Government launches comprehensive protection management system for social welfare workforce in PNG
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
P0RT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, FRIDAY, 28 MAY 2021 - The government today launched Primero, an innovative online and offline case and information management system to protect vulnerable children and women and survivors of violence.
Primero will support the country’s social welfare workforce in the management of protection-related data and violence related cases, while ensuring accurate data collection and analysis.
Primero resulted from a collaboration started in 2018 between UNICEF, the Department of Community Development and the Office of the Child and Family Services (OCSF) as well as other UN agencies in a bid to reinforce the social welfare workforce and thereby strengthen the implementation of the Lukautim Pikinini Act (LPA), Child Protection Policy (CPP) and the National Gender Based Violence (GBV) Strategy.
The launch and rollout of Primero is being supported by European Union through the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, a partnership between European Union and United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
“Our vision is to protect children, women and families by creating a comprehensive protection system such as Primero that addresses the protection needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls This is in line with the provisions of the LPA, the CPP and National GBV Strategy that my Ministry administers,” Minister for Community Development, Wake Goi said.
“Primero is a very important milestone for the country. First and foremost, it will help us to understand better the extent to which violence affects children and families in PNG, an area where data is scarce,” OCFS Director, Simon Yanis said. “The administrative data collected through this new system will cover this gap. Primero will make children and women visible and will provide the missing evidence for planning and for increased and actual budget allocation to prevention and response services for survivors of violence.”
Child Protection Officers and volunteers as well as other informal service providers offering case management services, will use Primero as a tool to manage cases of violence, abuse, neglect of women and children, and also collect, store, analyse and share protection-related data that can be used for planning, budgeting and advocacy. The system allows social welfare workers at the national level to monitor case management at sub-national level resulting in an increase in accountability for the sector, and most importantly improved quality of services provided to survivors and vulnerable women and children.
“Primero is going to change the way case workers handle day to day cases. This system will help them manage cases both online and offline depending on the contexts, thereby minimizing the paperwork and giving them more time to do assessments, case care planning and follow up,” OCFS Primero System Administrator, Jack Imbu explained.
“The technology behind Primero provides the opportunity to connect the central level institutions with the sub-national level, like it has never been done before. Primero will also ensure accountability over case management. For example, cases that have not been followed up on in a timely manner are flagged in the system and picked up by the system administrator who escalates it to case managers for action. This is key to ensure that survivors of violence, abuse and neglect receive immediate care and support,” Imbi added.
“Because of its flexibility to adapt to specific contexts and realities and combine different modules (for example for GBV and child protection), Primero is a great example of how violence against women and children can be and should be addressed using the same tools and approaches. It is important that in PNG we start to address this violence using a system perspective, avoiding fragmentation,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla.
“This will open up important opportunities for the Government and development partners to maximize use of resources, foster collaboration across sectors, and to accelerate achievement of results. We hope that this milestone today will set a precedent to advocate for better tools for the protection of women, girls and children and will generate evidence for targeted resources for the social welfare sector which is critically underfunded,” Mr Rampolla reiterated.
The development of Primero for PNG was a long journey involving the active engagement of national and provincial case workers. Their support was critical to ensure that the system effectively addresses the needs of frontline workers and captures the most common violations of women and children’s rights like violence and abuse. The launch is just the beginning of another journey leading to the roll out of the system to all provinces.
On the first of June the Government will start provincial engagements on the implementation of the Lukautim Pnkini Act 2015 to reach five provinces before the end of this year. This is a decentralisation process of the social welfare services and functions from the National to the provincial level. Primero fits in this framework as one of the tools being availed to the provinces and districts to improve provisions of protection services to women and children.
UNICEF in partnership with the European Union will continue to support the Government with this ambitious plan, which will ultimately bring services closer to those most in need.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Papua New Guinea, visit https://www.unicef.org/png/