JIS News

Story Highlights

  • World Bank representative, Giorgio Valentini, has praised the Government for making "great strides" in streamlining and improving Jamaica’s social safety net and social protection programmes.
  • Speaking at a dissemination forum for the "Diagnostic Study: Review of the Social Safety Net Provisions and Capacity", at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston Tuesday (October 4), Mr. Valentini said the World Bank was privileged to partner Jamaica in the reform process.
  • He pointed out that Jamaica’s social safety net and social protection programmes were among the most advanced regionally, and were seen as examples by other countries.

World Bank representative, Giorgio Valentini, has praised the Government for making “great strides” in streamlining and improving Jamaica’s social safety net and social protection programmes.

Speaking at a dissemination forum for the “Diagnostic Study: Review of the Social Safety Net Provisions and Capacity”, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston Tuesday (October 4), Mr. Valentini said the World Bank was privileged to partner Jamaica in the reform process.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s social safety net and social protection programmes were among the most advanced regionally, and were seen as examples by other countries.

In 2000, the Government embarked on the reform of the country’s social protection system (SPS), with the objective of protecting the vulnerable and ensuring that the programmes were efficient and effective.

The diagnostic study was one of two foundation studies conducted as part of Component Four of the Government of Jamaica/World Bank’s Social Protection Project to develop a comprehensive SPS. It is being implemented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). The Project aims at strengthening the social protection framework, by expanding the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and other social safety initiatives.

The study sought to assess the provisions and capacity of the safety net in Jamaica. This involved determining whether existing interventions were efficient, effective and sufficient in addressing identified needs and vulnerabilities, including: emerging issues; assessing the human financial and physical resources and capacity in existence for the delivery of safety net services by the state; and providing recommendations for improving the delivery of social safety net programmes.

As stated in the executive summary of the study, under the Government’s reform programme, there have been some achievements regarding the consolidation of existing programmes, improving benefits and widening the scope and reach of social assistance.

The document, however, goes on to note that there are gaps and challenges to the review process, “and the study will attempt to assess these and provide a foundation for further progress in the development of the SPS.”

Director of Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Denzil Thorpe, noted that the indepth analysis of the social safety system provided good ideas, on how to move forward in strengthening the social protection programmes.

“This will, ofcourse, assist in reaching the Vision 2030 goal of making Jamaica the place to live, work, raise families and do business,” he said. Vision 2030 is Jamaica’s first 25-year development plan, and aims to position the nation to achieve developed country status by 2030.

Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Heather Ricketts, also endorsed the study and commended the PIOJ for its “bold approach” to reviewing the social protection system in Jamaica.

“It was a very necessary review, and it fits into the Vision 2030 Plan that the Planning Institute has crafted,” she said.

She also commended the consultants for a comprehensive and thorough assessment of the social protection system.

“They used the social risk management conceptual framework, and they also used the World Bank’s view of what a good social protection system should be and they used that to undergird the work,” she said.

During the function, International Consultant, Jose Marques presented the findings of the study.

Skip to content