Google.org and the Caribbean Open Institute (COI) have joined forces to help reduce the digital divide in Caribbean countries, and empower, through open data management, youth populations of the region that are detached from the educational systems and the workforce.
Google.org will support the COI to deploy the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD), an educational initiative that will develop a comprehensive and sustainable “data literacy” programme.
Jamaica among six Caribbean countries set to benefit from CSOD
The initiative will be targeted for underserved populations in six Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti , Saint Lucia and Puerto Rico.
According to Google.org, the programme is also geared at generating greater awareness, skills, competencies and capabilities around data science throughout the Caribbean, creating employment skills for the digital age.
The Caribbean School of Data will enable, over a period of two years, the training of at least 1,500 disadvantaged young people in six countries, in topics ranging from data literacy to advanced management skills, visualisation, integration and data analysis, aligned with the needs of the labour market.
The CSOD is based in the Ayitic Goes Global initiative, implemented in Haiti by the Internet Address Registry of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC) and the International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC), together with the COI and a consortium of local partners in Haiti.
In the Dominican Republic, the program will be implemented in collaboration with the Community Technology Centers (CTC) of the Social Policy Coordination Cabinet (GCPS) of the Vice Presidency of the Republic, coordinated by the Taigüey Foundation, a pioneer nonprofit organization in topics of open data in the country.
‘A region with great potential’ – Google.org
“From Google we want to strengthen these initiatives that, in addition to generating real inclusion for less-favored populations, promote the development of an entire region with great potential,” says Giovanni Stella, Google’s Country Manager for Colombia, Central America and the Caribbean.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), young people between the ages of 16 and 24 represent an average of 25% of the workforce in the English-speaking Caribbean, and approximately one in five people between the ages of 15 to 24 is not in school or is part of the workforce.
The Caribbean region occupies a low place in the levels of innovation and education, key components of economic growth. An investigation conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank found that innovation is less likely to occur due to human capital limitations, so the result could have adverse consequences for medium-term development.