The “Enhancing Civil Society Participation in Local Governance for Community Safety” project is the second such partnership between the UNDP and the Department of Local Government in as many years; the DLG Launched the GOJ-UNPD project Strengthening Community Safety through Local Government Capacity-Building in September of 2010, which benefited the communities of Newlands in Portmore and Canaan Heights in Clarendon.
The Department of Local Government (DLG) yesterday signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a community safety programme to be implemented by the Department.
The signing took place at the Department’s offices on Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10. Signing on behalf of the Department of Local Government was Director General Major (ret’d) Richard Reese, while UNDP’s Resident Representative Miss Akiko Fuji signed on behalf of that organization. The Ministry of National Security and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) were also signatories to the document.
The project, “Enhancing Civil Society Participation in Local Governance for Community Safety” seeks to develop sustainable long-term strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of crime and violence by focussing on improved partnerships between civil society, local authorities, and central state agencies. It has as its main objectives, the strengthening of civil society’s participation in local governance and the establishment of coordinated local civil society and state responses to crime and violence.
These objectives are in coherence with the VISION 2030 goals and strategies which speak to creating a Jamaican Society that is Secure, Cohesive and Just, as well as with Local Government Reform objectives aimed at building institutional capacity in the Local Government system in order to guarantee among other things, the provision of the highest quality of service delivery to communities as well as to promote meaningful participation of all groups, organizations and agencies in the governance processes of all communities.
Speaking during the meeting Miss Akiko Fuji said that the project was part of her organization’s policy in support of the MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS. This policy, she continued, has two main strategies: community development programmes and community transformation and safety strategies. “We are happy to continue to support the advancement of the capacity of civil society” she said.
Major Reese pledged the full support of the Department of Local Government, which is to be the main implementing agency for the project. The DLG will act in close partnership with the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Unit of the Ministry of National Security, the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Community Safety & Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGA), the National Association of Parish Development Committees (NAPDEC) and selected parish/municipal councils.
The project which begins on April 1, 2011, is scheduled to be completed in a year at which time the capacity of local authorities and civil society to promote and secure participatory governance would have been greatly enhanced and local level mechanisms under the community renewal programme and crime prevention & community safety strategy would have been developed.