About the Project
Social Protection Management Information System (PROMIS) for Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development
PROMIS is the digital platform of the Government of The Bahamas that modernizes and unifies the management of 13 different social assistance programs, including for food, housing, burial, utilities, and school uniform.
In 2020, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development awarded Synergy a contract to develop a social protection management information system (PROMIS). At the time, The Bahamas, still reeling from the devastating impact of the 2019 Hurricane Dorian, was grappling with the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
The government needed a digital solution to strengthen the delivery of both regular social assistance and post-disaster emergency assistance. Paper-based ways of doing things were costly, inefficient, and unsustainable. In the face of sudden shocks, governments must be swift, nimble, and data-driven in adjusting the social protection system to protect those most in need. According to a Ministry official, the goal was “to take the paper-based process to the digital era.”
Launched in May 2021, PROMIS enables the entire process of providing social assistance, from how individuals and households apply for benefits through the public portal of PROMIS to how the Ministry’s Department of Social Services targets, enrolls, and transfers funds to beneficiaries.
Today, PROMIS is a critical enabler of the social protection system in The Bahamas.
- Paper-based management of social protection programs proved burdensome and unsustainable.
- Significant administrative costs and inefficiencies due to the manual and siloed management of different programs
- No holistic, 360-degree view of beneficiaries
- Individuals and households could only apply for assistance by filling out paper forms in person, severely restricting access to social services.
- Synergy and the Department of Social Services (DSS) collaborated to ensure that PROMIS unifies different social protection programs within a single coherent digital platform and digitalizes all the processes of managing them.
- PROMIS enables the entire social assistance delivery chain—targeting, uptake, enrollment, provision of benefits, graduation—and all interactions between citizens and DSS.
- PROMIS communicates with the National Insurance Board (NIB) database to verify and validate applicants when they register for assistance.
- As a mission-critical tool, PROMIS is managed by four system administrators and used by around 100 government officers.
- More than 25,000 beneficiaries have been supported so far through PROMIS.
- More than 50,000 applications for social assistance have been processed so far through PROMIS.
- Significant reduction in the time and effort it takes to generate data reports for policymakers.
“The social protection management information system has truly been beneficial to the Department of Social Services. It has made us more efficient in our work.”