Community Resilience Initiative Baseline Assessment Report


Democracy International


August 20, 2020


Trinidad and Tobago

The Community Resilience Initiative (CRI) is a project funded by USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean and implemented by Democracy International in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) in close collaboration with four local civil society organizations. CRI reduces the risk of victimization of refugees and migrants and to enhance direct, positive engagement between Trinidadian/Tobagonian and Venezuelan communities. Using People-to-People approaches, CRI builds trust across communities by fostering positive social interactions between refugees and migrants and their host communities, increasing stability and community-driven resilience.

CRI designed and implemented a mixed method baseline assessment to (1) identify existing capacities for, and threats to, resilience in target communities; (2) inform activity design with contextually-relevant information and tools; and (3) reveal, to the extent possible, existing sentiment toward and experiences of Venezuelan migrants in target communities. DI developed data collection methods taking into account the USAID Resilience, Evaluation, Analysis and Learning (REAL) Award resource documents for resilience capacity monitoring, looking specifically at bonding, bridging, and, to a lesser degree, linking social capital within the CRI target populations.

Data collected through this assessment enabled CRI to better inform activities. T&T nationals and Venezuelans both have some level of existing social resilience capacities, including availability of support services and social networking within populations, though there is very little bonding social capital across the T&T and Venezuelan populations. In terms of services needed, respondents, particularly Venezuelans, most frequently commented on health services. T&T nationals, meanwhile, focused primarily on security-related concerns. The baseline revealed that, generally, perceptions between the two nationalities are negative. Quantitative evidence from the survey of T&T nationals revealed factors of social distance, differences in perceived values, and cultural and economic threats from migrants that are likely driving xenophobia and discrimination.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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