The Big Reveal – Grantee Projects of HIT RESET Caribbean

Nestled along the bank of the Suriname Rivier is the trio of Torarica Hotels in Paramaribo, Suriname. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, representatives of the nine grantee projects of Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Support Resilient Settlements on the Coastal Zones of the Caribbean (HIT RESET Caribbean) sleepily arrived for the Third-Party Projects Kick Off Meeting scheduled for Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th May 2023 at the Torarica Hotel. Implemented by The University of the West Indies (UWI), Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) and the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Programme, the overall programme is funded by the ACP Innovation Fund and the OACPS Research and Innovation Program and implemented by the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States, with the financial contribution of the European Union.

Although the grantees managed to engage in a little sightseeing in the culturally rich city, work earnestly began over the weekend with one on one session review sessions of logical framework with grantees, Gerard den Ouden (Technical Assistance Unit), Lennise Baptise (M&E consultant), and other UWI staff: Cheryle Dubay Tewarie (Manager Research Funding and Business Development), Mary Balbirsingh (Financial Manager, Bursary), Dr. Graham King (Director, STACIE) and Dr. Perry Polar (Programme Manager). 

   

Logical Framework Review Sessions

The formal workshop began with a welcome address from Johan “Hans” Martinus from Anton de Kom University of Suriname and Mary Balbirsingh of the University of the West Indies. It was followed remarks by Dr. Graham King (Director, STACIE), Victor Wilfredo Bohorquez López of Pontifica Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (grantee), Dr. Asad Mohammed (Technical Advisor) and Gerard den Ouden. It was brought to a close by L LtCol. Kester Craig, Deputy Executive Director CDEMA. This session was covered by the local Apintie TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLY_GI7bhRM

From Left: Dr. Graham King (UWI), Mary Balbirsingh (UWI), Johan “Hans” Martinus (AdeKUS)

Workshop Attendees

The Opening also saw the presentation of the nine grantee projects – this was the first time the grantees would have met each other and learnt about each other’s projects. The big reveal included the following presentations:

  1. University of Technology – Jamaica (UTECH): Use of Data and Tools to Map and Monitor Coastal Informal Settlements (MINDSET) – Dr. Carol Archer, Mr. Michel Frojmovic
  1. Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI): Integrating digital technologies and participatory tools to support coastal community resilience in Trinidad and Tobago (Tech4CoastalResilience) – Ms. Ainka Granderson
  1. The University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT): Advancing Safety and Sustainable Transportation (ASSET) – Dr. Samantha Chadee
  1. Smith Warner International: Comprehensive Coastal Hazard Vulnerability Web Data Platform for Dominica (CHVP – Dominica) – Ms. Gabrielle Abraham
  1. Spatial Innovision: Bluefields Climate Smart and Resilient Settlement (BSCRS) – Mr. Hopeton Ferguson
  1. Atom Solutions Inc.: The development of a Sargassum biomass prediction app (SBPA), and resulting pilot production of biogas (SarGASsum) – Dr. Legena Henry and Dr. Erwin Edwards 
  1. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI): Innovative Early Detection Pest and Disease Management System using IoTree® sensor in the Real-Time Digital Monitoring of South American Palm weevil for Conserving Coastal Coconut Palms in Select CARIFORUM Countries (Conserving Coastal Coconut Palms) – Dr. Annika Minott
  1. Habitat for Humanity (HFH): Building Resilient Communities (BRC) – Ms. Jennifer Massiah
  1. Pontificia Unidersidad Catolica Madrey Maestra (PUCMM): Use of digital information technologies for adaptation of the effects of climate change and increase resilience in urban and coastal zones of the Dominican Republic (AdaptCC) – Dr. Orisell Medina Lagrange

Project Presenters From Left: Michel Frojmovic (UTECH), Ainka Granderson (CANARI), Annika Minott (CARDI)

Project posters

Dr. Polar began the Sessions with a demo of the Platform for Interactive Management (PIM) which allows for the monitoring of multiple grantee projects and a discussion on the project management tools which were required for project management. These included the Implementation plan, communication plan, and the S curve. Gerard den Ouden then provided an introduction to the Risk management and procurement matrix. The Bursary team then presented on their procedures and facilitated a highly active Q&A.

From left: Gerard den Ouden (Technical Assistance Unit, OACPS ), Dr. Perry Polar (UWI)

The following day continued the re-examination of the logical frameworks and several one-on-one sessions continued post the workshop throughout the Caribbean Urban Forum. Reflecting on the logical framework session, Jennifer Massiah from Habitat for Humanity stated “Habitat’s take away is that the usefulness of the logical framework is a key strategy to commence with in order to develop proper proposals. ‘

Logical Framework Review Sessions

Project Management Team Meeting

A dynamic project management team (PMT) meeting was held whereby decision-making and conclusions were made about the projects.

The meeting also examined the synergies between the project. The information was tabulated and represented by the connection circle. An exercise in Impact management demonstrated the steps from moving from achieving the specific objectives to achieving the goal.

Networking Sessions

Connection Circle diagram and Key based on Synergy sessions

Third Party Project Kick off Meeting Attendees

The Kick off meeting ended with a tired but happy bunch of attendees. Those with the energy continued to participate in the activities of the Caribbean Urban Forum. All left Suriname with a deeper understanding of their projects from when they came.

 

This project aims to provide support for projects which develop innovations to increase resilience in coastal communities of the Caribbean, as well as strengthen institutions, national and local governments’ ability to leverage information and knowledge for policy amendments.