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September 13, 2013

Workshop Communications/Public Education Dimensions of the Implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA

26-Oct-2011_lg

The EPA Implementation Unit of the CARIFORUM Directorate – CARICOM Secretariat hosted a two-day workshop the communications and public education needs related to the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA for officials on October 24th – 25th, 2011 at the Heritage Hotel in St John’s, Antigua. This Workshop was funded under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF), Caribbean Integration Support Programme (CISP), UKaid from the Department for International Department (DFID) through the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Trust Fund (CARTFund) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The major objective of the Workshop was to assist officials with the design and development of an effective Communication Strategy, taking into consideration their national EPA Implementation work plans and key messages to be convey to the different stakeholder groups. The workshop also introduced the draft regional Communication Strategy as well as provided insights on communication/public awareness plans from national business support organizations from different CARIFORUM countries, namely Barbados Private Sector Trade Team and newly established Dominica Coalition of Services and Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), a leading civil society organisation. It also provided the officials with information on the resources available to fund communications activities and initiatives.

The workshop highlighted that plans for public education and communication initiatives should be developed with performance targets and indicators to ensure effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation as well as utilize different avenues of media to reach different segments of the stakeholders. To this end, Mr. Nand Bardouille, emphasized the importance of making use of new media tools, such as social media in effectively diversifying the means of which information is disseminated to wide cross-section of stakeholders.

Opening Remarks were given by Ms. Barbara Williams, on behalf of Senator the Hon. Joanne Massiah, Minister of State with the Ministry of Legal Affairs of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, who emphasized that ‘synergies in the communication strategy must be identified and linked to the status of implementing the EPA at the national and regional levels and to be creative when focusing on the development of the communication strategy since the full understanding of the public and private sectors is vital in order for CARIFORUM to reap the benefits outlined in the accord.

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