CARICOM agencies energised to use C@ribNET for collaboration

CAVE HILL, Barbados — Representatives from over 20 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) agencies generated 17 communities of practice when they met at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados on October 10-11, 2013, for a workshop hosted by the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN).

Security, disaster risk management, education and health are some of the communities of practice that were created by the CARICOM agencies.

The workshop focused on the agencies’ use of the major regional ICT infrastructure, C@ribNET, in support of functional cooperation and collaboration. A community of practice is defined as “a network of individuals with common problems or interests who get together to explore ways of working, identify common solutions and share good practices and ideas.”

At the workshop, the CARICOM agency participants were sensitised to the benefits of establishing a Community of Practice as the operating principle for functional cooperation and collaboration amongst the regional agencies using C@ribNET. Participants also reviewed the functionalities and tools available on the C@ribNET Portal, discussed and learned how to use them to enable and facilitate functional cooperation among agencies. Also participating was a representative from the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) who joined via videoconference over C@ribNET for the duration of the 2-day workshop.

Responses to the workshop have been extremely satisfying, said Ken Sylvester, CKLN chief executive officer. Participants predominantly remarked that they now saw how C@ribNET can be a gateway for collaboration and communication between the CARICOM Agencies as well with other global agencies, and they saw the importance of building and developing a Caribbean knowledge and collaboration community. Others were happy to learn how to utilise the C@ribNET portal for internal and external collaboration.

Sylvester, called the workshop a “watershed moment” by bringing the CARICOM agency communities of practice into being.

He said that the “CARICOM agencies are charged by regional heads to bring our capacities, our collective energies and intelligence to transform the Caribbean, for the prosperity of Caribbean people.”

The 17 communities developed on the C@ribNET Portal will enable the agencies to begin the process of bringing the CARICOM agency community of practice into being. Demonstrating the cooperation between the agencies, other strategic actions were agreed upon which will address further information sharing and sensitisation activities.

The C@ribNET infrastructure connects all CARICOM countries and is connected to the world’s research and education community. As such, it will enable not only the CARICOM agencies themselves, but their respective stakeholders throughout the region, to collaborate, share information, move large or confidential data and also enable teaching and learning across borders.

The fifth meeting of the Secretary General of CARICOM and Heads of Community Institutions held in Guyana in July 2013 had agreed that CKLN would host this workshop to better acquaint the agencies with C@ribNET and its potential.

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