Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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The Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Gender, Family, Youth, Housing and Informal Human Settlement, Persons with Disabilities and other stakeholders are now more equipped to handle disasters, after a one week training to boost capacity in obtaining data using the Rapid Pro Application.

Technical support was provided by a team from UNICEF to aid in the humanitarian response. This application was used to obtain information from the internally displaced population, specifically after the eruptions of the La Soufriere Volcano in April 2021. The Official handing over was held on Friday, 11th March, 2022.

Minister of National Mobilisaition, the Hon. Dr. Orando Brewster speaking at the handing over ceremony stated that through a collaborated effort among, the Ministry of National Mobilisation, NEMO, NGOs and other entities, they were able to respond to the aftermath of the violent eruptions of the La Sourfriere volcano in April 2021. Minister Brewster said that the Ministry was faced with a range of challenges, one of which included the availability of specific data to provide guidance in the type of responses.

The Minister of National Mobilisation, expressed his appreciation to UNICEF for its technical support, since the Ministry is now able to be more strategic in responding through the use of Rapid Pro. The Minister noted that in addition to the collection of data, other areas of service delivery within the Ministry of National Mobilisation can be addressed in the event of a disaster or an emergency. Minister Brewster expressed elation and thanks to UNICEF for the donation of Rapid Pro to the team and the continued support that the organisation will provide.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Mobilisation, Katherine DeFreitas indicated that the UNICEF team examined the knowledge gaps and experiences of Rapid Pro by the key stakeholders. DeFreitas said, “the Ministry of National Mobilisation will continue to develop this process in the best way possible to not only collect information but to respond more efficiently to the public.” The Permanent Secretary thanked participants from the Ministries of Education and Health, NEMO and staff of the Ministry of National Mobilisation and UNICEF’ and pledged commitment to its continued use, as long as it’s technically possible.

Head of the Technical Team, UNICEF – Patrice Bosso, revealed that the application was deployed in St. Vincent in response to the need for data. Bosso added that at the end of the training, it is recommended that staff maintains the application not only in response to the volcano crisis, but to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. The Head of the Technical Team identified the need to improve communications and interactions with beneficiaries, noting that Rapid Pro can be an excellent solution to improve interaction with beneficiaries. Bosso also took the opportunity to confirm UNICEF’s continued technical and financial support in sustaining the operations of Rapid Pro locally.

The other members of the UNICEF team which provided technical support to local stakeholders were: Massambo Sow and Maurice Beckles.

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