Though the Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with constantly improving human development indicators, but the country still faces problems with childhood poverty and education. The statistics show that about half of all public students leave school every year with only an attendance certificate that result in 30 per cent youth unemployment in the country.
The Ministry of Social Services and Community Development (MOSSCD) that has initiated several cash and in-kind transfer programmes for low-income Bahamians, needs to improve the efficiency of its expenditures and make targeted transfers. The Government initiated a series of safety net reforms to transform those social assistance programmes into a conditional cash transfer (CCT) – deliver financial assistance based on MOSSCD’s defined thresholds and parameters.
In the light of new CCT reforms, the information management system is absolutely critical to automate and track beneficiaries, payments, and program statistics from the entire lifecycle of a CCT program. Hence, the Government of The Bahamas (GOB) in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank contracted Synergy International Systems for the implementation of an automated CCT Management Information Systems (CCT MIS) to record, process and manage CCT transactions.
Synergy’s industry leading Social Protection Information System (Auxilium) will serve as a unified social assistance platform for the MOSSCD and will enable users to register, validate beneficiaries, track payments, and monitor the entire lifecycle of a CCT programs.
In January 2016 in the scope of the system development process, Synergy’s two project managers Aram Lalayan and Diana Gurzadyan traveled to Nassau, Bahamas, to conduct a comprehensive training on the envisioned CCT MIS solution to more than 20 MOSSCD participants including Minister of Social Services the Honorary Melanie Griffin.
“My level of excitement just went up.” said Marva Russell-Minns, the Project Manager of Social Safety Net Reform Programme in Department of Social Services upon the first personalized log on to the system.
“I’m excited to see this system working.” concluded the Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Honorable Melanie Griffin M.P, after the demonstration of the system.
Synergy was awarded the project through a competitive international bidding by the Inter-American Development Bank. The company recently developed and rolled-out similar social assistance MIS for the Governments of Timor-Leste and Maldives.