NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development yesterday began a week-long, nationwide, virtual training session for its Social Protection Management Information System (ProMIS) that will allow clients to apply online for Food, Rent, Financial, Uniform and Burial Assistance.
The training session will serve as an introduction to the operation of the data management system that was especially designed by SYNERGY International Systems for the use of the staff of the Department of Social Services.
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Frankie Campbell, in a statement yesterday, said the introduction of technology and digitization will make it possible to do things more efficiently in order to work smarter and better for clients nationwide.
“This ProMIS that we are here to talk about today is something that was being discussed from 2019,” he said.
“When I became the minister…I was advised of what the R.I.S.E. Programme offered and I told the senior management team that while I could not revive the R.I.S.E. Programme in its entirety, I realized that there were some workable components of R.I.S.E. that, if we implemented those, we could gradually and eventually implement more.
“The initial one was the Information Management System that would allow us to track our clients from day one, or from ‘the womb to the tomb’ as I like to say, and all in between to ensure efficiency and speed in the delivery of services across the board.
“ProMIS is going to relieve you of some of the paper shuffling that will enable you to do the work that you have been trained to do as social workers; ProMIS will ensure that our clients get the best of what we have to offer.”
Campbell also said the technological and digital transformation of services underway at his ministry and its departments will not eclipse the duty and functions of social workers.
“I am satisfied and I give you the assurance that no matter how advanced we become as it relates to our technology, the role of the social worker will not change; the role of the social worker cannot change. The duty to assess, to evaluate and to determine whether a client is deserving of a particulars service cannot change — technology is not going to do that for us and so my hope has always been and continues to be, that we will introduce technology that will enable the social worker to do just what they have been trained to do — social work.”
The digitization process underway at his ministry is part of a “much bigger picture”, said Campbell.
“Our goal and objective is, just as we are speaking to everyone here today at the same time, to be able to ensure that everyone can get the message at the same time,” he noted.
“If there is a shift in policy, everyone will be able to get it at the same time at the click of a button. If there is concern in some quarters, those who need to see it will see it at the same time, also at the click of a button. If some of us need to work from home as we have found it necessary during this pandemic, we will still be in a position to produce and ensure that clients are not disenfranchised.”