Niagara College continues to lead in social responsibility by supporting inclusivity, increasing access to quality education and reducing barriers to employment around the world.
Over the next 10 months, NC will participate in a Caribbean Development Bank-funded project to enhance the Government of Saint Lucia’s gender equality priorities. The College was awarded a consultancy contract for Mainstreaming Gender Equality of Saint Lucia’s National Sustainable Development Plan. This project will take place in Saint Lucia where NC will assist in implementing the vision of their Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development.
“Teaching and learning are at the core of what Niagara College does; we work together to support partners in reaching their full potential by fostering equality and economic growth,” said NC’s global projects manager Kyla Pennie. “Gender equality intersects all that we do, whether our work is in education, government or community development. We support leaders and planners with knowledge and skills to practice gender planning aligned with national frameworks and data indicators for gender equality and sustainable development.”
The project aims to enhance the government’s planning and programming processes to systematically address gender equality priorities. The project will develop a new national gender policy and a gender focal point, and through gender-based analysis, will inform future policy development, planning and public expenditure. By training change agents in Saint Lucia, NC hopes to also develop a model outlining how the government can move forward in creating gender equality with purpose and intention. By the end of the project, NC will have supported the implementation of a Government Capacity Building Plan to integrate gender analysis in public sector planning and budgeting.
The project kicked off in May with NC’s inception mission to Saint Lucia. The project team of social inclusion specialists are working closely with Saint Lucian technical staff in government agencies, educational institutions and civil society organizations.
NC’s School of Business and Management professor Ana Androsik, who is executive director of Feminist Data & Research – FDR Inc., will be involved with the project, focusing on gender budgeting and planning, data management and project evaluation. She believes her engagement in the project will positively impact students at the College.
“I hope to transform students’ understanding of focusing on the needs of men and women, boys and girls, in planning and budgeting for both international development and at the federal, provincial and municipal levels in Canada,” said Androsik. “I believe that the Saint Lucia gender budgeting exercise will allow me to transfer ‘know how’ from the project to a relevant case study for practitioners and scholars at the international level. This will put our students ahead of the game with multiple governmental, non for profit, and private sector employers looking for this rare gender budgeting skill.”
NC participants will address common global development challenges as a response to the sustainability and development goals defined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN project contains 17 highly interconnected goals; Niagara College will focus the majority of its expertise on gender equity and decent work and economic growth. While governments are being asked to respond to sustainable development goals, NC is partnering with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure they are responding to the international standards for equality.
NC has been involved in global development projects for more than 25 years, and this project strengthens NC’s partnerships in the Caribbean and creates potential for future global opportunities. The College’s first project partnership with the Government of Saint Lucia joins a strong history of projects in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Grenada and the Pacific Alliance region.