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Barbados is among four countries which have reached the finals of the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Inaugural Superheroes of Development Award.

The IDB-funded Skills for the Future Programme (SFTF), which is executed under the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, has been selected along with entries from Peru, Honduras and Bolivia. Peru has two projects in the finals, bringing the total number of finalists to five.

The award recognizes the innovative solutions devised and valuable lessons learned by executing agencies, while implementing projects. The Skills for the Future Program was implemented in Barbados in 2012 through a US $20 million loan from the IDB.

The overall objective of the SFTF is to improve the quality and relevance of secondary education in Barbados and the effectiveness of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This is achieved through four components – Support for an employer-driven training system; improving the quality and relevance of secondary and post-secondary education; institutional strengthening; and financing for a communications strategy to effectively implement the objectives of the programme.

The Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF) represents Component One of the Skills for the Future Program. The Fund promotes partnerships or alliances between the corporate sector and training institutions in Barbados.

It has awarded grants of up to BDS $500,000 per proposal to partnerships between employers and training providers to implement two-year competency-based training programmes leading to certification by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council. Some 3,600 persons have been trained through the CBTF while 2,300 individuals have received certification.

The Superheroes of Development Award is part of an effort to improve the performance of IDB-financed projects through systematic learning and knowledge sharing. The Bank received 86 submissions for the contest from projects in its 26 borrowing member countries and in all areas of development.

The finalists were selected by a panel of internal and external development experts who followed four criteria: pertinence of the execution challenge described; innovation; impact of the solution, and relevance of the knowledge that can be shared with other projects.

The winning team will be announced in Washington D.C., United States, in October, during IDB Knowledge Week. The IDB will share the innovations of the finalists throughout Latin America and the Caribbean during the week, so they may contribute to ongoing projects, as well as to the preparation of new operations.


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