United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

CARICOM Girls in ICT Partnership

    Description
    Intro

    The Region’s policy framework, including CARICOM Single ICT Space Roadmap helps to address issues related to girls. In order to respond to the need for raising awareness about the ICT/STEM/STEAM opportunities & challenges & noting the global developments related to focused programmes targeting girls & young women & the fact that several CARICOM Member States are actively involved in promoting STEM/STEAM activities - the CARICOM Girls in ICT partnership was formed to co-ordinate & support the ongoing & planned efforts, and was determined as one of the key activities. Students, teachers, parents, employers, academia, and policy makers in all CARICOM countries will benefit from this initiative

    Description

    The objective of the Girls in ICT partnership is to empower girls and young women to choose careers in ICT and STEM fields. The Partnership will support new challenges faced by CARICOM Governments of the 21st century, with an extremely dynamic environment, a rapidly changing labour market, and increasingly diverse societies – in essence, helping to “future proof” CARICOM development. The partnership will be based on the following: • Belief - in the importance of digital skills for every one of every age • Commitment - to take action to raise digital skills for CARICOM young people • Passion - to sustain this action, passing on the learning and experiences to others and to inspire further/future activity. At the global level, the partnership will provide practical and policy input towards achieving the SDG 4, 5, 9 and 17.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    To support the SDGs, the Partnership will:  Form part of a regional ECOSYSTEM to create sustainable enabling environments for STEM/ICT development  Provide avenues for empowerment & mentorship for girls in the areas of STEM/STEAM/TVET  Support Governments to build an enabling environment for innovation & entrepreneurship  Help to bridge the gender digital divide & support the digital skills initiative in CARICOM  Provide a platform to share information on women & girls in STEM fields  Deliver Career expositions  Provide visibility of ICT/STEM products & services designed/created by women;

    Implementation methodologies

    The CARICOM Girls in ICT Partnership has agreed to the following policy/focus areas: 1. Raise awareness about the issues related to bringing the young people into ICT careers and supporting them as digital citizens. 2. Integrating ICT and STEM into a broader Curriculum. 3. Supporting more linking of ICT, STEM, and the ARTS; and 4. Fostering the partnership as a leading platform for a single point of contact in CARICOM. The project will be guided by an Action plan which should be approved in the second quarter of 2021. Given the COVID-19 pandemic measures, a series of online activities were conducted which included Digital Dialogues. These were held via Zoom and Facebook Live on 23 April 2020 – under the theme “Regional resilience: ICT, STEM, and Youth”, and 27 May 2020 – under the theme “Jobs, work, and opportunities in the post COVID Caribbean”. Both dialogues featured regional facilitators. Awareness and promotion of these dialogues were done via social media and various websites of the partners. Promotion materials included press releases, flyers of the event and the speakers. Resources utilized: So far, the Girls in ICT Partnership does not have an allocated budget, however, because of the wide range of partners, the project taps into the human resources that exist within the region and among the steering committee and partners for the execution of its activities. Monitoring: an official monitoring and evaluation system is not yet in place. However, this would be developed in 2021.

    Results

    The goal of the Digital Dialogues was to bring awareness of ICT and STEM related careers to girls and young women. Most participants in the dialogues were female (82% and 85% respectively), with a range of 10 to 60 years old. The participants were able to interact with the speakers by asking questions. Given the dialogues were also Live on Facebook, several persons in and out of the CARICOM region were able to participate in the program. The partnership will provide opportunity to identify gaps in relation to ICT and STEM. Issues such as changing the curricula to better prepare graduates to be more equipped and skilled to work in the digital world, encouraging girls to develop ICT apps, and mentoring programmes are areas that will be addressed. In order not to leave anyone behind, partners are encouraged to work with national stakeholders, including civil society, to extend the reach of the girls in ICT initiative and to encourage more stakeholders to be a part of the programme.

    Factors and Constraints

    The Steering Committee of the Girls in ICT Partnership meets regularly online to plan and discuss activities for the girls in ICT partnership initiative. To date, the partnership relies on its human resources to advance the implementation of its activities. Partners will use, where necessary, funds allocated in their national budgets to conduct activities nationally.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The CARICOM Girls in ICT partnership can be replicated in CARICOM member states as well as other regions. The partners are encouraged to partner with local and national stakeholders to expand the reach of the initiative, and to have more stakeholders involved in spreading awareness of how girls and young women can be empowered to choose careers in ICT and STEM.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Due to COVID-19, one regional event (the 1st regional digital dialogue on Girls in ICT Day 2020 – 23 April) was held instead of individual partner activities. All activities so far have been conducted virtually. This has limited the number of face-to-face interactions and activities. As a result of COVID19 it is evident that there is a gap that exist in the teaching profession regarding the use of ICT tools, and a lack of digitally skilled students. This initiative will engage in digital transformation activities that encourage girls and young women to be more creative and innovative. Partners will use international observances to bring more awareness to girls on how to overcome issues in ICT and contribute to a broader regional initiative- the development of the CARICOM Single ICT space.

    Contact Name
    Jennifer
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    Organization/entity
    Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage

    This is a regional initiative approved by the ICT Ministers of the CARICOM countries, and will be implemented in all 15 member states & 5 associate members. Activities are conducted on a regional as well as a national level.

    Timeline
    08 November 2019 (start date)
    31 December 2025 (date of completion)
    Countries
    Guyana
    Guyana
    Partnership
    N/A
    Contact Information