Gov't establishes citizen security secretariat


Gov't establishes citizen security secretariat

Friday, February 19, 2021

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ONE hundred communities are expected to be impacted by community transformation initiatives being implemented under the Citizen Security Plan (CSP) and coordinated by the newly established Citizen Security Secretariat (CSS).

The secretariat is housed in the Ministry of National Security and funded by the Government of Jamaica, European Union (EU) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang said “this is the first Government to put in place such a robust security plan, with the necessary institutional arrangements to ensure a sustainable, whole-of-government approach to the social investment and social transformation component of crime fighting”.

The plan will support and build on the existing work that is being undertaken to improve citizen security by a number of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholder groups, with a view to achieving greater coherence, efficiency and efficacy.

According to Dianne McIntosh, executive director of the CSS, several ministries and public-private partnerships have spent billions of dollars towards the development and implementation of social and crime-prevention programmes in volatile communities. “What we have noticed is that there is a doubling up of efforts and overlapping data collected on communities and individuals. Many of the existing programmes have weak, fledgling or no monitoring and evaluation framework, incoherent coordination efforts and poor synergy among implementing entities, as well as a lack of clear communication strategies,” the executive director added.

McIntosh said this approach is to be guided by a robust data and delivery management model that provides a tailored multi-sectoral and community-centred approach to improving citizen security. This response, she added, is anchored by the development of a socio-demographic and infrastructural community assessment framework (SICAF), which forms part of the development of standards for the design, implementation and coordination of social transformation programmes in Jamaica.

The SICAF is a data-driven instrument that assesses community needs and helps to determine how best state or privately-provided resources may be allocated to address deficiencies identified. Primary focus will be given to schools, parents, households and communities located in volatile geographic spaces.

“Our aim is to overcome such barriers that delay progress in connecting people to resources while mitigating risks. We also strive to break down common obstacles such as siloed departments and insufficient project-management expertise, while implementing clear plans with targets or objectives”, she further explained.

The plan will be operationalised using a targeted multi-sectoral approach around the reduction of crime and violence, installation of safer spaces, along with training in human and community development.

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