JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The St. Ann Inter-Agency Network for Transforming Social Services (SAINTSS) is continuing its push to support, encourage, and cooperate with the relevant agencies of Government in the effective delivery of social services in the parish.
  • The network also encourages the establishment of thematic sub-groups relevant to its work among the 55 communities of the parish.
  • “What SAINTSS has been trying to do mainly is streamlining what agencies do in a more synchronised manner…our vision is to create a consultative body aimed at improving, coordination, planning, implementation, and monitoring of programmes and projects, responsive to the socio-economic needs of the parish, and achieving Vision 2030 status,” Parish Manager for the Social Development Commission (SDC), and Chairman of SAINTSS, Richardo Aiken, explained Wednesday (December 7) at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) ‘Learning Hour’, at its Oxford Road offices in Kingston.

The St. Ann Inter-Agency Network for Transforming Social Services (SAINTSS) is continuing its push to support, encourage, and cooperate with the relevant agencies of Government in the effective delivery of social services in the parish.

The network also encourages the establishment of thematic sub-groups relevant to its work among the 55 communities of the parish.

“What SAINTSS has been trying to do mainly is streamlining what agencies do in a more synchronised manner…our vision is to create a consultative body aimed at improving, coordination, planning, implementation, and monitoring of programmes and projects, responsive to the socio-economic needs of the parish, and achieving Vision 2030 status,” Parish Manager for the Social Development Commission (SDC), and Chairman of SAINTSS, Richardo Aiken, explained Wednesday (December 7) at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) ‘Learning Hour’, at its Oxford Road offices in Kingston.

The presentation was held under the theme, ‘Moving St. Ann towards Achieving Vision 2030 Jamaica’.

He said in pulling these bodies together to consult on the needs of the parish, SAINTSS seeks to strengthen collaboration among all agencies and stakeholders, while respecting and harnessing the benefits of their individual strengths and unique approaches.

SAINTSS seeks to: build cooperation for increased effective service; greater impact of the delivery of social services in a cost efficient manner, through joint advocacy initiatives, and other forms of cooperation; share best practices and expertise in identifying top parish priorities, and plan together to implement initiatives to address the community priorities; facilitate sustainable follow-up mechanisms for joint programmes and interventions; and develop an integrated parish work plan, in response to the parish/community needs.

In rationalising the significance of SAINTSS, Mr. Aiken explained that such a network was necessary as public service in Jamaica, sometimes, consists of fragmented elements that do not always interrelate to achieve national priorities.

“This gap has created deficiencies in the delivery of social services, as no one agency is able to offer meaningful transformation to any community space, based on the multifaceted issues that are raised in these local spaces…if you go to a community meeting as the SDC, the number of issues that are raised – no one SDC officer can meaningfully attend to all these issues,” he outlined.

He noted also, that at times, the disjoint in the provision of social services can lead to duplication of efforts.

“(For example) in community X, today the SDC has an intervention, tomorrow it’s the CDA (or) HEART Trust…so we are trying to meet the same objective, but if we went in together, it would have been far more effective in delivering that service to that particular service,” Mr. Aiken told the parish representatives.

Therefore, he said, rather than multiple agencies providing services in communities on separate days, the SAINTSS concept allows for a one stop shop situation, whereby agencies pool their resources.

The SDC Parish Manager said SAINTSS therefore provides a forum in St. Ann for creating a multi-stakeholder working environment.

“So within SAINTSS each member must become, the firefighter, the SDC worker, the CDA agent…all of those resources must now reside in this one individual…so if a mother comes to me with an issue with her child…as a member, I must have that capacity to respond immediately to that need,” he elaborated.

Meanwhile, he pointed out therefore that if Jamaica is to achieve the Vision 2030 agenda, it was important for each agency to understand their role in this goal. Additionally, he said citizen’s participation was critical in the Local Government reform process, which speaks to each parish having a vision for itself.

“They (citizens) are the heart and soul of these communities…the community persons are the ones who define their local space…so because of their level of expertise as ordinary men and women in these communities, then they are the ones who must inform agencies,” he remarked.

Since its inception, SAINTSS has increased membership from the four founding agencies to include participation from: the SDC’ the National Centre for Youth Development; the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; the National Youth Service; National AIDS Committee; the Child Development Agency (CDA); the Registrar General’s Department; the National Council for Senior Citizens; the Northgate Centre for Global Impact; the St. Ann Parish Council – Poor Relief; National Council on Drug Abuse; the St. Ann Fire Brigade; Jamaica Red Cross; Rural Agricultural Development Agency; the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning; the St. Ann Junior Chamber of Commerce and Junior Chamber International; Jamaica 4-H Clubs; the North East Regional Health Authority; and the St. Ann Health Department.

The forum was chaired by Programme Director, Vision 2030 Jamaica, Michael Lumsden.

Skip to content