The Power of Harmony – Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals in Trinidad and Tobago

Anything is possible when the stars align. Similarly, success comes when many factors are in your favour. Proper planning and execution and evidence based decision making greatly enhances the probability that the desired outcome will be achieved even in a changing environment.

In her remarks at the closing workshop of the project “Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals in Trinidad and Tobago”, held at City Hall, Port of Spain on Friday 5th October 2018, Sandra Singh of Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) noted that the project demonstrated many best practices, for example, collective governance, participatory approaches, tertiary level involvement, private public partnership and expert input, which resulted in successes achieved in the overall project.

Stacy Ramroop and Councilor Daneille Marshall Piper of Sangre Grande Regional Corporation and Mr. Roach of C7 Creative Ltd. presented their Tourism Application which aimed to support Local Economic Development in Sangre Grande and thus assisting in the reduction of poverty (SDG 1: No Poverty). The App provides information on sites, businesses and important assets in the Municipality. (Available for download at Google Play, the App store or at

Several factors can be credited to the success including the project management workshops, the support of both Council and the administration and the general enthusiasm of Stacy, the Local Economic Development Officer (LEDO). However, credit should also be attributed to the Canadian sponsored Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARIELED) which ended in 2016 and the foresight of the Sangre Grande Council in retaining the LED Participatory Action Committee (LED-PAC) and LEDO post the project.

The Penal Debe Regional Corporation pilot project involved conducting  fundamental research geared towards  improving  the regulatory process and management of urban spaces (SDG 11: Sustainable Cities). As it stands,  Trinidad and Tobago does not have a resilient regulatory framework, primarily because its Small Building Code sis inadequate. This inadequacy stems mainly from the fact that,  It is not legally binding and while it provides good advice for the construction of a building’s superstructure, it is limited in its coverage on foundation design construction. Foundation construction is particularly important in areas where there are expansive soils such as South and Central Trinidad. Understanding the nature of these soils and their potential instability is a key component of efficient land use management. Identifying areas that are more susceptible to instability and providing that information to the public can significantly reduce damages to small domestic buildings (not engineered). Awareness has the potential to encourage potential builders to design foundations that are suited to the specific circumstances and hence reduce the possibility of future building damage. The reality is that in many instances private small building owners are simply unaware.

Given that financial resources was limited, a country wide  study on expansive soils was not possible., Dr. Roopnarine and Ms. Jannise Mohammed used existing soil data originally collected for agricultural purposes and other data (e.g. Slope, Proximity of Fault Lines, % Clay Content, Cation Exchange Capacity, Proximity of Rivers, Soil Friction Angle –Slope. etc.) to develop a susceptibility map and consequently  identified  areas of high , medium  and low risk to build


Shivani Deonarine described the PPGIS inclusive decision making and transparency tool which provides an interface between community members and planners. The public can identify the area with problems (using point, line, or polygon) and post questions and photos. Planners can also use the administrative boundaries, measurement tool and buffer tools which can help plan strategies to address these problems.

The technical requirements of this project was achievable, however, further work is required to incorporate the research into the functioning of the Municipality so Building Inspectors can advise small builders if there is need for specific types of foundations or other engineering solutions.


Uneven sidewalks, vendors and other obstacles make navigating the City of Port of Spain a challenge for able bodied persons much less for the differently abled. The Port of Spain City Corporation project ‘Making the capital city inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable towards achieving SDG 11 by improving accessibility for users of the Central Business District, with particular attention to the differently abled community’ aimed to gain a better understanding of access issues and the construction of ramps to improve access in the main shopping area. It was noted that improving the access infrastructure for able bodied persons will also improve access for the differently abled. Incremental improvement to global standards will eventually lead to the entire City being standardized.

One of the key recommendation out of the workshop was that Ministries should coordinate their efforts to expand the outputs of these three Municipalities to all fourteen rather than embarking on new projects and losing the momentum of these projects. Acting in harmony



This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of CLGF and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.



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