Synergy has begun work on a new National Social Protection Project in Barbados, where we will develop a Social Safety Net Management Information System (PULSE MIS) for the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs (MPEA). The PULSE MIS will serve as a unified system for the application, processing, and distribution of all social assistance programs across various government agencies. The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as part of the Strengthening Human and Social Development in Barbados Program, and as part of the United Nations Universal Adaptive Social Protection Program to Enhance Resilience in the Eastern Caribbean.
In late 2020, the Government of Barbados began a national re-organization of its social protection services. Currently, benefits such as cash transfers, COVID-19 emergency assistance, food vouchers, and childcare benefits are delivered through different ministries, each with its own delivery systems. This GOB, IDB, and United Nations effort will result in a simplified process for the most vulnerable people in Barbados to apply for and receive benefits. Armed with the PULSE MIS, the GOB will be able to measure the social and economic outcomes of its investments in people, tracking beneficiaries’ graduation from social protection programs over time and giving the GOB data-driven insights to inform policy.
The Synergy team of Systems Analyst Ali Abdullah and Social Protection MIS Specialist Tim Lann traveled to Barbados during the first week of October to launch the project with MPEA and other Government of Barbados (GOB) agencies. Synergy will assist the GOB in centralizing and digitalizing the delivery of all social protection benefits in the country.
In the Caribbean, Synergy is also working with the governments of The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen the national social safety net through information technology. Over the past decade, Synergy has crafted a software solution, recently rebranded as Auxilium, that is designed expressly for the social protection sector.