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How JSIF works

Published:Wednesday | March 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

WITH A 95 per cent success rate in the implementation of community projects since its inception in 1996, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) believes its two-pronged approach to assisting communities has benefited a large number of Jamaicans.

The 16-year-old quasi-government agency has been channelling resources into community-based projects aimed at improving social infrastructure in communities islandwide.

JSIF employs what it calls a demand-driven approach to assisting communities. This means that residents apply to the JSIF directly or through the Social Development Commission.

Managing director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, says because some communities are oblivious to the work of JSIF, the agency has, in recent times, used a targeted approach to identifying community needs.

Speaking Monday at a Gleaner Editors' Forum, Gillings said JSIF conducted research to get information about communities in need of specific assistance.

In addition, the Ministry of National Security provides JSIF with data on the so-called hot spots in inner-city areas.

JSIF uses this information as a guide to initiate projects in depressed and troubled communities.

"So we have two systems going, communities demanding and communities targeted," she said.

At present, JSIF is working on some 40 social infrastructure projects in inner-city areas which are scheduled for completion by the end of 2011.

The projects are geared toward poverty and crime reduction.

Community projects targeted by JSIF are road, primary and basic schools, community centres and health centres, among others.