Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2016 (SKNIS): A Management Information System (MIS) will soon be operationalized at the Ministry of Social Development as part of the National Social Protection Strategy and the social safety net reforms currently taking place.
At a workshop held March 08, Azilla Clarke, Director of Social Development, noted that in 2012 with the completion of the National Social Protection Strategy, 13 recommendations had been made. She said in order to carry out these changes an objective targeting mechanism, a central registry for beneficiaries and a MIS to better manage the care and needs of the poor and vulnerable were necessary.
“So with the help of Ayala Consulting (originating out of Florida, USA) we’ve accomplished these three deliverables,” Ms. Clarke said. “Now we’re meeting with some of our key stakeholders from health, education, probation and child protection services, and social security to begin to discuss – how do we share the information that we have with our stakeholders and receive information from them to better be able not just to identify the poor and vulnerable, but get more services out to the poor and vulnerable. And then be able to help the state in understanding how we’ve performed in that role.”
Carlton Phipps, Director of Statistics, explained that the training would assist him in carrying out duties in his ministry.
“From the data that we captured, that was presented, it shows basically the sort of information on housing, on characteristics of persons in the household that were captured from the field activity,” Mr. Phipps said. “We feel that this is very important as it corroborates some of the work that we do in the Statistics Department. We’re also conducting some household surveys, household income and expenditure surveys, and the information could basically corroborate or verify some of the surveys that we are doing. So I think it’s a good partnership in terms of what they’re doing.”
The data being analysed during the workshop was obtained from a National Household Survey coordinated by the Department of Social Development during May and June of 2015.
Maya Faisal, Social and Economic Policy Specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office for the Eastern Caribbean Area, explained that the workshop is important because the data include the vulnerable groups, including women and children, which fall under UNICEF’s mandate. As such, she said that UNICEF wants to make sure that the social safety net programmes are well targeted, effectively delivered and have the coverage appropriate for women and children in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Ms. Faisal said that similar reforms are taking place in the Caribbean region.
“In the region, there are other countries also going through a social safety net reform and as you may know St. Kitts and Nevis has a very [good] social protection strategy,” the UNICEF representative said. “This workshop is one of the many objectives in the social protection policy.”
UNICEF in collaboration with its OECS partners is also currently assisting Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia with their social safety net reforms.