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SSDFChampioning Social Protection Programmes in St. Lucia Mr. Joachim Henry, Executive Director
2009 Social Safety Net Assessment Report • Chronic poverty and the inter-generational transmission of poverty, transient poverty, and vulnerability to poverty; • Risks that threaten human capital development of children and adolescents, who are particularly vulnerable because they are unable to care for themselves; • Limited human capital, unemployment, and risky lifestyles among youth; • Limited or no income due to underemployment, unemployment, disease, or disability among working age women and men; • Loss of income due to retirement and disease/disability among the elderly; and • Needs of special groups, including single headed households, the elderly taking care of children, persons with disabilities, migrants, and persons affected by HIV/AIDS and/or non-communicable diseases
SSDF Mandate • The core mandate of SSDF is to facilitate the delivery of services, infrastructure, opportunities and access to resources to the indigent, poor and vulnerable populations and communities throughout the island. • SSDF delivers interventions with public, private, civil society, development organisations and social networks to support communities, households and individuals, in an effort to prevent, manage and overcome a defined set of risks and vulnerabilities in St. Lucia
SSDF Strategic Objectives The four strategic objectives of the Fund stipulated within the Act (No.4 of 2009) include the following: • Establishing an efficient, complimentary and demand-driven mechanism for delivering basic services and infrastructure to the poor and needy, utilizing non-governmental organisations, community organisations and local government organisations; • Financing small-scale projects in the following areas, namely, basic infrastructure and small-scale productive activities; • Providing assistance for the improvement of living conditions, promotion of community participation and improvement of infrastructure for health and education; • Providing assistance or employment opportunities to poor and needy persons to alleviate socio-economic hardship or otherwise;
HOPE Design • Self targeting of unemployed and poor persons with greater priority given to low educational attainment and skills sets; • Geographical targeting of areas of greater unemployment and poverty levels; • Dual community and administrative processes of verification by programme implementation team and community leaders/organisations • The Holistic Opportunities for Personal Empowerment Programme (HOPE) is designed to generate employment opportunities and economic activity • Fosters significant investments in community infrastructure, labour and resources, • Provides opportunities for training in productivity enhancement, life skills and lifestyle management components.
HOPE Opportunities HOPE has four major components with an emphasis on the absorption of the unemployed and most vulnerable populations into the labour force: • Short Term Employment and Income Opportunities for unemployed persons within St. Lucia’s national labour force who are able to work • Skills Training and Productivity Enhancement to build human capital for sustainable livelihood opportunities • Personal Development and Lifestyle Management to redress the critical socio-cultural challenges and problems including parenting, conflict, violence, crime, gangs, illegal drugs and alternative lifestyles • Health Education and Wellness to facilitate healthy lifestyles, check-ups, screening and effective delivery of key services to the indigent, poor, unattached and “societal shunned” population and groups throughout St. Lucia.
HOPE OUTPUTS • Over 2700 unemployed persons have registered • Over 85 project proposals have been received • 24 projects have been completed • 18 projects are in progress • Over 900 persons have received direct employment • Hundreds more have been employed indirectly or earned some income (goods and service providers) • 501 participants have received Personal Enhancement Training.
BNTF Outcomes Five key contributions to poverty reduction and social protection programmes in St. Lucia can be identified as a result of the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programmes. These contributions include the: • expansion and upgrade of basic sanitation and water supply to geographically remote population clusters • rehabilitation and enhancement of education and public health facilities island wide • improvement of communication infrastructure and conditions of living, including access via the construction of footpaths, roads, drains and retaining walls • provision of infrastructural facilities and training to vulnerable groups and their organisations • facilitation of skills training to build and strengthen human capital and increase employability of the poor and vulnerable population island wide
BNTF Outputs • Safe and reliable water supply to 12, 001 households within 12 communities island-wide • Safer and greater access to 5 early childhood educational facilities for 851 young children • Improved educational environment to 1772 students within 4 primary schools on the island • Improvement and access to public toilets and bathing facilities to 1916 resident within 4 communities • Renovation and expansion of 9 public health centers providing improved services to 21, 269 local rural residents • Improved living conditions and dignified access to homes via the construction of footpaths, roads, bridges and drains in 10 communities for 4928 residents • Construction and rehabilitation of 5 vulnerable groups’ facilities (youth, homeless and older persons) serving 316 persons • Implementation of 14 skills training programmes island wide empowering 1790 trainees
Poverty Reduction through Community Based Development Planning – Grant Contract, SFA 2006)
Social Recovery Programme • Empowering at least 16 of the poorest rural communities to develop innovative interventions to community problems, needs and opportunities. • Facilitating the development and implementation of community action plans, integrated within the overall national development framework. • Building community assets, strengthening human capital and organisational capacity • Pursuing place-specific, community owned and managed development pathways.
Eradicating Extreme Poverty • The programme focuses on the family as a unit of intervention in the fight against poverty. It seeks to empower indigent families with the necessary psycho-social support necessary to improve their quality of life in partnership with diverse social agencies • Poor families in 4 pilot areas are receiving special assistance with the services of family caregivers and the provision of a range of direct services including, psycho-social support, cash transfers and provision of training and employment opportunities to our poorest households to improve their overall socio-economic living conditions • The development of a comprehensive psycho-social assessment toolkit for working with families living in extreme poverty and the formulation of training modules for the implementation of appropriate life skills training programme in St. Lucia
Challenges and Constraints • The ongoing importance of networking, meaningful partnerships and collaboration within the national social protection network for the attainment of programme goals and objectives; • Building ownership, mutual support and trust; capabilities and social and economic empowerment within target communities and among beneficiaries; • The issues of the sustainability of the programmes, human and financial resources and the desired positive impact of interventions; • The need for an over-aching legislation, policy, shared national vision, coordination arrangement for the implementation of social programmes; • Monitoring, evaluation, systematic targeting mechanism, more evidence based interventions, central online confidential database system and creating public awareness