Who We Are
On June 2, 2010, the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honourable Dean Barrow, launched the RESTORE Belize Programme. Prompted by Belize’s high crime rate, this Programme was established to improve the quality of life of every citizen through restoring law and order and community building. The RESTORE Belize Programme is supported by a Coordination Unit operating within the Office of the Prime Minister. This Unit brings together government, civil society and private sector stakeholders to develop and implement programmes which, as stated by the Prime Minister, address, “the complex array of institutional, social and economic issues that have conspired to create the current crisis of violent crime in Belize, the most dramatic expressions of which have been experienced in the south side of Belize City”.
During the latter half of 2010 this Coordination Unit held consultations with multiple stakeholders. These consultations led to the implementation of priority programmes in the most affected communities in the south side of Belize City.
How We Are Organized
As a government-led initiative, the RESTORE Belize Programme operates within the Office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister heads a RESTORE Belize Council comprised of six Cabinet Ministers, i.e. the Ministers of National Security, Education and Sports, Health, Human Development and Social Transformation, Labour and Local Government. This high level RESTORE Belize Council demonstrates the Government’s commitment to achieving the goals of the RESTORE Belize Programme.
The CEOs in the Ministries represented on the RESTORE Belize Council form the RESTORE Belize Steering Committee. This Steering Committee also has representation from the Crime Control Council, the business community and civil society organizations. This multi-sectoral Steering Committee is chaired by the CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister who functions as the key link between policy makers in Government and the RESTORE Belize Secretariat. This Steering Committee is also charged with ensuring that the RESTORE Belize Programme is aligned with international conventions ratified by Belize as well as with national level policies and plans.
RESTORE Belize is run by a small secretariat charged with the day-to-day multisectoral coordination, resource mobilisation and monitoring and evaluation of all RESTORE Belize plans and activities. The Secretariat acts as a catalyst to accelerate the implementation of the RESTORE Belize Strategic Plan and Action Plan by service providers in Government as well as by private sector and civil society partners. A Programme Director heads this secretariat and reports directly to the CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister. Small inter-sectoral working groups are established to ensure more effective planning of programmes and better targeting of investments at the community level. These working groups are comprised of practitioners who take into consideration the particular social, economic, cultural and spiritual context in which community level interventions are to be implemented. These working groups are established to advance the three main pillars upon which the RESTORE Belize Programme is built:
- Human Development throughout the Life Cycle
- Economic Development and Citizen Prosperity
- Democratic Governance and Citizen Security.
This multi-layer institutional arrangement is designed to be bi-directional. It ensures that the policy decisions of the RESTORE Belize Council translate into implementable actions that are well-coordinated, well-resourced and accountable. Additionally, it allows for the technical input of service providers and the experiences of targeted communities to be channelled to policy makers so that they can make strategic and effective policies on behalf of local communities.