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OECS Social Development Ministers Compare Notes, Reflect on Data Driven Development

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The Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, Hon. Joachim Henry represented Saint Lucia at the 8th OECS Council of Ministers Meeting on Human and Social Development, under the theme, “Touching Lives Through Data Driven Development.”

The annual event, convened in Antigua on April 18, 2023, provided a platform for Ministers across the OECS region to collectively reflect on issues relating to social development and share local strategies and innovations to address some of these challenges.

The Council Meeting was preceded by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, comprising Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Social Development of the OECS Member States and development partners. The TAC identified strategic priorities to be brought to the attention of Ministers for their information and decision-making in the social sector.

The Council of Minister’s Meeting formulated joint approaches, policies and practices to improve access to quality social services in the region.

The main outcome of the Council Meeting was the adoption of the OECS Regional Social Inclusion and Social Protection (SISP) Strategic Action Plan 2023-2030 which promotes the use of data and statistics to drive policy in the region.

Other significant outcomes include the commitment to support Youth Justice Reform through the OASYS project as well as the advancement of the Child Online Protection Policy, the OECS Youth Empowerment Strategy (OECS YES) and the UNICEF funded and driven digital platform, U-Report.

While in Antigua, the Technical Team profited the opportunity to attend a workshop on Developing Social Protection Management Information Systems to support data-driven decision-making.

That workshop was conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the OECS Commission, under the SDG Joint Programme (JP) on Resilient Caribbean.

SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment

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