JIS News

A provision of $2.4 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Social Protection Project, in the 2009/10 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The project, which is being financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), will underpin the Government’s efforts to strengthening its social protection system by: further improving the effectiveness of the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to foster investments by poor families in human capital development, by providing benefits designed to motivate educational attainment and retention in secondary schools; developing a structured system to assist working age members of PATH households to seek and retain meaningful employment; enabling a comprehensive analysis/review of the public sector pensions, improving systems administration, and building capacity for public sector pensions reform; and developing a coherent social protection strategy.
The initiative, which commenced last October, and is scheduled to run until March 2013, has, to date, seen the commencement of preparatory work on, and staff training for the Social Protection Strategy component; hiring of component co-ordinators; as well as the commencement of work in the area of process re-engineering.
Targets envisioned include: conditional cash transfers to motivate secondary school students to pursue and attain higher education; re-certification of beneficiaries; impact evaluation; a review of the Beneficiary Identification System (BIS); development and implementation of a monitoring system, using the Management Information System (MIS) indicators; preparation of a White Paper outlining an integrated strategy for pension reform in the public sector; implementation of the Steps-to-Work programme; commencement of work for a small Social Protection Strategy; as well as facilitating feasibility studies on the different options for linking PATH beneficiaries to complementary service provision programmes, as well as reviewing health conditionalities.
It is anticipated that for 2009/10, the project will provide pay benefits to registered PATH beneficiaries, as well as bonus payments to 2,500 students; facilitate quarterly preparation and review of health and education compliance reports; accommodate reassessment of PATH households to determine eligibility for continued payment; conduct an impact evaluation for PATH; revise, print, and distribute PATH education, and health and family guidelines; facilitate process re-engineering, and redesigning of the existing pension payment process, participation in design implementation of effective social safety nets, as well as stakeholder consultations, aimed at developing a framework for an ideal welfare system in Jamaica; as well as draft a paper on the harmonisation of public sector pension schemes.

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