October 26, 2020

Research to provide data to strengthen civil society


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All non-profit and non-governmental organisations that comprise civil society, one of the fastest growing sectors in the Cayman Islands, are being encouraged to participate in a groundbreaking study to examine the sector’s unique needs and challenges.

This research will be broad in scope covering non-profit and non-governmental agencies (e.g. the Cancer Society, Special Olympics) as well as churches and professional associations that all are included in the civil society sector. The key outcome of the research project is to build capacity of civil society in the Cayman Islands to encourage their role as advocates, and supporters of good governance in our community.  The research is co-sponsored by the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Premier and is being conducted by Innotiva Ltd.

There is estimated to be over 250 section 80 companies (charities) operating in the Cayman Islands.   There are also other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who are active in the community but are not registered companies. While Government and the private sector support a significant number of CSOs, there are many unanswered questions about the role, scope, finances, and activity areas of these organisations as well as the impact of these organisations on the community at large. Governor Duncan Taylor explained, “The Cayman Islands and the Caribbean Overseas Territories as a whole are undergoing significant social, economic and environmental transformation.  This research will provide a comprehensive picture of the civil society sector in the Cayman Islands, identifying their sphere of activity and influence in the community.  I am pleased that my Office is able to support this worthwhile and important exercise.’”

The research is being supported by a survey that will be accessible to the public online.  The survey will be used as a tool to examine the needs of CSOs and the extent to which they collaborate, share resources and support national priorities.   The survey responses are strictly confidential and the names of organisations will not be disclosed in the survey analysis.   All civil society organisations are encouraged to participate in this survey which will make them eligible to win CI$1000 worth of advertising over a one month period from corporate sponsor, dms Broadcasting and CI$700 worth of advertising over a one month period from corporate sponsor, Cayman News Service.

Hon. Premier, McKeeva Bush acknowledged the work done by civil society organisations for the enhancement of the common good of the community.  He went on to say, “I encourage all relevant organisations to take part in this survey because the government and the public at large need to have a clearer understanding of the role of civil society organisations, and the challenges they face.  We know that a large number of non-profit organisations are at least partly funded by the government; we know too that there are some generous private donors. ” He added, “In these difficult economic times however, we need to collaborate more and share resources for most cost-effective results.  From professional associations to grass roots organisations, the role of the civil society sector in this community is likely to expand, as the public-private partnership in our islands is enriched by broadened corporate social responsibilities.  This research will provide us with much needed data on how we can develop that partnership more effectively.” Government therefore intends to make good use of this research to facilitate the timely evolution of a more far- reaching partnership with CSOs.

All CSOs who complete the survey will be listed in Cayman’s first comprehensive online civil society directory and are eligible to win CI$1000 worth of advertising from dms Broadcasting and CI$700 worth of advertising from Cayman News Service.  To learn more about this research and to take the survey go to www.caribbeancivilsociety.org or contact Marilyn Conolly at 938-6300.


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