Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs will expand its online application and payment processes in 2024, as it seeks to improve efficiency in meeting the needs of the public.
During the 2024 Budget Debate on December 14, 2023, Senator and Minister of State, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, said that the rollout of new digital processes is based on the success of the online 2022 reregistration for the Poverty Alleviation Programme and the 2023 Back-to-School Voucher Programme.
“In keeping with our thrust to improve system efficiencies, the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs will continue into 2024, to digitize all application forms for services offered through the different departments,” she said.
This covers simple application forms such as the reservation of community centres, group/organization registration, volunteer applications, and registration for benefits. The ministry’s website www.socialdevelopment.gov.kn was upgraded to facilitate this move.
As it relates to benefit payments, the minister said that the ministry is keen to expand on this area given the recent success of digital cash transfers of Back-to-School vouchers.
“The ministry has committed to expanding the digital payment option to use for, in the first instance, our food voucher programme since we are really seeking to see how we can use this medium to improve system efficiencies and also to, in a way, help to restore the dignity of our clients when they go to the vendors to actually redeem the assistance [vouchers],” Senator Phillip told the National Assembly.
Consideration will be given to persons with challenges in using technology. The expanded digitization is in keeping with the government’s thrust to expand eGovernment solutions, which is an integral component of transforming the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis into a sustainable island state.