This spring celebrates the formal launch of NI-CO’s latest EU funded project in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The €5 meuro project will reunite NI-CO’s social care team with colleagues from the Ministry of Social Development in Amman in an attempt to improve and modernise the quality of Jordan’s social protection system. In line with the National Vision 2025, the Human Resources Strategy 2016-2025 and the Ministry of Social Development strategy action plan 2017-2021, the 42 month project will focus on three core objectives : to enhance policy and governance of social protection; to professionalise social work and to strengthen the role of Civil Society Organisations as actors in social protection. While at the institutional level, the team will predominately work alongside the Ministry of Social Development, training and capacity building activities will also extend to the National Aid Fund (NAF), The Higher Council for Persons with Disabilities (HCPWD), Civil Society and its partners.

Project Manager, Thomas McArdle, explains, ‘NI-CO are thrilled to have been awarded this grant project by the EU after the success of our institutional twinning project with the Ministry of Social Development in Jordan during 2013-2015. Under the ‘Vision 2025’, the Government of Jordan has identified Social Protection as a key sector for development. The increasing demands on the system from the most vulnerable groups in society (people with disabilities, women, youth, children and the DOM population) requires an urgent modernisation of the existing governance system and a greater involvement of the private and NGO sector in service delivery. Over the next 3.5 years, the NI-CO team will work with a range of stakeholders to develop the capacities of social workers on individual case management and on labour inclusion of disadvantaged groups. Using the NI experience, we shall provide technical and advisory support to develop and implement a de-institutionalisation pilot experience based on 5 social care centres for persons with disabilities and other vulnerable categories.’ At the formal opening ceremony attended by the Jordanian Prime Minister and EU Ambassador, the Minister for Social Development, Basma Mousa Is-haqat, expressed her gratitude to the European Union for its continuous support to the Social Protection Sector in Jordan and for understanding the challenges facing Jordan, including the consequences of the Syrian refugee crisis. She welcomed the opportunity to build upon the work of the first EU project delivered by NI-CO and outlined her ambition to move from providing institutional care to alternative care, in addition to empowering women, young people with disabilities.