Govt computerizes social protection programs


Bulawayo (New Ziana) -The Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Services has embarked on a program to computerize all social protection programs in order to deliver a fully integrated and automated service.

Ministry permanent secretary Simon Masanga said this during the launch of the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management of Information System (ISPMIS).

The ISPMIS will enable harmonised implementation and monitoring of programs, while ensuring transparency and good governance of social protection systems.

“The Ministry is mandated to provide relief to socio-economic, climate and natural disasters induced hardships on the people of Zimbabwe and as such identified Information Technology based systems as the foundation for efficient service delivery in the identification, enrolment, and management of social protection beneficiaries,” he said.

Masanga said multiple strides have been made in ICT infrastructure and software development with the support of multiple technical and development partners.

“The National Social Protection Policy Framework (NSPPF), which was launched in December 2016 and is currently under review, recommended for the creation of Integrated SP MIS for better management of Social Protection Programs in Zimbabwe as it was observed to be of paramount importance.

“The ISPMIS is also one of the goals to be achieved under the National Development Strategy (NDS1). This will be achieved through the Social Protection Thematic Working group consisting of the Technical Committee chaired by the Ministry comprising government line Ministries, government agencies and co-operating partners (UNICEF, WFP, World Bank),” he said.

He said the Ministry had secured funding from the World Bank to the tune of USD$1 million to develop the ISPMIS, adding the system had so far been piloted in nine Cyclone Idai affected districts namely, Buhera, Chikomba, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Gutu, Masvingo and Zaka.

“The exercise was a tremendous success as district officers witnessed how the system accommodates components of shock responsiveness in Social Protection.

“In addition, it was observed that the system is flexible enough to add new programs and their parameters. Development partners can also access information relevant to their programs. Beneficiaries were registered in the Social Registry using both offline and online application, households were validated, approved for payments and paysheets were produced at district level,” he said.

Masanga said a development site in Harare had been fully equipped and installed with the necessary security systems and infrastructure procured by World Bank.

“The development partner also supported the Ministry with computers, electronic tablets, power backup batteries and printers,” he said.

New Ziana

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