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Government of Jamaica


Sharing Proven Best Practices for Youth in Violence Reduction


PIOJ and USAID FHI360 Host Workshops on Using Best Practices in Youth Interventions
The first of two workshops to share best practices in developing violence prevention interventions that are targeted at youth who live in violence prone areas got under way in Kingston on February 13 and another will be held in St James later this week.
The workshop promotes evidence-based best practices for Jamaica and is jointly organized by the Planning Institute of Jamaica and USAID FHI360 endorsed by the Ministry of National Security. From left: Chief Technical Director, Ministry of National Security, Shauna Trowers; Chief of Party, USAID/FHI360 Morana Smodlaka Krajnovic; PIOJ Director General, Wayne Henry; Counselling Psychologists Melva Spence; and Denise Simpson; Programme Manager, Community Renewal Programme, Charles Clayton. Attendees at the workshops are from public sector organizations and NGOs that serve youth.

Kingston, February 13, 2023

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and FHI360 Local Partner Development, with the endorsement of the Ministry of National Security (MNS), launched the regional capacity building workshops “Best Practices for Youth Crime and Violence Prevention”. The sessions will focus on the administration of a risk assessment tool, and also the preparation of case and treatment plans for youth and children who have social, emotional, psychological, and behavioural challenges,.

At the opening ceremony held on February 13, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr Wayne Henry, welcomed the ongoing commitment of USAID FHI360 Local Partner Development (LPD) to continue its collaboration with the PIOJ Community Renewal Programme (CRP), for delivery of these workshops, to over 100 participants from government ministries, charitable entities in the private sector and NGOs who work with medium to high-risk youth in their communities and schools.

Dr Henry said, “Youth is a cross cutting issue in the national development framework. The objective is to improve the prospects of young people for meaningful self-development and self-actualization as well as provide opportunities for them to become productive citizens.”

Chief of Party for LPD, Morana Smodlaka Krajnovic, said that it is normal for international development partnerships to take a top-down approach when designing interventions, however for LPD our partnership with PIOJ has been one of learning together and discovering the best solutions.

She said, “We wanted to see what really works and focused on evidences and searched for answers together. It showed us that we had to focus on those who are most at risk. We had to look at where crime and violence is happening, and we tried to focus interventions in those spaces. In one of our programmes implemented in Salt Spring, we were able to show more than 60.0 per cent of youth reduced their risk factors of becoming engaged in crime and violence.”

The two-day workshop will also be delivered to development practitioners in western Jamaica. Attending the workshops are personnel from agencies and departments that provide services for children and youth such as the ministries of National Security; Justice; Education, Youth and Information; the Social Development Commission; Department of Correctional Services; Child Protection and Family Services Agency, the National Housing Trust and the Jamaica Social Investment Foundation (JSIF). Also attending are participants from NGOs such as the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s Project Star, and also Rise Life Management.