JSIF Approach

JSIF has adopted several modalities in ensuring that funds are utilized efficiently to achieve its objective of poverty alleviation.

Use of Technology

JSIF views the application of technology as an important part of its daily operations and in strategic planning. As a result, the Fund uses a mission critical software solution for managing its daily operations. Multiple software packages are used in an integrated environment, allowing for much stronger data management, security, integrity and reliability. JSIF continues to look at new and emerging technologies with a view of adapting them strategically to improve on process management and to strengthen the organization.

Use of Indicators

In addition to the use of technology to increase efficiency, JSIF utilizes highly accurate indicators to assist in identifying levels of community poverty. These include:

  • the Poverty Map supported by the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) database of communities,

  • the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) annual publication, Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, and

  • field visits by the Social Development staff. This is particularly effective in communities that are geographically not classified as underserved but where pockets of poverty exist.

Project Identification and Selection

Community Projects: Pre-selected Communities

For communities that are pre-selected the communities do not make applications for funding directly to JSIF as selections are based on indicators of poverty and governmental priorities such as rural development, poor service levels and concentrations of crime.

Community Projects: Demand Driven Approach

Under this approach, communities are responsible for identifying their priority needs and mobilizing themselves in order to make a request for funding to JSIF. This approach employed by JSIF facilitates community involvement and empowerment through the direct participation of the beneficiary communities from the beginning to the completion and subsequent maintenance of their projects.

Implementation Methods

Community projects are implemented in two (2) ways at JSIF, namely;

  • Traditional Approach and

  • Community Driven Development

Traditional Approach

This approach has been in use since JSIF’s inception. Once a community project has been approved the organization contracts out the project to successful contractors who had made a bid for the project. The organization not only provides the funding for these projects but the technical expertise as well. JSIF is integrally involved in every step of the project implementation process.

Community Driven Development/ Community Based Contracting

This is approach allows communities to take charge of their projects. Communities identify their greatest needs and organize themselves into community-based organizations (CBOs). Where communities are not organized, the Fund helps with organizational strengthening and capacity building. JSIF provides funding to the communities who are then responsible for executing the projects with JSIF playing a role as facilitator. Among the activities that the communities carry out are procurement of all project related goods and services (except where highly technical expertise is needed) and monitoring and evaluation of the project to ensure compliance with agreed standards.

Community Participation

In all implementation methods community participation plays a critical role and is essential to a project’s success. Beneficiary communities must contribute between 5 and 25 percent of the total project cost in cash or kind (sweat equity). Using this approach, community contribution strengthens community co-operation, ensures sustainability of the projects and increases social capital. This creates a populace that is exposed to a co-operative environment as well as provides them with the opportunity to learn new skill sets thereby  enhancing community development in a progressive and sustainable manner.