The Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development et al. in collaboration with the World Bank Trust Fund held a two-day training workshop on Adaptive Social Protection Curriculum Development and Training for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Social protection and labour (SPL) market programmes and policies play a critical role in safeguarding individuals and households from shocks, equipping them to improve their livelihoods, and creating opportunities for an improved life.
Given the increasing frequency and impact of natural disasters, there is an urgency to ensure that adequate response mechanisms are in place. SPL programmes and policies are ideally suited to decrease vulnerability prior to, during and after natural disasters occur.
Through a World Bank Trust Fund, the Bank is supporting efforts in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to improve the effectiveness of SPL programmes and systems to better respond to poor and vulnerable households affected by disasters.
This work complements strengthening of the country’s SPL system through an ongoing Human Development Service Delivery Project and ongoing Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project aimed at vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change.
Central activities of the Trust Fund include the development of an Adaptive Social Protection curriculum and the delivery of this curriculum through a training of Trainers workshop.
The main objective of the curriculum development and training is to improve the implementation capacity and coordination among implementers and responders, who are responsible for Social Protection (SP) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) through the development and delivery of three curriculum modules:
(i) A social protection module, which aims to provide key stakeholders with a basic understanding of social protection by reviewing SPL programs, with particular attention to social care services; basic SPL concepts and tools and mechanisms; and, an overview of the SP landscape in SVG;
(ii) A disaster risk management module, that will offer stakeholders a general overview of DRM by reviewing basic DRM concepts and the DRM landscape in SVG to increase awareness and understanding of key concepts, tools and their relevance to SVG; and,
(iii) An Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) module, which would cover basic concepts in
Adaptive Social Protection — an approach under which SP systems, programs and tools are adapted to more readily and adequately mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and the impacts of climate change.
This modules introduced basic ASP concepts as well as provided examples in which SPL programmes or instruments have been or have potential to be used to respond to or prepare for natural hazards in SVG and elsewhere in the region and world, citing relevant examples and lessons related to the application of a post-disaster assessment to prioritize and target areas for immediate relief; the provision of social care services, and the delivery of in-kind and cash transfers following a disaster including materials for rebuilding.
Delivering the opening remarks on Wednesday, Permanent Secretary Gittens-McMillan urged the participants to gather as much information as they possibly can from the two expert trainers as they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and information that can benefit our local landscape.
She further urged participants to glean as much information as possible, so that they can share with others in their agency/organisation. This should assist more people to be more prepared in the event of a disaster and be better able to cope in the aftermath.
The two expert trainers were Ms. Keren Charles of Trinidad and Tobago who is a Disaster Risk Management Specialist from the World Bank Group working on the Caribbean; she has been working with St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the past 5yrs which included Hurricane Tomas Emergency Recovery Loan and is now with the Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (RDVRP), while her colleague Ms. Asha Williams from Trinidad and Tobago is a Social Protection Specialist with the World Bank Group Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice.
She too has been working with St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a number of years as well especially with Social Protection. Participants for this Trainer of Trainers workshop were drawn from stakeholder agencies including Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations.