Context:Resilience is defined by the ILO as “the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions through risk management.” (ILO Recommendation No. 205, 2017; also known as R205).
Comprised mainly of small islands developing states (SIDS) that are confronted regularly with natural disasters (such as hurricanes and flooding), Caribbean countries are vulnerable to external economic shocks and to environmental hazards and challenges related to the impact of climate change. This vulnerability has placed the pursuit of resilience at the forefront of the regional political agenda.
Regional resilience building efforts continue to grapple with two intertwined dimensions of vulnerability:
- anticipation and responses to regular and recurring natural disasters (hurricanes and floods); and
- the need to diversify national economies and transition to sustainable (green) economic production to sustain growth and cope with environmental changes.
- limited or no research and data collection;
- continued incongruence between skills and emerging or future labour market needs linked to economic transformation;
- fragmented social protection mechanisms penalizing (unskilled) workers in the process of transitioning to new industries; and
- productivity issues for micro and small enterprises (including cooperatives).
Additionally, the focus of attention in many of the existing response mechanisms to natural disasters is on life-saving matters, but the lack of contingency and continuity planning in livelihood and employment areas leaves important gaps in overall recovery endeavours.
Objectives:The ILO Caribbean Resilience Project aims to strengthen the capacity of three target countries - Guyana, Saint Lucia and Dominica - to become more resilient (in line with R205) by ensuring that the principles embedded in the ILO “Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all” are fully adopted and implemented at national level.
Under the coordination of the ILO Caribbean Office, the combination of measurable actions in each of the three countries and a sub-regional approach in recognition of the common priorities will contribute to:
- improved capacity of constituents and the establishment of practical tools (or, where appropriate, use and adaption of existing ones developed by ILO) to support resilience, adaptation to climate change, and greening of the economy; and
- more holistic, inclusive disaster preparedness and increased national awareness and capacities to mainstream Decent Work in early recovery stages.
- Expanded and accessible knowledge base on current employment, educational and labour market trends, and their future evolution.
- Improved national capacity to undertake skills projections for transition to green economy, climate change and technology.
- Enhanced TVET curricula and Caribbean vocational qualification standards, responsive to future green skills needs.
- New and strengthened employment service functions capable of dealing with counselling, employability enhancement, career guidance, analysis of labour market trends and emergency situations.
- National Employment and Social Sector Contingency Plans and recommendations for shock-responsive social protection systems that facilitate an employment and livelihood-centered recovery.
- Assessment and recommendations for potential reform of (un)employment protection mechanisms.
- Greater and more effective tripartite social dialogue on Just Transition Guidelines.
- Improved capacity of non-financial service providers (including employers’ organizations) to offer support to MSMEs and cooperatives in specific sectors identified as key for the economy or the environment.
- Better understanding throughout Caribbean societies of the added value of Decent Work as a key element of resilience, preparedness and recovery and a driver to achieve the SDGs.