The CRP was established in 2011 as a multi-level, integrated intervention for coordinating and enhancing service delivery among 100 of the most volatile and vulnerable communities in Jamaica. Its primary objective is to achieve sustainable, positive change among the targeted communities by harnessing multiple interventions under six broad thematic areas. These are (i) Social Transformation; (ii) Socio-economic Development; (iii) Governance; (iv) Youth Development; (v) Physical Transformation; and (vi) Safety and Justice. The selected communities are from the five parishes that have sustained the highest murder rates over the last ten years. These are St James, Clarendon, St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew.
Objectives of the Community Renewal Programme
The overall objective of the Community Renewal Programme (CRP) is to contribute to inclusive growth and equitable national development by fostering the socio-economic well-being and enhancing the quality of the lives of residents of volatile and vulnerable communities. The CRP Secretariat was established at the PIOJ to provide an effective and efficient platform for coordinating and monitoring initiatives that facilitate social transformation and economic development, strengthen governance, improve safety and access to justice in targeted communities. Since 2015, the EU through its Poverty Reduction Programme and has been providing capacity-building support to the CRP Secretariat in order to improve its coordination, monitoring and evaluation capacity.
The CRP Secretariat coordinates the implementation and monitoring of the CRP by:
- Building partnerships among state and non-state entities to ensure collaboration
- Coordinating and harmonising development partners, state and non-state entities and institutions to prevent duplication and maximise the impact of interventions
- Mobilising resources to fill gaps
- Designing and supporting best practice interventions
- Monitoring and Evaluating
- Researching and analysing data to provide information for better programme design. Coordination and collaboration among the agencies within each parish is facilitated by the Parish inter-agency networks established by the Social Development Commission (SDC) to facilitate coordination and collaboration among the agencies within each parish.
Highlights of the programme for 2017/18:
- Capacity Building Support to the CRP: Previous accomplishments under this capacity-building support include the development of a Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), 2015–2018, and in 2016, a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework for the CRP. Since then, the Secretariat has initiated the implementation of strategic actions under the SIP.
- During the reporting period, January 2017 to June 2018, the CRP Secretariat continued its implementation of the Strategic Implementation Plan and advanced the development and operationalization of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework. The period was marked by the establishment and/or continuation of 15 new and/or existing partnerships under the CRP strategic framework. In addition, the Secretariat introduced a Participatory Action Planning Framework at the parish coordination level, which was used to guide the development of 13 of 17 Community Action Plans in consultation with community residents, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government and non-state actors.
- Strengthen Partnerships:
- Eight new partnerships developed under the Socio-Economic Development, Governance and Social Transformation components of the CRP. These include the: UNDP Rejuvenating project (West Kingston communities), Jamaica Youth Business Trust (6 CRP communities), FHI360, Solid Power Institute of Technology, 360 Recycle, Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Jamaica Stock Exchange
- Existing partnerships forged since 2012 have been maintained under the current CRP strategic framework 2015–2018
- Thirteen (76.5 per cent) of 17 intervention matrices of existing interventions and priority action plans developed for the targeted communities.
- Improved Programme Coordination: The CRP coordinated and led technical support to the development of policies and proposals that advance the community transformation agenda. These include an Action Plan for Squatter Settlement and contribution to the review and update of the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy, which have been approved by Cabinet. A Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist was contracted in March 2017 to implement the M&E component of the CRP. This resulted in the further development of the monitoring and evaluation framework, the refinement of the programme indicators and the population of the Performance Measurement Framework with demographic, socio-economic and crime data from national data sources. A Community Renewal Index and a Community Readiness Tool are 70 per cent and 60 per cent developed, respectively. These tools are intended to aid in the improvement of programmatic responses to issues of volatility and vulnerability in CRP communities, as well as gauge progress towards community renewal outcomes and their impact.
The Annual Best Practice symposium was held in November 2017 in partnership with the Social Development Commission, Jamaica Public Service, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Housing Association of Jamaica, the National Housing Trust, and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme. The symposium seeks to bring to the fore best practices in community development and renewal in volatile and vulnerable communities.
- Developed and commenced the implementation of a participatory action-planning framework involving community members and interagency network partners. This resulted in the identification and engagement of six communities in St James, five in Clarendon and four in the KSA for prioritising among the 100 CRP communities. Action Plans have been developed for 13 of these communities.
- Established three Technical Working Groups (TWG) for Socio-Economic Development, Governance and Monitoring and Evaluation.
- Supported the coordination and development of the following partner projects:
- The UNDP Community Rejuvenating Project
- The Tivoli Gardens Composting Project
- The Peckham Bamboo Project (80 individuals have completed training in the use of bamboo for various commercial applications)
The Secretariat successfully mobilized approximately J$10 863 053.17 and US$490 000.00 in funding to support key initiatives, as well as supported the design and implementation of four catalytic interventions to address critical needs in target communities. Key initiatives mobilized to address funding gaps in targeted CRP communities include:
– Support to the SDC Business Expose on the Kingston waterfront
– Support to the Annual Summer Camp for Inner City Youth executed by the Kingston Western Police Division
– St James health fairs (3 communities) (J$777 800.00)
– Jamaica Youth in Business Trust project (J$300 000.00)
– CRP Monitoring and Evaluation system (approximately €29 000.00)
The CRP Secretariat provided technical support to the design and/or implementation of the following initiatives that are intended to have a transformative effect on communities:
– Clarendon Youth in Business
– LED Cottage Industry
– Action Plan for Squatter Settlement
– National Bamboo Policy
– Social Enterprise Policy
The CRP also supported the work of the Zone Of Special Operations (ZOSO) by sharing background information and action plans for the targeted communities and was a member of the oversight committee; through the implementation of the Jamaica Youth Business Trust entrepreneurship programme, the CRP supported the Clarendon Municipality in the execution of a programme for business development.