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In 2005, Sir K. Dwight Venner, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) outlined the need to enhance leadership skills of the region’s Public service. At that time, due to budget constraints, CIDA was unable to respond favourably. However, in early 2007, after a review of thematic and geographic funding priorities, CIDA announced $600M over 10 years in new funding to the Region. 

On July 19, 2007, in his address to CARICOM leaders in Barbados, Prime Minister Harper announced the doubling of Canadian development assistance to the Region as well as three new initiatives aimed at strengthening democratic governance, economic renewal, and education and leadership programmes in the Caribbean, including this Project: the Canada – Caribbean Institutional Leadership Development Programme (the title has since been shortened to Caribbean Leadership Project). The Prime Minister stated that “the Leadership Development Programme will help the Region develop a new generation of leaders…providing them with skills to resolve complex governance, economic and social issues, and advance the values of gender equality, human rights, equity and democracy. The programme will also support more transparent, accountable and effective public sector management.”


The Caribbean Leadership Project is a dynamic, integrated renewable community of adaptive leaders transforming the regional public sector into one that instils trust and confidence.


Given the essential role of the public service in achieving national and regional growth and development objectives, the Caribbean Leadership Project will support Heads of Government and key regional institutions to develop a network of leaders equipped to navigate the globally imposed and regionally inspired transformations.


As approved by the Minister Responsible for CIDA, the goal of the CLP is to strengthen strategically the next generation of Caribbean men and women leaders to contribute more effectively to regional integration and economic growth. This will be accomplished by establishing a project specific to the needs and culture of the Caribbean Region and by fostering regional approaches for the sustainability of leadership development.


The purpose of the seven-year CLP is to strengthen the capacity of future leaders in the Caribbean to support gender-sensitive public sector reform and work collaboratively towards regional integration.