Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Honour Award - JSIF:For Public Service - On a mission to alleviate poverty

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM
  • During the 2013-2014 financial year - a period of reduced government spending - the JSIF succeeded in disbursing $1.94 billion under nine project portfolio areas with 74 projects completed.  the expenditure reflected heavy investment in inner-city renewal.

  • As its 20th year approaches, the JSIF continues to attract new funding from international agencies, which have assessed and approved the effectiveness of its approach.

  • During this past fiscal year, the JSIF brought to conclusion projects, which over an eight year span, collectively disbursed more than $5.2 billion, which directly benefited over 129,900 underserved persons in selected communities across the island.

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which is close to the end of its second decade as an agency dedicated to alleviating poverty, continues on its major thrust to deliver critical community infrastructure and services in spite of contracting resources.

Since its establishment in 1996 as an arm of the Government of Jamaica dedicated to developing and implementing national poverty alleviation strategies, the agency has been making a significant impact through its numerous and varied community projects across the island, powered by funding partnerships.

Managing Director Scarlette Gillings said the JSIF remains committed to innovation and best practices in programme design "as we do more with less resources".

One example of doing more with less is the World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which has provided funding to over 50 community-based agriculture and tourism subprojects. Under the programme, over 70 per cent of supported businesses have recorded increased earnings and are selling to new and dynamic markets (supermarkets, exporters, agro-processors, abattoirs) with the remainder recording increased sales.

2014 projects

Overall, JSIF projects during the fiscal year ending March 2014 focused exclusively on volatile and vulnerable communities, accounting for 46 per cent of total subproject disbursements. There was also strong emphasis on rural development, evidenced by REDI, the Community Investment Project, and the Basic Needs Trust Fund, projects which accounted for 29 per cent of project disbursements.

Now approaching its 20th anniversary, the agency has so far channelled funds of over $9.941 billion towards critical community needs, completing over 1,000 subprojects in all 14 parishes. In line with its mandate, planned projects are aimed at improving the lives of Jamaicans where this assistance is most needed.

For its sustained contribution to social development in Jamaica, and its use of best practices to enhance and increase returns on investment in communities where its services are most needed, The Gleaner Company is proud to present the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) with The Gleaner Honour Award for outstanding Public Service in 2014.