CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery | February 18-19, 2020 • San Juan, Puerto Rico


Executive Sessions

2:30 PM -

 3:45 PM

Community-Based Solutions to Preventing Violence in Post-Disaster Recovery

Increased rates of gender-based violence, self-harm, suicide, and community violence are all characteristic of the aftermath of natural disasters and are prevalent throughout both short and long-term post-disaster recovery. This issue compounds the fact that the average rate of victimization by assault and threat is higher in the Caribbean than in any other region in the world. Similar to the mainland US, incidents of this type of violence are concentrated in particular areas that are marked by a lack of resources and community support. This concentration presents challenges, but also opportunities for focused community-based interventions tailored to the specific needs of the area. In this session, leaders in gun violence prevention, community health, and gender-based violence interventions will discuss pathways for violence reduction with a specific focus on community-based programs.


Going Global: Expanding Market Access for Caribbean Artisans

The global artisan market generates an estimated $34 billion a year and is the second-largest employer in emerging economies. Despite the potential to create new jobs, diversify economic sectors, and celebrate Caribbean culture, market access for local artisans in the region lags behind global averages. In order to better integrate artisans into international markets, there is a need for increased access to digital marketing, enhanced production capacities, and start-up funding. In this session, creative entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and marketing experts will discuss the creation of culturally rich commodities, how these goods can be produced and promoted globally, and the benefits of sourcing artisanal goods from the Caribbean. Participants will hear from speakers with personal experience growing a small business into a global brand, as well as speakers who are supporting entrepreneurship.


Increasing Pathways for Tomorrow’s Solar Workforce

According to US labor statistics, the two fastest growing occupations over the next decade will be solar PV installer and wind power technician. With this rise in clean energy around the world, the Caribbean has the opportunity to utilize its natural resources to be a leader in the transition, reduce the cost of power, and develop a new, modern and sustainable workforce. In Puerto Rico, for example, local leaders have sought to meet the challenge of 100% renewable energy by supporting strong workforce development initiatives so that residents can lead the transition and drive the creation of good-paying jobs. Across the Caribbean, the private sector, non-profits, universities, and governments have piloted new models to strengthen local capacity, engage young people with accessible career pathways, and ensure that training programs offer equitable opportunities to all island residents. In this session panelists will discuss the collaboration needed to fuel the growth of this industry by training, diversifying, and growing the workforce creating greater prosperity and job security.


Keeping the Focus: Long-term Strategies for Recovery and Resilience

As natural and manmade disasters continue to disrupt positive social and economic progress in the Caribbean, finding long-term solutions to sustainable fundraising and media engagement is more important than ever. A decade on from a crippling earthquake, Haiti is at the forefront of the challenges inherent in operating amid a climate of uncertainty and transitioning from humanitarian intervention to sustained development. In this session, speakers with a long-term perspective on moving forward in Haiti despite variable challenges and the corresponding difficulties they create in funding, media and development cycles. Lessons learned from these strategies, such as maintaining public attention and building local networks of committed actors, have implications for Puerto Rico, Dominica and the wider region as they recover from successive natural disasters. Speakers will also explore both traditional and innovative approaches for continuous engagement with donors, press and the development community to support long term recovery and resiliency efforts.


Transforming Puerto Rico into a Financial Technology Capital

Developing the financial technology and services sector in Puerto Rico represents an opportunity to boost and diversify the island’s economy, develop local talent, attract new business and capital, and build resilience in the face of future natural disasters. In many ways, Puerto Rico is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the growing Financial Technology (FinTech) sector: a culture of entrepreneurship, a bilingual talent base, significant tax incentives, and geographically positioned between North, Central and South America. The combination of these factors make Puerto Rico a prime candidate to serve as a FinTech hub worthy of competing with global players like Singapore, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, and New York. In this session, experts and business leaders in financial technology, regulatory policy, insurance, and banking will discuss what the FinTech future looks like in Puerto Rico and outline opportunities to advance the growth of this emerging sector.

Plenary Session

4:00 PM -

 5:30 PM

Accelerating the Road to Recovery: Responding to Natural Disasters in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc for over 48 hours on the Bahamas, the strongest storm to ever hit the country and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. The storm followed the devastation from Hurricanes Maria and Irma only two years prior in places like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Dominica. For the people of the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian marks the start of a long road towards recovery, after already facing significant storms in recent years. In Puerto Rico, as the island continues to recover from the devastating 2017 hurricane season, major earthquakes that have sustained over the past several months pose new challenges. In the face of these natural disasters, members of the CGI Action Network community continue to support immediate response efforts and lay the groundwork for long-term recovery initiatives, drawing upon lessons learned from previous natural disasters to accelerate recovery. In this plenary session, speakers will spotlight the greatest needs for recovery in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, draw on lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and encourage all audience members to take action and support communities in the region.

Networking Event

5:30 PM -

 7:00 PM

Networking Reception