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Ministerials Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  12/18/2015 
The provision of high quality pre-primary education for all children at the Early Childhood Education (ECE) level continues to be a top priority for the Government of Barbados. To this end, access to ECE for all children has been improved and expanded over the last decade. The policy of provision of public ECE has ensured that no child from a vulnerable group or no disadvantaged child would be excluded from receiving quality early childhood care and education in Barbados.
Currently, there are ten public nursery schools that cater to students in the 3 – 4 years age category. Six of these pre-primary schools were established in the ECE Expansion Project which was started in 2005. In addition, pre-primary education is offered in all public primary schools as well. While the Government of Barbados provides the general financing for this expansion programme, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation has established a partnership with the Maria Holder Foundation to facilitate the financing of the construction and establishment of three new Nursery schools in the 2015-2017 period.
Protecting children from economic exploitation and from any tasks that may interfere with their education and integral development, according to the principle of the effective abolition of child labour, which is contained in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998); as well as preventing and eradicating the worst forms of child labour according to Convention 182 of the ILO (1999)
Barbados has embarked on a programme of sensitization of the national community on the issue of child labour and related matters. This initiative commenced in November 2014 with a Government Information Service radio interview with the Chief Labour Officer addressing the issue. A series of public service announcements are planned for release on radio and television.
Raising awareness about the adverse effects of adolescent pregnancies on the integral development of the adolescent and their offspring, as well as fostering their health and well-being
The matter of Adolescent Health is currently addressed by the Ministries of Health; Culture, Sports and Youth; and Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (METI) and the Barbados Family Planning Association.

The Ministry of Health is in the process of finalizing the Draft National Adolescent Health Policy of Barbados which is designed to provide a blueprint for comprehensive plans, programmes and services for the adolescent population. The draft policy recognises that investment in adolescent health is essential for attaining and maintaining a favourable national health profile, and its goals are outlined as follows:
- Collect appropriate data to inform the development and revision of relevant policies, laws and programmes;
- Ensure adolescents have access to appropriate information and comprehensive education and skills training to adequately prepare them for a healthy transition into adulthood;
- Train adolescents, healthcare workers, teachers and other key stakeholders to promote and administer appropriate healthcare for adolescents;
- Foster multi-sectoral partnerships among relevant stakeholders to address adolescent needs;
- Provide health care services that are affordable, acceptable and accessible to all adolescents; and
- Create a safe and supportive environment to facilitate the implementation of health programmes to benefit all male and female adolescents.

The National Youth Policy, approved by the Cabinet of Barbados in February 2012, outlines a framework for action on youth development and identifies key strategy areas including the family, core values and lifestyle diseases. One of the goals of the policy is to ‘enable young people to tackle lifestyle diseases, especially HIV/AIDS’.
However, there is an inherent conflict in accessing healthcare services. The age at which adolescents can legally consent to sexual intercourse is 16 years, but the legal age at which reproductive health services and commodities can be accessed is 18 years. This gap in accessing quality sexual and reproductive health services presents a barrier to comprehensive healthcare and the Youth Policy seeks to address this discrepancy by recommending the amendment of relevant legislation to align the age of consent with the age of access so that young persons, from age 16, have the right to obtain sexual reproductive services and to get tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) without their parent’s consent.
School-based sexual and reproductive health education is provided at primary and secondary schools through the Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) curriculum, and jointly delivered by the Ministries of Health and Education.
The Barbados Family Planning Association also provides adolescent services through a Youth Advocacy Movement and a Youth Drop-in Centre. These programmes allow adolescents to participate in peer counselling, educational outreach, and advocacy. Youth are therefore offered tools to assist them in making informed decisions and thus improve their quality of life. The Council for the Disabled focuses on providing Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services through its ‘SRH WINDOW’, ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to counselling, referrals and medical services.
Paragraphs: 1 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  12/18/2015 
Decent, Dignified and Productive Work
The Government of Barbados has developed and amended enabling legislation to ensure that its workforce enjoys decent, dignified and productive work and that those in the informal sector enjoy basic rights and conditions.
Such legislation includes:
- The Employment Rights Act which seeks to confer on persons new employment rights. For employees, the right to be consulted before they are laid off or placed on short time; the right, if dismissed for redundancy or laid off, to priority rehiring in certain circumstances; the right, where employment has ended, to a certificate giving particulars of the employment including, where the employment ended by dismissal (should the employee so wish), a statement of the reasons why he was dismissed; the right not to be unfairly dismissed; the right to register a complaint of unfair dismissal and for the Employment Rights Tribunal, which has been established to determine issues relating to employment rights, to make a determination on such matters.
- The Shops Act and the Holiday with Pay Act have been amended to address the issue of working conditions.
- Amendments have also been made to the Safety and Health at Work Act, and new legislation in the form of the Anti-discrimination Bill and the Sexual Harassment Bill
are currently being formulated.
- The Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development (MLSD) continues to oversee the implementation of provisions related to those International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions which have been ratified by Barbados. MLSD also works closely with the competent authorities of the various conventions to monitor activities related to these instruments and to ensure that the country remains compliant.

Quality of Education
Barbados continues to place considerable emphasis on human and social capital development through significant investments in education and related services. The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and educational institutions at all levels, strive to provide conducive learning environments to ensure the inculcation of appropriate knowledge, skills, and competencies among all learners. Major areas of focus are the expansion of Early Childhood Education (ECE), the integration of Information Communication Technology in education, the enhancement of the quality of education at the primary and secondary levels, technical and vocational education and skills development, teacher training and teacher preparation and the expansion of access to tertiary education.
Over the period 2000-2015, Barbados continued to provide significant investment in educational, social and other support services to ensure that all children from birth to age 16 have equal access to education. These include free textbooks at the primary level, a subsidized textbook loan scheme at the secondary level, free travel on state-owned buses, a subsidized school feeding programme, a school uniform grant, free health care and subventions and bursaries to Government-Assisted private schools.
In Barbados, the concept of quality of education articulated within the Dakar Framework for Action has been embraced. While quality is not framed and defined specifically in the national legislation, at the central administration level, emphasis has been placed on policies and programmes that focus on the characteristics and learning outcomes of students, the training and competence of teachers, the process of pedagogical delivery by teachers and their interaction and impact on learners, appropriate and relevant national curricula, effective school leadership and good governance and equitable and adequate resource allocation.
Since the goals of universal primary and secondary education have been achieved, a focus on the quality of the education system provides a better assessment of the provision of education services at all levels. Such areas include the following:
- Academic qualifications of teachers
- The proportion of professionally trained teachers in the teaching service - In the area of professional development, the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College offered a range of In-service professional certificate courses over the period since 2000. Some of the courses included the Vocational Teachers’ In-service Training, Early Childhood Education, Special Needs Education and Physical Education. Throughout the period, a pre-service Introductory Course for Novice teachers was also offered.
- Maintaining pupil-teacher ratios –Barbados can be regarded as having excelled in this performance indicator
Paragraphs: 2 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  12/18/2015 
MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
The Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development designs and implements programmes and projects that address the following:
The National Assistance Programme
The National Assistance Programme is offered by the Welfare Department. This programme provides assistance to poor and vulnerable citizens who are unable to earn a living to support themselves and their dependents because of illness, injury or other special circumstance. The National Assistance programme has two components:
i. Monetary Assistance/Cash Transfers: This allows poor and vulnerable individuals to meet their daily needs; and
ii. Assistance-in-Kind: This comprises the provision of food vouchers, dentures, spectacles, clothing, hearing aids, prostheses, furniture, the facilitation of burials, the payment of house and land rents and utility bills – water and electricity.
The National Assistance Programme endeavours to provide an opportunity for needy citizens to meet their needs and improve their social condition through the provision of financial assistance and assistance in kind.

Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme
The Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme (PREP) provides skills training to clients of the welfare department to facilitate their personal development and give them an opportunity to utilize these marketable skills to elevate themselves from a status of dependency to independence through employment. This programme responds to the realization that it is not enough to simply provide the poor and vulnerable with hand-outs but it is also vital that they are provided with opportunities to develop and expand their capabilities and lift themselves out of poverty. PREP aims to enhance personal and social development; increase knowledge and skills; promote the transfer of learning; promote job retention; and enhance and developing self-efficacy.
Identification – Stabilization – Enablement – Empowerment (I.S.E.E.) Bridge Pilot Project
The Country Assessment of Living Conditions (CALC) is a national study which was conducted in 2010 using quantitative and qualitative research to assess the current conditions affecting the welfare of people living in Barbados. The study indicated that despite a large number of social services offered to reduce poverty many individuals have been unable to break the cycle of poverty and as a result there are large numbers of poor multi-generational households. The I.S.E.E. Bridge project aims to reduce intergenerational poverty, using the household as the focal point of intervention to improve the overall quality of life of poor and vulnerable household members. This programme represents a paradigm shift in the efforts to reduce poverty in Barbados and it moves away from the traditional emphasis of “stabilizing” to that of “empowering” the poor and the vulnerable. The intervention focusses on four critical areas:
i. Identification/Assessment: Where the poor and vulnerable are identified and their needs assessed.
ii. Stabilization: The immediate needs are addressed.
iii. Enablement: Where skills to survive are imparted.
iv. Empowerment: Where individuals are imbued with the capacity to succeed and excel in society.

The overall objective of the project is to Build a Road for Individual Development towards the Goal of Empowerment (BRIDGE).
The programme is built on seven pillars of intervention, namely; i) Personal Identification, Health Promotion, Education and Human Resource Development, Employment, Income/Social Benefits, Housing Conditions and Family Dynamics. Minimum conditions are attached to each pillar which household members are required to meet before graduating from the programme. This process is supported by intense psycho-social support.

MDG 2 – Achieve universal primary education
Since the 1970s, Barbados attained universal access to primary education and this has been maintained. There have been consistently high levels of pupil participation by both sexes which has corresponded with high completion rates and high effective transition rates for pupils from primary education to secondary education.

MDG 3 – Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
The Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) is the national machinery responsible for the integration of gender in all national policies and programmes. The BGA functions to mainstream gender and to ensure the integration of gender and development into all areas of national development plans and policies so that women and men can benefit equally from existing opportunities.
Gender mainstreaming is an integral component of the Bureau’s activities. A number of training and sensitisation programmes are implemented to expand gender awareness and promote social change at the community level which will remove barriers to the attainment of gender equality. Gender sensitivity programmes are also implemented within primary and secondary educational institutions to increase awareness of gender issues among children with a view to promoting harmonious future generations.
A major accomplishment of the Bureau of Gender Affairs is the National Policy on Gender, which will form the framework of the major work of the Bureau over the next five years. The development of the policy is in the final stages and the policy document should be completed by 2015. This policy will act as the guiding framework through which gender perspectives are being brought to the forefront of national planning, legislation, programmes and activities in order to advance development.

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality
Antenatal and child-health services in the polyclinics and the Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Units at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were instrumental in improving infant survival rates. Nurses received specialist training in neo-natal care to complement these services.
Perinatal conditions and congenital abnormalities were the leading cause of death among children under 1 year old. Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (less than 1 year) was 10.7 in 2012 while neonatal (0 to 27 days) infant mortality rate was 8.3, and the post-neonatal (28 days to <1 year) infant mortality rate was 2.5.
The health of infants and children is dependent on controlling the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases and Barbados has been successful in meeting international targets in this area. In 2013, Barbados was awarded the Caribbean Public Health Agency shield for excellent surveillance for immunization diseases under the Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI). The country continues to maintain zero cases of polio, neonatal tetanus, measles, rubella, yellow fever and congenital rubella syndrome. Over the past two decades immunization coverage has been consistently high, between 90-93%.
New vaccines added to the EPI include Hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenza, Pneumococcal and Varicella. The most recent of these, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, was included in the immunization programme in January 2014. Initially girls eleven years and over in twenty-three (23) secondary schools were given the vaccine and preparation is now being made for the inoculation of a second cohort of girls.
The programme for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) started in Barbados in 1995. Prior to its implementation, HIV transmission rates to infants exposed to HIV was 27.1%. However, by 2012, HIV transmission rates were reduced to less than 1%.
PART - 1 -
Paragraphs: 5 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  12/18/2015 
MDG 5: Improve maternal health
Barbados has maintained low maternal mortality rates with six maternal deaths recorded between 2007 and 2009 resulting in a maternal death rate of 0.8 per thousand live births. Enhanced continuity of care is being articulated in ongoing revisions of established antenatal guidelines. Protocols for identification of high risk pregnancies have also been developed and implemented. All pregnant women have access to ante-natal and post-natal care which is provided through the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, eight polyclinics and two out-patient clinics. All births and post-partum care for mother and child are attended by trained health professionals. There have been no reported cases of congenital syphilis in the last seven years. Barbados continues to provide technical assistance in Paediatric care to its Caribbean neighbours.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
HIV/AIDS
Given its significant achievements, the Barbados HIV/AIDS programme is regarded as a model in the Caribbean region. This success is now augmented by the universal availability of antiretroviral treatment for individuals living with HIV, resulting in a significant reduction in mortality and improved quality of life for affected individuals and their families. Added to this is the reduction in mother-to-child transmission, with no reported cases since 2007. This success has been achieved in conjunction with international and regional cooperation.
Transmissions continue to trend downwards with 138 new HIV cases recorded in 2012. At the end of 2012 there were 2,024 people living with HIV, and the HIV prevalence in 15-49 year olds for 2012 was estimated at 1.2%. There has been a reduction of AIDS mortality rates from 50% to less than 10% and Barbados has achieved universal access to treatment. All donated blood is screened for HIV as part of the Blood Safety Programme at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A National HIV Testing Policy was developed, launched and disseminated to all stakeholders in 2013. A Rapid Testing Pilot Project was implemented to expand access to HIV testing services in Barbados and the service is now being offered routinely at select polyclinics. In 2013, national guidelines were updated according to WHO global and regional guidelines.
An initiative to strengthen the health sector’s response to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) through integration of services and community involvement is slated to be implemented by 2017. This initiative, estimated at a total cost of $ 20,651,320 is being funded through a Co-operative Agreement Project by the World Bank, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the United States Centre for Disease Control.
The National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention and Control 2014-2020 was approved for implementation, and its major focus is the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Activities under this Plan are carried out by the National HIV/AIDS Commission, and are designed to benefit key populations at higher risk, and people living with HIV (PLHIV). Under this programme, the Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU) Laboratory was established as a fully developed functioning molecular suite providing clinical services including immunophenotyping for Leukemias and Lymphomas.
The LRU, a specialty facility offering outpatient medical care, was opened in June 2002 and comprises a multi-disciplinary clinic and laboratory. In keeping with international best practices, the clinic provides Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) for PLHIV.
The laboratory facilitates assessment and monitoring of PLHIV by measuring CD4 counts and HIV-1 RNA (or Viral Load) levels. Through the LRU, Barbados now has the capacity to act as a resource centre for the region in the treatment and control of HIV and other diseases.
The anti-retroviral therapy programme has been responsible for the decline in the AIDS case fatality rate, as well as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in Barbados. Data from the case-based surveillance system positions Barbados to undertake the certification process to verify achievements, thereby placing us among the first English Speaking Caribbean countries to have achieved regional targets. Specifically, these achievements translate into the following milestones:
- Significant reduction in newly diagnosed HIV infections during the period 2001-2010.
- Significant expansion of HIV care and treatment services through decentralized testing.
- Referral to care, care and treatment expansion and sustained high coverage, currently estimated at 86% of those who need it.
- Reduction of AIDS mortality rates from 50% to less than 10%.
- Reduction of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 2% or less. Barbados has no reported cases of transmission of HIV from mother to her child in the last four years.
- Reduction of the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 0.3 cases or less per 1000 live births.
- Reduction of the incidence of congenital syphilis to 0.5 cases or less per 1000 live births. Barbados has had no reported cases of congenital syphilis in the last seven years. Additionally, our programme includes Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) within family planning and STI and HIV prevention services.

Malaria
Malaria is not endemic in Barbados but active wetlands surveillance continues for the vector of this disease.
Other Diseases
Barbados’ Tuberculosis Control programme has been designed and executed based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and WHO STOP TB partnerships global plan. The indicators and targets set for 2015 (incidence rate, prevalence rate, mortality rate and case detection rates) have been achieved, in addition to targets for the needed response to address the specific challenges of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and the TB/HIV co-epidemic. The TB control programme has also enhanced the surveillance activity at port of entries.
There were (4) four confirmed cases of TB in 2012, and (5) in 2013. Laboratory services and requisite training has also been enhanced.
Dengue fever is endemic in Barbados but there was a trend downwards for 2013 with 1,140 confirmed cases and an index below two. Vector control strategies, including source reduction and chemical control, remain a principal prevention strategy with continued inspections of premises, investigations of mosquito complaints and maintained surveillance at sites, including ports of entry and wetlands. At August 2014 there were 100 confirmed cases of dengue fever, representing a reduction of over 90% when compared with the 1,100 cases reported at August 2013.
MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development
In terms of health, Barbados has developed global partnerships with a number of organizations with the aim of strategically strengthening its health service system and enhancing delivery of programmes and services.
HIV/AIDS World Bank Project
In addition to the development of the HIV/AIDS programme, cooperation through the HIV/AIDS World Bank Project is also directed at developing health information systems (HIS) and services and bringing them in line with international standards, including the obligations to World Health Organization (WHO) regulations.
To date a health data dictionary (HDD) consultancy has been completed and the dictionary developed. A data governance structure has also been established and Cabinet has approved the use of World Bank procedures to acquire an electronic HIS. The Ministry is also currently investigating surveillance software in collaboration with PAHO.
Caribbean Public Health Agency
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement of which Caribbean Community Member States are parties. The agency began operation in January 2013.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems are critical components for the development of comprehensive national health sector strategic plans. To facilitate this development, Barbados has partnered with CARPHA to conduct M&E training for programme heads. Basic and advanced training in M&E techniques has been delivered and CARPHA is currently working with specific departments in the design and implementation of M&E plans.
In addition, CARPHA is the repository for mortality surveillance in the region and the Ministry provides the organization with annual mortality reports for Barbados.
The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS
The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) comprises CARICOM states as well as regional and international partners. The partnership aims to scale up the response to HIV/AIDS in the region.
The Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network
The Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) was established in 2003 for the purpose of contributing to systematic capacity development among institutional and community- based health care workers. Healthcare workers in Barbados have been trained through this initiative.
Centre for Disease Control
Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States of America has added value to the laboratory strengthening exercise now being under taken in Barbados. A project to amalgamate the individual laboratories has been developed to achieve economies of scale and enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of services carried out by the Public Health Laboratory, the Leptospira Laboratory and the Ladymeade Reference Laboratory. The Government of Barbados has secured funding for this project from the State Department of the Unites States Government through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The CDC has also assisted with surveillance efforts in relation to identifying high risk groups and the management of infectious diseases.

PART - 2 -
Paragraphs: 5 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Social Care

Conscious of the impact of the global recession on the country and the implications this
has for the poor and the vulnerable, the Barbados Government has scaled-up its efforts
to combat poverty in all its dimensions and remains steadfastly committed to
strengthening efforts to reduce social disparities and inequality and to halve extreme
poverty by the year 2015. This has been done essentially to safeguard the level of
progress made as a nation and to maintain the quality of life that Barbadians have been
able to enjoy, especially over the last four decades. To this end, institutional frameworks
are being strengthened and participatory governance is being mainstreamed. Social
protection is receiving special attention with the emphasis being shifted from that of
mere stabilisation to that of the empowerment of the poor and those persons at risk
including Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons. The goal of these strategies is to
promote human prosperity and in the process, ensure sustainable economic growth and
maintain social development.
Paragraphs: 9 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet

The Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet has been established to coordinate the work
of the social sector and fast track decision-maldng. It is therefore charged to consider
social policy issues within the purviews, inter alia, of health, education, housing,
employment and welfare. The membership of the Committee comprises the Ministers
under whose portfolios these issues fall. Policy Papers informing on growing trends in
the social sector, emerging challenges and new initiatives are submitted to this
Committee where they are discussed in detailed. Recommendations concerning the
formulation and implementation of policies and strategies to deal with these matters are
also examined and any adjustments made as necessary.

The Inter-Ministry Task Force to Monitor and Strengthen the Social Safety
Net

This Inter-Ministry Task Force provides a framework for the management of social risks.
It is seen as an integral part of social protection and allows for a fully coordinated
sectoral approach to the provision of social services. Its establishment is aimed at
strengthening the social protection network and minimising duplication and
fragmentation in the social service delivery system. Its specific task is to identify the ongoing
risks posed to the vulnerable so that strategies can be put in place to prevent or
minimize dislocation, displacement and exclusion and improve coping mechanisms.
Membership of the Inter-Ministry Task Force is drawn from among the technical staff of
the relevant Ministries and Departments and is chaired by the Minister of Social Care.
Members of the Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet are also in attendance as
necessary.

To date, members of the Inter-Ministry Task Force have been sharing information
concerning the roles and responsibilities of their agencies; assisting with the formulation
of policy and programmes to deal with issues identified; participating in various
activities etc. An important achievement has been the creation of a data base of the
services offered by agencies serving on the Task Force.
Paragraphs: 4, 8 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The Inter-Ministry Task Force to Monitor and Strengthen the Social Safety
Net

This Inter-Ministry Task Force provides a framework for the management of social risks.
It is seen as an integral part of social protection and allows for a fully coordinated
sectoral approach to the provision of social services. Its establishment is aimed at
strengthening the social protection network and minimising duplication and
fragmentation in the social service delivery system. Its specific task is to identify the ongoing
risks posed to the vulnerable so that strategies can be put in place to prevent or
minimize dislocation, displacement and exclusion and improve coping mechanisms.
Membership of the Inter-Ministry Task Force is drawn from among the technical staff of
the relevant Ministries and Departments and is chaired by the Minister of Social Care.
Members of the Social Policy Committee of the Cabinet are also in attendance as
necessary.

To date, members of the Inter-Ministry Task Force have been sharing information
concerning the roles and responsibilities of their agencies; assisting with the formulation
of policy and programmes to deal with issues identified; participating in various
activities etc. An important achievement has been the creation of a data base of the
services offered by agencies serving on the Task Force.
Paragraphs: 10 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The objective of the Constituency Empowerment Programme is the broadening of the
participatory character of governance in Barbados with the view to ensuring the
equitable development of Barbadian society. It favours a ''bottom-up'' approach to
development and provides the platform on which the social upliftrnent and the
empowerment of all citizens will be pursued. AIl such it is seen as an important aspect of
the Government's overall poverty reduction strategy.

The Constituency Empowerment Programme has been operationalised by the
establishment of thirty (30) Constituency Councils, one in each Constituency. The
membership of each Constituency Council comprises fifteen (15) persons drawn from the
respective constituencies. They represent faith-based organisations and other civil
society organisations as well as individuals who have been nominated by their respective
constituencies. Major political parties are also represented on the Council. These
Councils are expected to partner with their constituents and together find solutions to
local problems. Each Council receives an allocation of $100,000 per annum to finance
their respective programmes.

The Councils are supported administratively by the Department of Constituency
Empowerment. The Officers of this Department are available to give guidance, conduct
training and give financial oversight. The Department also provides the link between the
Councils and the Ministry as well as other agencies with which the Councils need to
interact. The Department also monitors the functioning of the Protocols which have
been established with these Agencies and fast-tracks any referrals. A volunteer
programme is also being developed as part of the Programme to further extend the reach
of the Councils.

Programmes undertal,en by the Councils to date include the conducting of educational
programmes for children and young people; training in the area of entrepreneurial
development; clean-up and beautification campaigns; recreational activities; the clearing
of wells to mitigate flooding especially during the rainy season; and response to
emergency matters. Support to community-based organisations, including sporting
organisations has also been forthcoming.
Paragraphs: 4 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Enhancement of Social Protection Strategies

Poverty in Barbados is considered to be relative rather than extreme as defined by
international development institutions. The country also boasts of having one of the
most comprehensive social safety nets in the Caribbean. However there are pockets of
poverty which appear to be generational that are deemed unacceptable. Breaking this
cycle of poverty has been difficult in that strategies tended to stop at stabilising acute
situations rather than transforming them. Hence many of the persons falling victim to
intergenerational poverty made little effort to emerge from their state of dependency.
Recognising this, Barbados has sought to move away from the concept of dependence on
welfare to that of empowerment. To this end, new interventionist approaches have been
adopted which are supported by the use of information management systems and
technology as well as research. National Assistance rates have also been increased.
Paragraphs: 4, 8, 9 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
The ISEE Bridge Programme, which captures the operational framework guiding
interventions in the Personal Social Services Sector, is an initiative aimed at reducing
intergenerational poverty. Its introduction was based on the conclusion that more
attention needs to be placed on the household as a focal point of intervention to improve
the quality of life of the poor and vulnerable within the household if intergenerational
poverty is to be reduced/eliminated.
A Pilot Programme, targeting 30 households will commence in July 2011 in association
with the Organisation of American States. The intervention will include intensive
psycho-social support as well as assistance from other agencies of Government and Civil
Society to address the expressed needs of the identified households. The Programme will
ultimately assist in strengthening the intervention methodologies utilised by the Welfare
Department.
Paragraphs: 8 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Information Management and Research

A barrier to efficient and effective delivery of social services has been the inability to
retrieve existing data to inform policy and enhance the social service delivery system. To
this end, the setting up of a National Social Care Information Management System is
being pursued and a Website activated. A Country Assessment of Living Conditions has
also been conducted.

National Social Care Information Management System (NASCIMS)

Acknowledging that the global environment has evolved as a knowledge-based society,
development policy and strategies are becoming increasingly dependent on the flow of
intelligent up-to-date information. Given the nature, scope of work and potential impact
on national development, the mandate of the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency
Empowerment and Community Development - with six (6) critical departments and a
staff complement of approximately four hundred (400) persons, there was an urgent
need of a technologically advanced, network. The process of setting up this network has
begun. When completed, it will efficiently and effectively share vital information for the
conducting of the work of the Ministry.

The establishment of NASCIMS will allow for service excellence to clients and the
general public. It will also provide for up-to-date information on the status of social
development in Barbados and inform policy-making and development strategies, It is
anticipated that there will be the connectivity of all departments.; the expedition of
information sharing; accurate departmental statistics; the efficient transmission of
information; remote access of files and resources; and the centralization of information
and data on shared servers where it is managed for confidentiality and security.
NASCIMS will also greatly assist with client tracking.

To facilitate this initiative, all Departments under the Ministry are being computerised.
It is hoped that eventually all Agencies will be linked to allow for information sharing,
case conferences, etc.
Paragraphs: 9 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Budget allocations to assistance in-kind have also been increased to meet the demand
coming from persons who may not be on welfare, but who may be at risk in the current
circumstances. At present, assistance in-kind includes the payment of utility bills,
(water and electricity) house and land rent, food vouchers, clothing, educational
assistance (books, uniforms etc.), spectacles, dentures and prostheses.
Paragraphs: 10 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/21/2011 
Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme

The Poverty Reduction Empowerment Programme represents an improvement of the existing Welfare to Work Programme. It is part of the overall empowerment programme offered in the treatment model to recipients of National Assistance and those persons at risk. Clients are offered skills training opportunities to equip themselves for the world of work. Personal development training is also part of the programme. It is based on the philosophy that persons can earn their way out of poverty.

The scaled-up version of the programme will include job placements and work experience as well as psycho-social support. It will also be an integral part of the ISEE Bridge Programme.
Paragraphs: 4, 8 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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