JIS News

A sum of $2.5 billion has been allocated for the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) – Social Safety Net – in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The programme aims to: support government’s ongoing effort to transform the Social Safety Network into a fiscally sound and more efficient system of social assistance to the poor and vulnerable; provide better and more cost effective social assistance to the extreme poor; consolidate major income transfer programmes into a unified benefit programme that ensures meaningful levels of benefits; a cost-efficient and accessible delivery system; and access to benefits linked to desirable behaviour changes for promoting investment in human capital development of the poor, especially children, among other things.
Anticipated targets for 2008/09 are the commencement of bi-monthly payments to beneficiaries, starting with 215,000 persons and increasing gradually to 360,000; implementation of a new Beneficiary Identification System (BIS) to select persons for benefits, as well as a Content Management System for storing data electronically; continuation of the institutionalization phase of the programme, and re-certification of all beneficiaries; completion of the programme’s legislative framework, and establishment of an Information System to support the efficient management of the programme.
As at December 2007, the PATH has seen payments to some 248,890 beneficiaries; increased intervention by social workers to address issues of and re-instatement of individuals who have been suspended from the programme; payments to approximately 20,000 poor relief beneficiaries; strengthening of the information technology infrastructure in parish offices islandwide, through the acquisition of 39 computers; implementation of an electronic payment system; introduction of a series of ‘Training for Trainers’ workshops for health centre personnel to facilitate islandwide implementation of parenting workshops; implementation of an automated cheque payment system; completion of an Impact Evaluation Study; a media campaign being undertaken, targeting beneficiaries; and over 300 information dissemination sessions, called ‘PATH Days,’ being hosted islandwide.
The programme is funded by the Government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

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