NGOs in Trinidad and Tobago have come together to form the following collaborative groups and initiatives to help organisations network with each other, advocate and lobby for needed government change and explore joint funding opportunities:
VENI PARLE was started in 2013 by Veni Apwann as an action learning and support group for leaders and founders of NGOs. Veni Parle meetings are held quarterly. Past meeting discussions have focused on succession planning, NGO capacity building, the legal and fiscal framework within which NGOs operate, Corporate Social Responsibility and measuring the intangible value each NGO brings to the table. Contact Veni Apwann at (868) 626-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the Veni Parle schedule and to be added to the invitation email alerts.
CIVIL SOCIETY WORKING GROUP (CSWG) is a group of NGOs that are pre-qualified as partners for the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Programme (CSP), which works in twenty-two high risk communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago. CWSG provides a forum and structure for the representation of matters of common interest between CSP and NGOs and promotes a coherent, comprehensive, coordinated approach to violence prevention within CSP’s partner communities. Contact CSP at (868) 623-4277/622-6707/622-7560.
ASSOCIATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ASCOTT) was established to make Governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. Its aim is to influence policy and governance for the equitable development of society, strengthen the capacity of civil society organisation (CSO) members to manage their affairs to better serve society, partner with government, private sector, regional and international organisations, and encourage additional CSOs to join ASCOTT. Email email@example.com for more information.
CSO ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN was established to “change the legal, fiscal & funding framework for CSOs in Trinidad and Tobago. This collaboration has resulted in a series of ongoing meetings held by NGOs to deliberate a draft legal and fiscal brief and discuss how best to advocate for legislative changes that would create an enabling environment for NGOs. Contact the following participating groups for more details CANARI (868) 626-6062/626-1558, Nature Seekers 668-7337, Veni Apwann 626-5448, Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA) 624-2582/653-4655/6642582; SHIFT! Caribbean 688-8828; and United Way Trinidad and Tobago 625-8286/625-9054.
NGO PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING PROCESS – this joint effort was started by NGOs in Trinidad and Tobago after the presentation of the 2015-2016 T&T Budget Statement. Subsequently, a position statement was submitted to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago articulating the need for a more inclusive approach to developing the national budget supported by a set of recommendations. The ultimate goal is to develop a working participatory model of citizen engagement in the national budgetary process, which could subsequently be replicated and/or ramped up by August 2017. Contact Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) at (868) 621-2495.