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A journalist employed by Observer NewsCO Limited is among 14 media Caribbean professionals who will be conducting in-depth research on Covid-19 Expenditure on the behalf of the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC).

Theresa Goodwin will be contributing to the Covid Hub series, which will formulate country reports on transparency, accountability and expenditure of externally financed pandemic support in 14 Caribbean states.

For this effort, MIC has assembled a team of journalists, researchers and analysts to report on and make observations about the deployment of loans and grants received from countries, regional and international agencies, institutions and other benefactors.

Since the start of the year, the team has been compiling information on financial inflows designed to bolster state activities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project will continue to provide regular progress reports leading projects and programmes.

The MIC has also, for this purpose, secured the cooperation of several international and regional agencies to ensure access to timely, relevant updates together with official information flows at national levels.

The countries being covered are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Team leaders are Kiran Maharaj, Wesley Gibbings, Nazima Raghubir and Aurora Herrera, with quarterly analyses from regional finance and governance experts, Dr Terrence Farrell, Marla Dukharan and Dr Damien King.

President of MIC, Kiran Maharaj stated: “The MIC views this project as a vitally important activity in the overall promotion of sound regional governance. It provides tangible expression of our commitment to media audiences interested in keeping a close eye on expenditure of public funds and ensuring that the intended objectives are met.”

The project is a collaborative effort supported by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and will produce regular news and information bulletins and reports with emphasis on governmental best practice in the areas of procurement processes and efficiencies, transparency, and accountability in the state sector.