The ability to address team members from across the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development in one setting throughout various locations within the country in “Virtual Real Time” for the first time, is indicative of the progress the Ministry has made in its
advancement towards the digital transformation planned for the Ministry, its Departments and Divisions, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell said Monday.
Addressing the start of a week-long nation-wide training session for the Social Protection Management Information System (ProMIS), Minister Campbell said the introduction of technology/digitization will make it possible to do things more efficiently in order to work smarter and better for clients nationwide. “I am so happy that I have the opportunity to simultaneously address all of our team members across The Bahamas during the Opening Session of this training. This is evidence that we are not in the dark. This is evidence that we have advanced. This is the first time since I have been Minister that I have been able to speak to all of our Team Members, at the same time, with them remaining in their respective island locations. That is a sign of progress,” Minister Campbell added.
Held in the Training Room, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, the week-long training session will serve as an introduction to, and training in, 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. The ProMIS System will allow clients to apply online for Food, Rent, Financial, Uniform and Burial Assistance.
“This ProMIS that we are here to talk about today is something that was being discussed from 2019,”Minister Campbell said. “When I became the Minister of Social Service and Urban Development, 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.” Min. Campbell said the technological and digital transformation of services underway at the 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.” Minister Campbell said the digitization process underway at the Ministry is part of a “much bigger picture.”
“Our objective, in keeping with the Government’s larger programme, is to go from a 100 per cent paper-operated business, to a 100 per cent paperless-operated business. 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. “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,” Minister Campbell added. Minister Campbell also took the opportunity to once again applaud team members for their efforts.
“What I appreciate so much with you as team members is that even when you are having your own personal concerns, when you are having your own personal challenges, when you are facing your own tragedies, you still find the heart and the strength and the perseverance and the commitment to try to help our clients. I say this with all sincerity that I am grateful for that; I am grateful to be part of a team that is about doing the people’s business. “I am satisfied then that commitment will eventually quiet all of the noise that is out there,” Minister Campbell added.