Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Right Honorable Keith Mitchell has identified transformational leadership and human capital development as critical factors in achieving improved project implementation rates in Grenada and other Caribbean countries.
Speaking at the start of the Caribbean Development Bank’s regional conference on Project Cycle Management, Dr. Mitchell cited a need to amplify efforts to build institutional capacity and bridge competency gaps in the public service.
He said, “We must therefore focus on improving human and institutional capacity, efficiency and service delivery to revolutionise the way we work and conduct our business. It follows therefore, that there must be a radical shift in the culture of the public service across the region, to better support delivery of results and to drive performance.”
The Prime Minister appealed for an urgent move away from working in silos to a whole of Government approach. He said, “With many projects having cross-cutting functions, it is imperative that departments communicate with each other and avoid duplicating efforts. Development resources are scarce and we must streamline project implementation activities to create greater efficiency and to better-position ourselves to benefit from available funding and use it appropriately.”
Grenada has partnered with the CDB to host the conference and the Prime Minister underscored the significance of the event saying the rate of project implementation and delivery continues to be a fundamental problem facing Caribbean governments.
He also called on public sector leaders and managers to take ownership in the process of change as countries prepare for further growth and development. “There is no disputing the fact that improved public sector implementation performance plays a vital role in transforming the economic growth and development of Grenada and other Caribbean countries,” he told participants attending the two-day conference.
In her remarks at Tuesday’s opening ceremony, CDB’s Vice President of Operations, Ms. Monica La Bennett, said project cycle management training has been an area of focus for the bank over the last two years, with the intention being to improve management, monitoring and implementation of policies, programmes and projects across the region.
She disclosed that more than 2,000 civil servants in the CDB’s19 Borrowing Member Countries have benefitted from the training.
According to Ms. La Bennett, “CDB acknowledges that implementation of development projects is a major challenge across our region. Slow implementation hinders the delivery of tangible development results to our populations. Through this training programme, the bank has been promoting the use of new frameworks and tools to facilitate innovative approaches to speedier project implementation.”
It is the bank’s hope that its efforts will help to accelerate progress towards the attainment of development goals in all Caribbean countries.
The two-day conference ends Wednesday and will be followed by a meeting of technical officers on Thursday and Friday.