Bridgetown, Barbados, March 20, 2023 – The Regional Training Centre (RTC) of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is currently facilitating its Strategic Leadership Programme for Senior Officers of National Disaster Organizations (NDO). First offered in 2021, the second cohort commenced training on February 3 and is set to finish on May 17, 2023.
The intense 15-week course targets senior officers of National Disaster Organizations (NDOs). This mainly includes National Disaster Coordinators and Directors of Emergency/Disaster Management, and their deputies, as well as persons with equivalent posts in agencies that make up the wider national emergency management system.
Officers on a leadership track, in managerial roles or with portfolios with significant responsibility, were also encouraged to take part. This year’s current student cohort includes fifteen (15) participants in total, from National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) across thirteen (13) CDEMA participating states.
The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, has pledged its support to the programme, generously agreeing to provide three years of funding valuing approximately US$50,000.00 annually. President of the Foundation and Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart says the pledge is reflective of its commitment to taking a structured approach to effecting positive, transformational change within the areas of education, community and environment.
“Building the Caribbean’s capacity to respond in times of emergency is a critical part of our region’s sustainable growth and disaster resilient plan. As an organisation that has been instrumental in providing relief and support in times of need, we have witnessed first-hand the life-changing difference that can be made when local organizations are equipped with the knowledge and resources to act in a timely manner.”
For the second consecutive year, training will be delivered by the UWI-Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. An internationally accredited business school, UWI-Arthur Lok Jack GSB has been a leading provider of business education, executive training, management consulting and research in the Caribbean.
The programme is designed to help participants understand themselves and their role as leaders by improving both their individual and organizational competence in disaster risk management (DRM). It hopes to enhance their relationship management capabilities and foster a mindset of constantly exploring ways to enhance their strategic management and leadership skills.
Specific course objectives include learning appropriate financial decision-making techniques, understanding the strategic and critical role of Project Cycle Management (PCM), Results Based Management (RBM) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), employing efficient planning and organization of proposals, and understanding the crisis management process.
Director of Executive Education, Ms. Jo-Anne Boodoosingh commended Sandals Foundation and CDEMA for their continued investment in the development of Senior Officers of National Disaster Organizations across the region. She notes the increasing number of disasters, the devasting effects and our ability to prepare and respond, continues to be a challenge across the region. As such commitment to people through education and training is one way to sharpen the leadership skills of those charged with the responsibility of balancing prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response.
Support for the course’s development was spurred by the existence of a prominent training gap in the cultivation of “softer” skill sets needed to lead strategically and optimize organizational functioning. By equipping senior officers and future DRM leaders in CDEMA Participating States with these “soft” skills, the Strategic Leadership Programme is anticipated to build consensus and operational efficiency within NDOs, agencies and communities.
Such an approach is envisioned to best empower DRM actors to take the innovative and proactive measures needed to perform highly, and optimally manage the often-limited resources at their disposal in the face of rising disaster impacts.
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