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  • In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Clayton pointed out that the CRP was established as a corrective measure to provide a platform for the coordination and enhancement of the delivery of government and civil society services to volatile and vulnerable communities.
  • “Effective participation is crucial, as you cannot decide what to do for persons without having spoken with them. So, if you are going to work in a community, you need to be speaking with the persons directly affected, as they already know what works and what doesn’t work; so they are integral to the overall process,” she reasoned.
  • With this approach, she noted, “the community has benefited by learning some skills and can go on and do bigger and better things, because they have that experience and exposure”.

Programme Director of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Community Renewal Programme (CRP), Charles Clayton, has underscored the importance of multiple-agency collaboration and community involvement for the successful implementation of social intervention and development initiatives.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Clayton pointed out that the CRP was established as a corrective measure to provide a platform for the coordination and enhancement of the delivery of government and civil society services to volatile and vulnerable communities.

“Research indicated that although much was being done by individual agencies, and persons were benefiting from the programmes and initiatives, there was no meaningful change in the character of these communities that the intervention programmes were being undertaken, as no one agency had the capacity to address the varying issues,” he noted.

The Programme Director further explained that “what is needed is a more collaborative approach, where multiple agencies could work together to address the multiple needs of communities, and working together in a common space and finding a more sustainable way of changing communities.”

He highlighted that the CRP is a mechanism for coordinating activities at the community level, with focus on social transformation; socio-economic development; physical transformation; youth development; governance and safety and justice.

The programme has brought about the collaboration of agencies such as the PIOJ; Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF); Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) and the Social Development Commission (SDC).

“The inter-agency approach is a much more effective way of doing community work, as working in silo does not bring about the kind of results that you want and you sometimes step on each other’s toes,” Mr. Clayton said.

He pointed out that the framework of the CRP provides a way of keeping an agency’s identity and still being able to account for its activity. “So, you work together and then you can see how your activity is contributing to the overall goal or outcome,” he said.

Endorsing the CRP and elaborating on the effectiveness of community participation, Project Manager for Social Development, Monitoring and Evaluation at JSIF), Rhian Holder, pointed out that the input of residents in the targeted communities helps to guide how the programmes and initiatives are implemented.

“Effective participation is crucial, as you cannot decide what to do for persons without having spoken with them. So, if you are going to work in a community, you need to be speaking with the persons directly affected, as they already know what works and what doesn’t work; so they are integral to the overall process,” she reasoned.

In terms of JSIF’s best practices, Ms. Holder explained that the entity contracts persons in the community to undertake certain jobs.

“As a means of empowering communities for their own growth and development, we work with community-based organisations, youth clubs, community development committees and we train them in terms of how to do project management, and they are the ones who procure and do the projects,” she explained.

With this approach, she noted, “the community has benefited by learning some skills and can go on and do bigger and better things, because they have that experience and exposure”.