Skip to main content


For over 40 years, we’ve supported the efforts of researchers in the English-speaking Caribbean. Our work has helped reduce poverty and inequality, restore degraded coastal systems, and protect communities against disease and natural disasters. Our research has also helped improve farming and fishing practices, and address education, housing, and gender-equity challenges.

We have funded research with a focus on trade and the economy, which introduced technological advances to government and commerce. After our support helped Jamaica automate its customs service, it donated its new software to neighbouring countries.

Other initiatives have been regional by design. For example, IDRC has helped to create the Caribbean Open Institute, which uses the concept of open data to promote innovation in agriculture, fisheries, and disaster preparedness. Benefits include increased collaboration among governments, citizens, and the private sector, and improved efficiency and delivery of public services.

Rules to protect small economies

IDRC-supported research broke new ground with one of the first analyses of market competition and anti-competitive conduct in small states. Led by researchers at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago campus), the six-country study showed how monopoly abuses can damage small economies more than large ones. The researchers concluded that the Caribbean nations need to adopt competition laws or reinforce existing ones to deal with companies that abuse their dominant market positions.

A new regional think tank

Our research funding led to the formation of the region’s first think tank, based in Kingston, Jamaica. The Caribbean Policy Research Institute grew out of an innovative study led by the University of the West Indies on Jamaica’s economic potential. The Institute is helping to ensure that research findings feed into the policy-making process, as countries in the region grapple with economic, educational, health, and other challenges.

Total IDRC Support

258 activities worth CAD $39 million since 1971

Our support is helping

  • vulnerable communities and small island states cope with climate change
  • women and youth find job and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • farmers improve fruit quality and shelf life, and extend their harvests
  • rapidly urbanized areas have enough food
  • inhabitants become healthier
  • governments become more transparent, accountable, and efficient


Explore research projects we support in this region.