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(GIS) – The Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment is preparing to roll out its Participatory Poverty Assessment as part of the Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Project, which is being administered through the OECS Commission. The stakeholders recently met in Saint Lucia to prepare for its implementation.
The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Project is a qualitative and quantitative study of living conditions. The project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and administered across the OECS through the OECS Commission. In 2016 a component of that project, the survey on living conditions was conducted; it is the main quantitative assessment that generates indicators of poverty and Vulnerability. But there are other aspects that are needed for the completion of the assessment project.
Recently, the OECS Commission engaged with officials from the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment to plan and prepare for the rollout of these other components in particular, the Participatory Poverty Assessment.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment, Velda Joseph, said this step provides a qualitative focus of poverty from the perspective of specific groups of persons within the population.
“That is important for us because we are now engaged in a broader reform of social protection. We believe that the opportunities to rollout the initiative now, will provide complimentary data to inform the decisions of the ministry as we engage in this social protection reform. Ideally for us, we want to look at the social protection agenda in Saint Lucia on a comprehensive basis, as well as to make sure that all of the initiatives that the ministry will be engaged in over the coming months and years will lend itself to a reform that would benefit our beneficiaries, that is the vulnerable among us.”
The OECS Commission has pledged its technical support to the implementation process. The Permanent Secretary said the surveys will be implemented shortly.
“We are looking to bring on board a technical consultant who will assist us in identifying the resources and bringing together the various activities that need to be undertaken. We do have some in-house capacity that will support that technical consultant. Currently, we are detailing the training plan; we are in the process of making sure that we identify the relevant communities that will be participating in the survey. We will be re-engaging the national assessment team to make sure they are an integral part of the process. Beyond that we will ensure that we will roll out the training and are able to facilitate the field work.”
Other components of the Poverty Assessment project include the Institutional Analysis, The Macro-Socio Economic Assessment and the Poverty and Vulnerability Mapping exercise.