4,200 to Receive Birth Certificates Under JSIF Programme

Photo: Mark Bell Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney (3rd left) and Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Deidre English Gosse (2ndright), shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 23 at the JSIF corporate offices in Kingston. Under the MoU, birth certificates for 4,200 beneficiaries from 18 Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) communities are to be processed. This will enable residents to access basic social services. Others (from left) are: Technical Team Leader, ICDP World Bank, Emanuela Monterio; General Manager, Technical Services-Project Management, JSIF, Loy Malcolm; and Development Manager, JSIF, Mona Sue-Ho.

Story Highlights

  • A total of 4,200 residents of 18 communities spanning seven parishes will receive assistance to obtain birth certificates.
  • These communities are beneficiaries under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) through a US$42 million loan from the World Bank.
  • In her remarks at the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of the RGD, Deidre English Gosse, stressed the importance of having a birth certificate, noting that it is the base document for passports and many other forms of identification.

A total of 4,200 residents of 18 communities spanning seven parishes will receive assistance to obtain birth certificates.

These communities are beneficiaries under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) through a US$42 million loan from the World Bank.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the undertaking was signed between JSIF and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) on Monday (January 23) at JSIF’s corporate offices in Kingston.

The provision of the birth certificates will better enable the residents to access basic social services.

Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the initiative, which is now in its second phase, includes a survey component to ascertain the other needs of the community members.

“We are going to use independent surveys to address what other types of documentation they may need like Tax Registration Number (TRN) and food handler’s permit,  and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) benefits, which would  help them to be part of the formal society,” he said.

“They could be poor and vulnerable because they don’t know how to get access to benefits under NIS, or how to get access to PATH benefits. They don’t know how to get access to a food handler’s permit for income earning. The survey informs us of what other types of information, services or documents they would like to access,” he noted further.

In her remarks at the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of the RGD, Deidre English Gosse, stressed the importance of having a birth certificate, noting that it is the base document for passports and many other forms of identification.

“It gives you an identity. Many Jamaicans do not have a birth certificate for one reason or another and the RGD is pleased to partner with JSIF to assist persons to get this vital document,” she said.

The one-year MoU will commence with immediate effect and sets out the activities to be undertaken, including the recruitment, selection and training of 40 data collectors comprised of community members from the 18 ICDP communities.

The agreement will also see the establishment of community points to facilitate ongoing registration of residents and address queries. An impact evaluation will be conducted to determine the access levels.

Technical Team Leader, World Bank, Emanuela Monterio, said the programme is an integrated approach to community development.

“Social inclusion is a very important (aspect) in the package of social interventions and activities that this project brings. This partnership is very important because registration is about getting people included and feeling part of society as citizens,” she said.

The ICDP, which commenced in 2014 and is expected to end in 2020, engages underserved communities in Clarendon, Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Ann, St. Catherine, St. James and Westmoreland.

It is one of several social intervention and infrastructural development initiatives being undertaken by the Government aimed at promoting public safety and the transformation of vulnerable communities.

JIS Social