Launch of the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management Information System – 28 July 2023, Bulawayo

Speech by the Permanet Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr. Simon Masanga at the launch of the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management Information System.

Salutations

The Director of Social Development,Deputy Director of Family and Social Protection,

Representatives Of:

Ministry of Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier ServicesWorld Food Programme,UNICEF,Synergy and World Bank who are joining us virtuallyAfricom local partner for SynergyVarious media houseLadies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Hon Minister and Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, ladies and gentleman allow me to welcome you all to this momentous occasion where we are launching the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management of Information System.

Ladies and gentleman, last year we were dealt a heavy blow when we lost our MIS Specialist Mr Victor Ngulube who was very instrumental in this journey of developing the ISPMIS system, leading the development process of this project. May we all observe a minute of silence for him and thereafter join me in giving Mr Ngulube a round of applause for his role not only in the Ministry but in all our lives.

The MPSLSW is mandate to provide relief to socio -economic, climate and natural disasters induced hardships on the people of Zimbabwe. The Ministry identified Information Technology based systems as the foundation for efficient service delivery in the identification, enrolment, and management of social protection beneficiaries. The Zimbabwe Social Protection Management of Information System enables harmonised implementation and monitoring of programmes, while ensuring transparency and good governance of social protection systems.In achieving this mandate, the Ministry is embarking on a computerized drive where all social protection programs must undergo digitization ultimately to deliver a fully integrated and automated social protection service. In this endeavour multiple strides have been made in ICT infrastructure and software development with the support of multiple technical and development partners.The National Social Protection Policy Framework (NSPPF), which was launched in December 2016 and is currently under review, recommended for the creation of Integrated SP MIS for better management of Social Protection Programs in Zimbabwe as it was observed to be of paramount importance.The SP MIS is also one of the goals to be achieved under the NDS1. This will be achieved through the Social Protection Thematic Working group consisting of the Technical Committee chaired by the Ministry comprising Government Line Ministries, Government Agencies and Cooperating Partners (UNICEF, WFP, World Bank)The Ministry secured funding from World Bank amounting to USD1 million to develop the ISPMIS. Treasury created a specific Budget Line to develop the system as well. The Ministry has achieved great milestones in the development of the ISPMIS and the following phases were covered:

Inception Phase

Needs Assessment for each programme was carried out System Design and System DevelopmentDevelopment of national data center where the live system will be hosted.

 Implementation Phase

Several trainings were conducted including System Administrator Trainings -a team from Head Office and Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services led by the Chief Director of Social Development and Disability Affairs were trained in Armenia about the system and its architecture. The trainees also managed to familiarize with the environment where the system is being developed and appreciate system performance.

Pilot Phase

Ladies and gentlemen, I am advised that;

The system was piloted in 9 cyclone Idai affected districts namely Chikomba, Mutare, Chipinge, Buhera, Chimanimani, Masvingo, Zaka, Gutu and Chiredzi using the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy.The exercise was a tremendous success as District Officers witnessed how the system accommodates components of shock responsiveness in Social Protection.In addition, it was observed that the system is flexible enough to add new programs and their parameters. Development Partners can also access information relevant to their programs.Beneficiaries were registered in the Social Registry using both Offline and Online Application, households were validated, approved for payments and paysheets were produced at district level.A development site at Compensation House has been fully equipped and installed with the necessary security systems and infrastructure procured by our Development Partner, the World Bank. The development partner also supported the Ministry with Computers, electronic Tablets, power backup batteries and printers.

Next Steps

I am advised that;

Synergy contract expired last year in December 2022 and their warrant period is coming to an end in October 2023. There is still some pending work to be completed for example integration with Mobile service providers and civil Registry.It is my sincere hope that our partners will once again support us through financial and technical support in order to fund the extension contract for Synergy.Taking into considerations the amount of work that still needs the technical expertise, it will be of paramount importance if the Government of Zimbabwe can engage Synergy to extend their contract with at least 2 years. This collaboration will ensure that when Synergy weans us, we will be in a better position to fully embrace the system which will result in sustainability.

With these few words, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Director in absentia, Mr Zimhunga , Mr Tirivavi and the MIS section for their hard work and dedication in the development of the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management Information System as well as all the staff members who have participated in the trainings and pilot exercise.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to declare the ISPMIS duly launched and will go live as from now

Thank You

Tatenda

Siyabonga