Saint Lucia media receive training on social protection best practices

Journalists from Saint Lucia are currently participating in a two-day workshop, offering them the opportunity to better identify, analyze and understand social protection issues.

The workshop will allow participants to exchange experiences and knowledge, building their capacity in social policy and ways to effectively report on these issues on the island.

“The media can be strategic allies for change by shaping the conversation, monitoring commitments made by policy makers and increasing transparency and accountability,” said workshop facilitator Celine Felix of UNICEF. in the Eastern Caribbean.

Chrisy Bakie (left) Sharefil Gaillard (center), Rehani Isidore (right)

Advocacy and communication can be key drivers of social protection transformation.

“I am excited about the opportunity to learn how to properly report on social welfare topics. As someone new to media, this training was necessary and will definitely help me improve my reporting on these sensitive issues,” said Choice Media Network participant Chrisy Bakie.

“It is certain that greater public awareness is necessary, the media being key actors in this process”, exclaimed the permanent secretary deputy to the ministry of Equity Irène Gaspard.

Journalist Rehani Isidore said: “Locally, access to media training is scarce and the opportunities to improve reporting practices sponsored by world renowned entities like UNICEF and the SDG Fund will help me better transmit the realities of my community.

The training will also serve to deepen media understanding of the role of the Joint Programme, a collaborative UN effort, in strengthening social protection systems in the Eastern Caribbean.

More than 4 billion people in the world are currently without any social protection, with only 47% of the world’s population actually covered by at least one social protection benefit.

In the Caribbean, social assistance programs targeting people living in poverty and facing vulnerabilities have even lower coverage, with some covering between 4 and 9% of the population and others less than 2%.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and aggravated the structural problems of inequality, poverty and labor informality in the region.

Over the past month, Saint Lucia launched a revised National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) that is more comprehensive and responsive to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in society.

The two-day workshop is sponsored by the United Nations (UN).

Joel C. Hicks