In September 2017, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved a grant to the HCC to strengthen the capacity of five civil society organisations (CSOs) in four CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) to undertake interventions for childhood obesity prevention (COP). Childhood obesity is increasingly recognised at national, regional, and global levels as a significant threat to health and a major contributor to the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).
The HCC-CDB project activities include in-country CSO capacity building workshops and the development of CSO-led Action Plans that address COP. Barbados is one of the four BMCs included in the project; the Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Foundation of Barbados (BCNF) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) are the two CSOs participating from that country.
The objectives of the in-country workshops are to
- Build CSOs’ capacity in ten areas: plan formulation, plan implementation, impact, engagement, advocacy, accountability, partnerships, resource mobilisation, management, and governance; and
- Draft CSO Action Plans for advocacy in COP.
The latter objective makes use of the built capacity of the CSOs and also seeks to take advantage of, and build on, the CSOs’ participation in a Regional Advocacy Campaign Workshop held in November 2017 in Barbados. At the November workshop, which was sponsored by the HCC, Pan American Health Organization, Vital Strategies, and Global Health Advocacy Incubator, it was agreed that the BCNF’s and HSFB’s Action Plans would address advocacy for national policy development and implementation associated, respectively, with promotion and facilitation of exclusive breastfeeding in workplace settings, and bans on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in and around schools.
The capacity-building workshop for BCNF and HSFB participants took place 11-13 December 2017 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Facilitated by an HCC consultant, the workshop included presentations by the consultant that included hyperlinks to key documents and interactive tools, which were used to demonstrate important concepts and frameworks; completion of worksheets by the participants; and participants’ presentation and discussion of the outputs of their work sessions. The workshop resulted not only in improvement of participants’ knowledge and skills related to the areas of focus, but also in the development of outlines of the narrative, objectives, key activities, indicative budget, analysis of risks, and monitoring and evaluation framework for the draft Action Plans, using the Logical Framework Approach and development of a Logical Framework Matrix.
The process to further develop and refine the CSOs’ draft Action Plans will continue, in preparation for a one-day regional consultation scheduled for the first quarter of 2018, where the draft Plans will be finalised. The implementation of the Plans over a five- to six-month period, and evaluation of the actions taken, are integral aspects of the HCC-CDB project, and will set the stage for further activities by the HCC secretariat, CSOs, and key partners, including government and private sector entities as appropriate, in the prevention of childhood obesity in the Caribbean.