High level authorities meet in Trinidad and Tobago to analyze social protection strategies in the Caribbean

Permanent Secretaries and high level authorities from social development institutions from the Caribbean and Chile will meet in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to consider the results of “Network-Based Capacity Building on Social Protection Strategies in the Caribbean”, a horizontal cooperation program based on the transfer of lessons learned from the Chilean Puente Program to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia.

The Conference, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel between September 9 and 12, 2008, is being jointly organized by the Ministry of Social Development of Trinidad and Tobago and the Department of Social Development and Employment of the Organization of American States (OAS), with financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency and the Government of Chile.

The goal of the meeting is not only to identify the strengths and challenges faced during the execution of the pilot phase, but also to help shape the expansion of this program to other Caribbean nations.

The objective of the “Network-Based Capacity Building on Social Protection Strategies in the Caribbean” program is to improve the quality and coverage of social protection programs in Caribbean countries using the lessons learnt and operational mechanisms of the Chile Puente Program.

The Chile Puente Program is a comprehensive social protection program instituted by the Government of Chile in 2002, which empowers families in extreme poverty through psychosocial support, subsidies and assistance in areas such as health, education and income generation. The program has been integral to the country’s success in significantly reducing its level of extreme poverty and has been widely acclaimed by the international development community as a model of best practice. The Puente Program is managed in Chile by the Solidarity and Social Investment Fund (FOSIS).

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