In an effort to boost community development nationwide, the Government of Jamaica, through the Social Development Commission, has announced the second grant call for proposals for the financial year 2023-2024 which will close on February 2, 2024. This initiative focuses on two key programs: the Community Development Committee Administrative Grants and the Parish Development Committee Administrative Grants. These dedicated funding sources aim to provide vital financial support to enhance the administrative capabilities of Community Development Committees (CDCs) and Parish Development Committees (PDCs).
Deputy Executive Director Omar Frith emphasizes the significance of these grants, stating, “These grants are about empowering communities to take charge of their development. We want to support their administrative needs so they can continue making a positive impact.”
The primary goals of both Administrative Grants are to strengthen the administrative systems of these committees. The initiatives seek to reinforce participatory governance frameworks, boost the committees’ capacity to execute impactful projects, and foster stronger relationships with both central and local government entities.
Understanding the financial challenges faced by CDCs and PDCs in carrying out administrative duties, such as maintaining secretariats and covering utilities, the government is responding with these grants. Access to funding for broader projects is often tied to the organizational and administrative competencies of these committees.
To qualify for the grants, CDCs and PDCs must meet specific criteria, including being listed on the Social Development Commission’s Verified Community Listings Database, having a constitution, existing for more than a year, actively functioning, owning a bank account, and presenting the minutes of the last three meetings.
Frith adds, “We want to ensure that the grants go to organizations that are committed and have a track record of community service.”
Each eligible CDC is set to receive $60,000 annually, while each PDC will receive $1,000,000 annually. This financial support aims to address their administrative needs and further community development initiatives.
The application process for both grants is simplified through the Social Development Commission (SDC). Interested committees can obtain standard forms during the call for applications from the SDC’s official website (www.sdc.gov.jm) or respective Parish Offices. CDCs and PDCs are also required to submit grant reports with supporting documents for previous funding.
A rigorous screening process is in place for all applications, ensuring adherence to established eligibility criteria and promoting fair and transparent allocation of funds.
Successful CDCs and PDCs will be officially notified in writing, and upon approval, cheques will be prepared for the grants. This comprehensive initiative aims to empower grassroots organizations, facilitate effective governance, and catalyze transformative social and economic projects within Jamaican communities. It underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to holistic local development and community well-being.