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IDB announces winners of the 2019 President's Awards in Trinidad and Tobago

  • The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service won the Service Excellence Award and the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation won the Innovation Award.
  • People’s Choice Awards were awarded to the Environmental Management Authority and the Police Complaints Authority.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the winners for its 2019 President’s Awards for Service Excellence and Innovation in the Public Sector in Trinidad and Tobago at an awards ceremony on December 3rd.

The awards were held under the patronage of Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, O.R.T.T., President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and invited applications from across the public sector, including ministries, departments, divisions, state-owned companies, statutory bodies and municipalities.

This year marked the second edition of the President’s Awards, the first competition of its kind implemented by the IDB at the country level. Twice as many applications received and four finalists selected for each of its two categories (i.e. Service Excellence; and Innovation). The finalists were selected by two esteemed panels of judges chaired by Her Excellency comprising dignitaries such as the Chairman of the country’s Public Service Commission and the Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. The finalists for the Service Excellence Award were the Environmental Management Authority, the Ministry of Health, the National Library and Information System Authority, and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. The finalists for the Innovation Award included Caribbean Airlines, the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago, the Police Complaints Authority, and the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation.

In her opening remarks at the awards ceremony, Rocío Medina Bolívar (IDB Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago) said that the aim of the Awards is to recognize transformational initiatives undertaken and that strong public sector institutions are instrumental to sustainable development.

Overall Winners of the President’s Awards

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service won the Service Excellence Award for an intervention led by their Central Division that resulted in an 81.7% drop in the top three serious crimes committed within the community of Enterprise, Chaguanas over the period 2016-2019. The intervention involved many partners, including the community at large, and it was consultative, collaborative and adopted an epidemiological approach to reducing serious crime and building trust. Known formally as the “Enterprise Model”, it saw the creation of a Crime and Prevention Committee with the support of the Pan American Development Foundation, extensive training of officers, engagement of young persons through a Police Youth Club, and over ten other additional components.

The Sangre Grande Regional Corporation won the Innovation Award for transformative efforts by their Local Economic Development Unit, which is the very first of its kind for regional corporations in Trinidad and Tobago. Sangre Grande happens to be the largest region, serving 41 communities and 80,000 citizens, and the municipality is rural in nature and considered to be one of the most underdeveloped in the country. The Corporation’s efforts included the creation of a Sangre Grande Tourism App, workshops to support sustainable micro and small enterprises, a community entrepreneurship mentorship program, financial literacy training and other activities tied to promoting business development.

People’s Choice Awardees

The People’s Choice winners were selected by the audience at the awards ceremony using Mentimeter as the online voting platform and for tabulating their votes in real time. The attendees were introduced to the work being done by the eight finalists through captivating video presentations and were then given the chance to cast their vote.

The Environmental Management Authority won the People’s Choice Award in the Service Excellence category for their “iCare” national recycling project. The project established more than 500 new collection sites for recyclables between 2018-2019, collected and processed over one million bags of recyclables, and promoted the culture of recycling through public education and awareness-building at schools and public events.

The People’s Choice Award for Innovation went to the Police Complaints Authority that created a comprehensive mobile application that made their office more accessible and has given citizens a free and secure way to remotely file complaints with utmost confidentiality. It’s the first and only civilian oversight mobile application in the Caribbean, allowing users to anonymously submit reports in real time with audiovisual support and it has already seen over 1,000 complaints filed since being launched.

Strengthening Public Sector Institutions

The President’s Awards were established as a result of the IDB’s recognition of the crucial role of institutions in building resilience and in leading the overall development of its member countries. The IDB has actively partnered with governments in its member countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen public sector institutions and governance for over 60 years. In addition to the President’s Awards in Trinidad and Tobago, the IDB also annually recognizes the work of the public sector at a regional level in its annual Superheroes for Development and Gobernarte Awards.

Click here to view the video summaries for the finalists in the Service Excellence category and click here for the finalists in the Innovation category.

About us

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.


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