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Democracy
Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Reports
Date:  6/21/2011 
The Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet

The Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet has been established to coordinate the work
of the social sector and fast track decision-maldng. It is therefore charged to consider
social policy issues within the purviews, inter alia, of health, education, housing,
employment and welfare. The membership of the Committee comprises the Ministers
under whose portfolios these issues fall. Policy Papers informing on growing trends in
the social sector, emerging challenges and new initiatives are submitted to this
Committee where they are discussed in detailed. Recommendations concerning the
formulation and implementation of policies and strategies to deal with these matters are
also examined and any adjustments made as necessary.

The Inter-Ministry Task Force to Monitor and Strengthen the Social Safety
Net

This Inter-Ministry Task Force provides a framework for the management of social risks.
It is seen as an integral part of social protection and allows for a fully coordinated
sectoral approach to the provision of social services. Its establishment is aimed at
strengthening the social protection network and minimising duplication and
fragmentation in the social service delivery system. Its specific task is to identify the ongoing
risks posed to the vulnerable so that strategies can be put in place to prevent or
minimize dislocation, displacement and exclusion and improve coping mechanisms.
Membership of the Inter-Ministry Task Force is drawn from among the technical staff of
the relevant Ministries and Departments and is chaired by the Minister of Social Care.
Members of the Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet are also in attendance as
necessary.

To date, members of the Inter-Ministry Task Force have been sharing information
concerning the roles and responsibilities of their agencies; assisting with the formulation
of policy and programmes to deal with issues identified; participating in various
activities etc. An important achievement has been the creation of a data base of the
services offered by agencies serving on the Task Force.

Mainstreaming Participatory Governance

Participatory governance is being pursued by government through what is being referred
as the Constituency Empowerment Programme. This Programme can be described as a
local governance system, bounded by the geography of the enumeration districts, which
strengthens the capacity of citizens to bring about positive change at the individual and
community levels, thus contributing to sustainable development at the national level. It
has three (3) dimensions. Politically it is seen as a platform for promoting development
and an avenue through which Barbadians can participate in the decision-maldng process
and hence contribute to national development. Socially, it is a strategy to increase the
effectiveness of development programmes, since the programmes are undertaken in
response to the needs of the constituency which have been identified and prioritised by
its residents. Economically, it allows for a more efficient delivery of services to the
residents and the constituency as the level of bureaucracy will decrease. It also permits
the creation of local livelihoods as residents with the required skills will be on the
frontline of employment opportunities within their respective constituencies.
Paragraphs: 2 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Mainstreaming Participatory Governance

Participatory governance is being pursued by government through what is being referred
as the Constituency Empowerment Programme. This Programme can be described as a
local governance system, bounded by the geography of the enumeration districts, which
strengthens the capacity of citizens to bring about positive change at the individual and
community levels, thus contributing to sustainable development at the national level. It
has three (3) dimensions. Politically it is seen as a platform for promoting development
and an avenue through which Barbadians can participate in the decision-maldng process
and hence contribute to national development. Socially, it is a strategy to increase the
effectiveness of development programmes, since the programmes are undertaken in
response to the needs of the constituency which have been identified and prioritised by
its residents. Economically, it allows for a more efficient delivery of services to the
residents and the constituency as the level of bureaucracy will decrease. It also permits
the creation of local livelihoods as residents with the required skills will be on the
frontline of employment opportunities within their respective constituencies.
Paragraphs: 2 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The objective of the Constituency Empowerment Programme is the broadening of the
participatory character of governance in Barbados with the view to ensuring the
equitable development of Barbadian society. It favours a ''bottom-up'' approach to
development and provides the platform on which the social upliftrnent and the
empowerment of all citizens will be pursued. AIl such it is seen as an important aspect of
the Government's overall poverty reduction strategy.

The Constituency Empowerment Programme has been operationalised by the
establishment of thirty (30) Constituency Councils, one in each Constituency. The
membership of each Constituency Council comprises fifteen (15) persons drawn from the
respective constituencies. They represent faith-based organisations and other civil
society organisations as well as individuals who have been nominated by their respective
constituencies. Major political parties are also represented on the Council. These
Councils are expected to partner with their constituents and together find solutions to
local problems. Each Council receives an allocation of $100,000 per annum to finance
their respective programmes.

The Councils are supported administratively by the Department of Constituency
Empowerment. The Officers of this Department are available to give guidance, conduct
training and give financial oversight. The Department also provides the link between the
Councils and the Ministry as well as other agencies with which the Councils need to
interact. The Department also monitors the functioning of the Protocols which have
been established with these Agencies and fast-tracks any referrals. A volunteer
programme is also being developed as part of the Programme to further extend the reach
of the Councils.

Programmes undertal,en by the Councils to date include the conducting of educational
programmes for children and young people; training in the area of entrepreneurial
development; clean-up and beautification campaigns; recreational activities; the clearing
of wells to mitigate flooding especially during the rainy season; and response to
emergency matters. Support to community-based organisations, including sporting
organisations has also been forthcoming.

Paragraphs: 5 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE
Electoral Processes and Procedures
Barbados remains committed to maintaining electoral processes of the highest integrity and transparency as guaranteed under Section 41 of the Constitution of Barbados. There is a continuous registration process and the Register of Electors is published on January 31 every year so that citizens can confirm that their names are on the Register. General Elections are constitutionally due every five years and are
held within the period due. The last such elections were held in 2008.
Elections in Barbados are managed by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission, established by an Act of Parliament and comprising a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and three other Commissioners. The Conduct of elections is governed by the Representation of the People Act Cap. 12 of the Laws of Barbados and the Representation of the People (Registration of Electors) Regulations, 1990, which
provide the election process from the issue to the return of the Writ.
Several of Barbados election officials have served in Election Observer Missions both regionally and internationally, however, as a result of Barbados's reputation for free, fair and transparent elections, to date, there has been no request from International Organizations for Election Observers to be present at Barbados elections.
Paragraphs: 78 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE
Electoral Processes and Procedures
Barbados remains committed to maintaining electoral processes of the highest integrity and transparency as guaranteed under Section 41 of the Constitution of Barbados. There is a continuous registration process and the Register of Electors is published on January 31 every year so that citizens can confirm that their names are on the Register. General Elections are constitutionally due every five years and are
held within the period due. The last such elections were held in 2008.
Elections in Barbados are managed by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission, established by an Act of Parliament and comprising a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and three other Commissioners. The Conduct of elections is governed by the Representation of the People Act Cap. 12 of the Laws of Barbados and the Representation of the People (Registration of Electors) Regulations, 1990, which
provide the election process from the issue to the return of the Writ.
Paragraphs: 1 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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