The Ministry of Health and Social Development will be hosting a training programme for public officials on Shock Responsive Social Systems (SRSP) in the Virgin Islands.
The training workshop will be held from February 14 to 17 in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP).
The four-day workshop aims to foster a multi-stakeholder dialogue on collaborative approaches to prepare for, designing and implementing shock-responsive social systems in the territory and to inform broader national practice to respond effectively in future emergencies.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Marlon Penn said he is looking forward to the conversations that will emerge from public servants who are engaged in the training workshop.
Honourable Penn said. “I believe this will elevate our skills and expertise in response to social issues facing the Virgin Islands. As a government, we have to take a holistic look at the social protection system in the Territory and we must have qualified people in place to deal with these challenges once they arrive”.
The Minister added, “This training has also come at a good time as the Ministry of Health and Social Development is reviewing and planning a massive overhaul of our social assistance systems. We want our social protection systems to reflect the vision shared in our National Sustainable Development Goals”.
This training initiative is just the latest partnership between the Virgin Islands government and the WFP to improve social protection frameworks in the Territory.
Following the 2017 hurricanes, the Government made an official request to the organisation for assistance. Following the request, several governmental and non-governmental officials, representing social protection, education and disaster management actively engaged in a capacity-strengthening exercise in Shock-Responsive Social Protection.
Through collaborative engagement, participants developed a roadmap that looks at four areas for continuous engagement in emergency preparedness and response: SRSP Coordination, SRSP Data Management & Targeting, SRSP Delivery Mechanism and SRSP Design. This activity accompanies several WFP activities to improve SRSP in the Caribbean
The areas of support in this programme include analysis of social protection programmes and the development of mechanisms, platforms and strategies for their expansion in the event of an emergency; strengthening national information management systems and strategies, and the use of delivery mechanisms of social protection programmes during shocks.