from T.A. Marryshow Community College and Mr. John Telesford from T.A Marryshow Community Colleges – School of Continuing Education (Farm Campus) conducted two interviews and selected Marine Institute, Memorial University and Nova Scotia Community College as partners.
Guyana (SAGE-04 Renewable Energy)
Ms. Maxene Thompson from New Amsterdam Technical Institute and Dr. Laureen Pierre from the Bina Hill Institute/Youth Learning Centre conducted three interviews and selected College of the North Atlantic, Durham College and Mohawk College as partners.
Jamaica (SAGE-05 Climate Smart Agriculture)
Mr. Howard Isaacs from Moneague College and Mr. Collie Clarke from Ebony Park HEART Trust Academy conducted three interviews and chose Niagara College and College of the North Atlantic.
St. Lucia (SAGE-06 Climate Smart Agriculture)
Mr. Anthony Bonaparte from Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Mr. Barry Williams from the National Skills Development Center conducted three interviews and selected Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture and Algonquin College as partners.
3. Spotlight on Gender
The SAGE Program's Gender Strategy
Background: The SAGE Program will support the implementation of Global Affairs Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), particularly Action Area #2, Human Dignity, by working with adolescent girls and women. The program will support advocacy efforts that help adolescent girls and women access skills training; will ensure training institutions and places of employment are welcoming spaces for adolescent girls and women; and focus on working with those who have missed out on opportunities to complete a quality education.
The program’s Gender Strategy provides an overall approach for integrating gender equality across program components to achieve the outcomes set out in the Logic Model. The strategy also sets out specific interventions and activities to be incorporated into the Project Implementation Plan (PIP). As a living document, the Gender Strategy will both provide broad guidelines for integrating gender equality into the program and allow for specific actions to be responsive to current conditions. Informed by the baseline data and the subsequent GBA+, the Gender Strategy is flexible, responsive to the evolving environment and built to identify new challenges and emerging opportunities that could enhance the achievement of project outcomes.
Based on the planned activities in the Logic Model and the multi country gender-based analysis, the team will establish a Gender Activity Plan to ensure gender inclusion at every step of program implementation. The Gender Activity Plan is a strategic plan which covers existing activities in the Logic Model and activities which are further recommended to improve the gender integration in each section of program implementation.
Status: The Gender Strategy has been developed and presented to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for review and approval. The final version will be made available once it has received final approval.
4. SAGE Team Members in Focus
Presenting Sheri Allison - Our Monitoring and Evaluation Program Officer
The Caribbean region is recognized for its diverse mix of cultures and history. In many ways Sheri Allison’s own life journey reflects this regional complexity. Our Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Program Officer is Jamaican, but is very well-travelled and has lived across the Caribbean, having left her island home at a very young age to live in Guyana and later, Barbados and Belize. She pursued her BSc. Sociology with Minors in Statistics and Demography degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI), following her return to Jamaica. After gaining some experience in her chosen field, Sheri later went on to further her studies at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, where she completed her MSc. Social Statistics (Research Methods). Her work experience is also rich and diverse. Her past employment includes positions in a mix of private, government and non-government entities both locally and abroad.
While working on SAGE, I not only look forward to ensuring that the M&E requirements of the program are met, but importantly, to helping our partners appreciate the value of M&E and how it can be used to their benefit.
Sheri believes that at the end of the day, we should be able to benefit from lessons learned, report on success and tell a compelling results story!
The SAGE Team
Susan Sproule, Director
Pat Bidart, Senior Technical Advisor
Milica Njegovan, Senior Project Officer
Nathalie Garon, Senior Project Officer
Alina Scutaru, Project Officer
Martin Callsen, Project Officer (part-time)
Lynne Verdon, Administrative Coordinator (part-time)
Sonia Arias, Administrative Coordinator (part-time)
Sheri Allison, Monitoring and Evaluation Program Officer