South-South Cooperation for a Prepared Caribbean

December 24, 2019

Participants and instructors of the South-South Cooperation Training Event.


UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean  Multi-Country Office in collaboration with UNDP Cuba and UNDP Regional Hub lead a delegation from the Cuban Environment Agency to Antigua and Barbuda for a South-South Cooperation (SSC) event during the period of November 26 – 29 2019.

The SSC training was delivered to participants at Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), sharing on Cuba’s methodology in early warning and hazard vulnerability risk management.  The aim is to build Antigua and Barbuda’s national capacity as well as its early warning systems, through training and knowledge exchange of the Cuban model in early warning systems and disaster risk management and learned experiences in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) cycle of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.  Much emphasis was placed on  highlighting awareness to reduce hazard vulnerabilities, and to increase the use of climate change adaptation strategies.

UNDP has been a key contributor to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Caribbean for the last half century, dedicated to mainstreaming DRR in development, strengthening pre-disaster capacities, supporting post-disaster recovery processes and South-South Cooperation.  In the project “Strengthen Integrated and Cohesive Preparedness Capacity at a Regional, National and Community Level in the Caribbean”, UNDP is leading the project management role, by ensuring partnership, coordination and knowledge management, as reflected under its Result 4 - Leverage existing best practices, and support for sustainable actions.  In addition, a minimum of one island-to-island exchange in the Eastern Caribbean islands is anticipated.


Why South-South Cooperation?

South-South Cooperation (SSC) is the process of enabling a change of knowledge, experience, technology, information and capacity development, based on context and demand. It focuses on the development of capacities in one country based on the successes and solutions and experiences provided by another. This process may include “exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how and through regional and inter-regional collective actions”. To be effective, SSC should respond to clearly documented needs identified by the country seeking to benefit from the experience of another. The 2017 DIPECHO project Strengthen Integrated Early Warning Systems for more Effective Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean Through Knowledge and Tool Transfer implemented by UNDP, CDEMA and IFRC used SSC as a development tool to strengthen integrated Early Warning Systems (EWS), based on the Cuban experience in the region, sharing their best practices and tools in EWS.

UNDP expressly thanked the Cuban training delegation of Jorge Olivera Acosta - Specialist of the National Risk Assessment Group, Cuban Environment Agency; Claudia Cruz Lorenzo - National Coordinator of Coastal Flood Studies, National Risk Assessment Group, Cuban Environment Agency; and Don Eximides Barreiro Manes, Civil Defense Officer, for their insightful presentations.  

The “Strengthen Integrated and Cohesive Preparedness Capacity at a Regional, National and Community Level in the Caribbean” project supports concrete actions for an effective early warning system, as well as aims to improve information management and operational capacity for an improved preparedness mechanism for the Caribbean Regional Response. Working with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba at a national and community level, and with regional early warning and response actors at the Caribbean level, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) are partnering with the General Directorate of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid of the European Union (ECHO) to reduce the risk of disasters in the region.