Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technologies in the Americas (POETA) : Eastern Caribbean Initiative

The small island states of the Eastern Caribbean suffer from high youth unemployment. Indeed, the rate of youth unemployment in St Vincent and the Grenadines (36%) and St Lucia (44%) is significantly higher than that in the larger Caribbean states of Trinidad and Tobago (25%) and Jamaica (35%), where youth crime is considered to have reached crisis proportions. Partnership in Opportunities for Employment through Technologies in the Americas (POETA) is responding to this situation with an intensive training program in information and communication technology (ICT), to be carried out in six small island countries: Antigua and Barbuda; the Commonwealth of Dominica; Grenada; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; and St Vincent and the Grenadines. All have cited growing problems with youth unemployment and crime. In each country POETA will work with designated local partners to provide training for youth at risk.

The program will be geared to the local job market, and include word processing, accounting, graphics, Internet and advanced ICT skills, as well as job readiness (résumé preparation, interview skills) and civic education (values-based decision-making, respect for the law). This grant will support three additional components of the program: a POETA Caribbean Web Portal to maximize the sharing of information and best practices, as well as a public website to raise awareness of the program; a Web-based civic education module for use in POETA centres; and a regional public policy dialogue to promote greater use of technology, recognize innovation and share best practices at the policymaking level. Researchers will monitor the implementation of the program and measure its impact on the lives and livelihoods of the young participants.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, October 1, 2007

End Date

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


15 months

IDRC Officer

Smith, Matthew

Total funding

CA$ 299,791


North and Central America, South America, West Indies, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago


Networked Economies

Project Leader

David Rojas


Trust for the Americas

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website