By Fatoumatta K Jallow
The Office of the Vice President, in collaboration with the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS), has started a 10-day data collectors’ training on National Social Registry.
The training, being held at the Paradise Suites Hotel, is designed for 200 participants.
The Gambia Government with funding from World Bank, is developing a social registry, dubbed Gambia Social Registry (GAMSR) as part of its move towards an integrated social protection system in the country. The GAMSR will serve as a single-entry point for the various social protection programmes in The Gambia.
Delivering an opening statement at the Paradise Suites Hotel event, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Technical, at the Office of the Vice President, Saikou JK Trawally said they have crossed the Rubicon of a process that seeks to establish a database that will guide and give directions to all social development interventions in the country.
The database, he stated, would map out poverty and other development concerns in the communities and give government and partners the opportunity to identify development gaps that would require investment for the ultimate improvement in the lives of the people of the Gambia. “It will serve as a data repository for intercensal data and will make provisions for other development data requirements for our various development programmes,” he asserted.
He additionally opined that an efficient and effective data repository will guide decisions and policies and also shape their development programmes.
Mr Trawally explained that the trainees (data collectors) are the foot soldiers of that national endeavour, the quality and outcome of which lay squarely on their shoulders. “The quality and accuracy of the data will therefore tell your level of commitment to the data collection exercise and the overall attainment of the national social protection goals”.
The DPS called on other development partners to join forces with government in finding lasting solution to the plight of the Gambian people.
Alaye Barra, Coordinator of the National Social Protection Secretariat (NSPS) explained that the Social Safety Net Project aims at providing robust data on key household characteristics to facilitate common assessment and eligibility determination for social assistance programmes.
He said it is in line with Government’s development agenda – the NDP – and the Gambia’s Social Protection Policy. “It is a system that would help National Social Protection Secretariat coordinate social assistance programmes in the country,” he enunciated.
Mr Barra informed that the GAMSR will be hosted at NSPS under the Office of the Vice President and the database shall comprise of households’ demographic and socio-economic data.
Therefore, he noted, the training would prepare the participants to collect quality data that would be used to make informed decision.
He thanked the Government of The Gambia and the World Bank for their commitment in building the needful social protection system.
Director of the Gambia Bureau of Statistics, Nyakassi M.B. Sanyang, affirmed that their role in this programme is mainly to build the GAMSR as a single-entry point for the main social protection programmes to access information about potential beneficiaries.
He assured of GBoS’ commitment to conducting an impressive exercise.