Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures

Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy


The current global development agenda is anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); 17 ambitious and inter-connected goals that seek to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Universities play a critical role in the advancement of the SDGs through research that stimulates new knowledge, innovation and development solutions; teaching and student engagement; as well as advocacy, public outreach and leadership.

The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures has been committed to bolstering The UWI’s contribution to advancing the implementation of the 2030 development agenda in the Caribbean. This is to be done by strengthening linkages between The UWI and multilateral development partners as well as deepening its engagement with regional and national developmental processes. The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures, by facilitating innovative collaborations which connect the work of the University with the work of multilateral development partners, contributes to realising the strategic goal of increased alignment outlined as a pillar of The UWI’s Triple A Strategy 2017-2022. The Office also supports The UWI’s bid to become more accessible and agile by 2022.

During the period 2018/2019, the Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures pursued initiatives which both advanced strategic goals – Access, Alignment and Agility and were in keeping with the Office’s mandate.


The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures contributed significantly to deepening The UWI’s engagement in the global 2030 development agenda. This was achieved through multiple initiatives.

Leadership of SDG 13 (Climate Action) within the International Association of Universities’ (IAU) Global Cluster on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) Launched in November 2018, the IAU’s Global Cluster on HESD promotes the role of higher education institutions in building more sustainable societies. Within this cluster, the IAU leads efforts on SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Global Goals) while universities lead each of the other 16 SDGs.

The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures coordinates The UWI’s leadership on SDG 13 (Climate Action) and facilitates participation in the Cluster by working on multiple levels:

  • Institutional interface with IAU HESD Global Cluster: In January 2019, the IAU held the first workshop of the Global Cluster at UNESCO in Paris. The UWI was represented by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; Professor John Agard, Director, St. Augustine Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Director, Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures. Dr. Richards-Kennedy delivered a presentation on The UWI’s teaching, research and advocacy linked to SDG 13.
    In April 2019, Dr. Richards-Kennedy contributed the article ‘Charting new development pathways to address climate change’ to IAU Horizons (Vol. 24, No. 1).
  • Activation and Coordination of the work of the Global University Consortium (GUC) on SDG 13: The Global University Consortium (GUC) on SDG 13 led by The UWI, was established in 2018 and includes ten satellite universities across five continents:
    • University of Witwatersrand
    • University of Ghana
    • University of Waterloo
    • State University of New York
    • University of Bergen
    • University of Bristol
    • TERI School of Advanced Studies
    • University of the South Pacific
    • University of Aruba
    • Universidad de Los Andes

    Members of the GUC, meet monthly to share information, coordinate work programmes, identify opportunities for collaboration and better understand institutional approaches to sustainability.
    A knowledge management platform to strengthen the work of the GUC on SDG 13 has been developed in collaboration with The UWI Open Campus. This platform is accessible at:
  • Strengthening internal UWI coordination on climate change through internal meetings and discussions.

Symposium on Research & Innovation 4 Climate Action (July 12, 2019)

The GUC on SDG 13 in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, hosted a symposium entitled Research & Innovation 4 Climate Action at the UN Secretariat, New York. This symposium was convened as one of the side events associated with the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF). In keeping with the HLPF’s 2019 focus on reviewing SDGs including Quality Education (SDG 4), Climate Action (SDG 13) and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17), The UWI organised the participation of Consortium members to feature the cutting-edge research being undertaken by universities in different regions to combat climate change.

Participation in the 2019 HLPF SIDS Panel (July 10, 2019)

Dr. Richards-Kennedy served as a lead discussant on a panel entitled Perspectives of Small Island Developing States during the HLPF. The forum was used to highlight the work of the regional university in contributing to advancing Quality Education (SDG 4) in the Caribbean.

Building New Partnerships and Advancing Joint-Work

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): In keeping with the joint UWI-IDB workplan for 2018/2019, The UWI partnered with the IDB to organise the following:

  • Policy Dialogue on Masculinity and Gender Relations in the Caribbean (April 11-12, 2019): The UWI Institute of Gender and Development Studies, in collaboration with the IDB, hosted this policy dialogue at The UWI Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures facilitated the IDB’s commissioning of a series of UWI research studies, which underpinned the Policy Dialogue. The resulting knowledge products included:
    • Engaging Men to end Violence against Women and Girls – IGDS, UWI St. Augustine Campus
    • Living Young and NEET in the Caribbean – SALISES and IGDS, UWI Cave Hill
    • Educational Outcomes in the Caribbean: Does Gender Matter? – School of Education, UWI St. Augustine
  • Policy Dialogue on Promoting Dynamic Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean Region (June 12-14, 2019): This conference organised by the IDB, Development Bank of Jamaica and The UWI, focused on strengthening eco-systems which support dynamic entrepreneurship and innovation in the Caribbean region; advancing the Blue Economy; the role of higher education in entrepreneurship development and issues critical to fostering One Caribbean development solutions.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Blue Talk (May 27, 2019): The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures partnered with UNDP to host the Blue Talk at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus. The event brought together leading innovators in the field to engage with the public on the unique opportunities presented by the blue economy.

    Caribbean Development Bank (CDB): The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures provided project management oversight and strategic donor relations management support for CDB-funded projects including:

    • The preparation of a Comprehensive Sport for Development Initiative for the new Faculty of Sport (US$210,000)
    • Enhancement of UWItv Regional Project (US$130,000)

    The Project Steering Committees for both projects are chaired by the Director, Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures.

    Association of Caribbean States (ACS): On April 30, 2019, Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, UWI

    Director of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures and Professor Stephan Gift, UWI Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research paid a courtesy call to Dr. June Soomer, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Discussions focused on strengthening the collaboration between The UWI and the ACS as it relates to education, training, and youth participation linked to the 2030 development agenda in the Caribbean.


    The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures facilitated access to a CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) grant to support the preparation of the study ‘Strategy to Strengthen the Higher Education Ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean’. It articulates a pathway to increase access to tertiary education for persons living in the Eastern Caribbean.


    The Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures mobilised resources for key strategic initiatives including:

    • CDB’s approval for US$500,000 dedicated to equipping of The UWI China Institute of Information Technology under The UWI Open Campus Development Project.
    • Additional funding dedicated by CDB to the One UWI Digital Transformation Project. Over US$100,000 has been approved to date.
    • Grant funding of US$50,000 from CDF for a ‘Strategy to Strengthen the Higher Education Ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean’.
    • Customised training in Procurement Management for the Office of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago valued at US$35,000 which was commissioned and delivered by The UWI Open Campus.