Tue | Apr 20, 2021

UNDP supports Jamaica in strengthening coordinated response to emergencies with digital platform

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2021 | 12:46 PM

Jamaica is innovating a digital emergency response mechanism to coordinate and track multiple demands for financial support, goods and services across government and inflows of international and local assistance, in the event of emergencies like COVID-19.

Branded the External Support Coordination Platform, the system aims to strengthen government’s capacity to jointly assess needs and shortfalls and to effectively allocate resources where needed when emergencies arise.

The digital platform is being developed by the Government of Jamaica with the support of the United Nations Development Programme Multi Country Office in Jamaica (UNDP) and is jointly managed by the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. 

In a statement today, the UNDP said the pilot platform "gives enough information to support a more efficient and effective coordinated response and has the potential to address emergencies across multiple sectors as well as coordination, research and technology."

UNDP said it supported the government in developing the platform, populating the database and conducting training, under the oversight of a National Technical Working Group comprising key stakeholders.

Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in welcoming the platform, noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for countries worldwide.

“In Jamaica, it was important to ensure effective coordination across government to most readily communicate, channel and account for the immense outpouring of external support from international partners. The creation of the External Support Coordination Platform, with the support of the UNDP, will certainly allow Jamaica to better respond to this and future national emergencies in a more coordinated, efficient and accountable way,” Johnson said.

UNDP Resident Representative, Denise E Antonio, stated that the “UNDP is honoured to support Jamaica’s “Rebuild Jamaica” COVID-19 response strategy, in particular its goal of leveraging digital technologies to play a catalytic role in crisis management and the improved delivery of essential public service and information.”

Dr Wayne Henry, director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica said “the External Support Coordination Platform is an instrumental addition to the country’s infrastructure for response to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UNDP-supported digital COVID-19 response strategy is aligned to Jamaica’s three-year Medium-Term Socio-economic Policy Framework (2018 – 2021) that calls for the strengthening of a technological-driven society as a priority.

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