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:
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.
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.
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:
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 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: