The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened inequities and widened social protection gaps in Jamaica. Civil society's limited participation in the national response has hindered the sharing of data, expertise and resources and impeded national alignment around key issues.
How we are helping
This project will facilitate multi-sectoral collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector to strengthen the national response to current and future pandemics with sustainable provision for social protection and other essential services.
About the project
The pandemic has heightened socio-economic inequities and gaps in social protection in Jamaica, further compounded by the negative effect on funding opportunities and limited resources available for civil society organisations. A recent study by the National Commission on Violence Prevention found that 85% of the civil society organisations surveyed indicated that funding had been affected, resulting in programmes being halted and having an immediate effect on the provision of social protection.
A report on the effects of the pandemic on children in Jamaica, conducted by the Caribbean Planning and Research Institute and UNICEF, found that more than 42% of households experienced food shortages with 66% having fewer meals and 41% of households with children indicating that they shouted at their children more often.
Civil society organisations currently lack the necessary platforms to facilitate the sharing of pertinent data and methodology, and opportunities for strategic engagement at the national level.
The Council of Voluntary Social Services and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) have already demonstrated the potential of a multi-sectoral approach with the PSOJ Covid-19 Jamaica Response Fund: 62 civil society organisations worked in partnership with business to benefit 93,793 individuals in 60 communities across Jamaica.
This project now aims to foster more effective collaboration between civil society and the public and private sector. This multi-sectoral national approach will allow for a more streamlined response which utilises partnerships to facilitate greater resilience, preparedness and impact.
This will be achieved by:
- Mapping recent and existing civil society responses to Covid-19.
- Identifying gaps in the current response through a series of focus groups with civil society organisations and generating recommendations for enhanced engagement between civil society and the public and private sectors.
- Establishing a multi-sectoral working group to review and make further recommendations through a series of bi-monthly meetings to develop a consensus on multi-sectoral national approach for submission to government partners.
- Raising awareness of the benefits of collaboration between civil society and the public and private sectors, and the value of civil society participation in national pandemic responses.
The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), founded in 1940, is the longest serving and largest coordinating body for voluntary non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Jamaica. With 115 member agencies, their mission is to build the capacity of members and the wider community; to create sustainable alliances, facilitate mutual support and joint action; build the spirit of volunteerism and represent the concerns of the social sector including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups at national and international levels. They recently facilitated an extremely high degree of inter-agency collaboration and coordination among CSOs spearheading the PSOJ (Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica) Covid-19 Jamaica Response Fund.
We support people's participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms, and expertise.