CSOs’ involvement in the provision of social services in Russia
Why CSOs are involved in the social service providers’ market and raising awareness among beneficiaries
On 8 September, a discussion was held at the V Moscow Financial Forum on “Improving the quality of State support in the economic and social sphere”, chaired by Dmitry Sazonov, a State Duma MP.
“The total amount of State support for the economic and social sphere in Russia’s federal budget policy is more than 20% of all consolidated budgets”, Sazonov reminded attendees.
Problems with State support
There are still difficulties in the area of State support, in particular a lack of awareness of the help provided to recipients and the unclear distribution of budget funds, said Sazonov. According to the Ministry of Labour, 30,000 different support measures have so far been introduced in Russia.
According to the Federation’s Public Chamber, at the end of 2019 more than a third of the population did not know what services they were entitled to. This problem will only be solved with the help of a social treasury system that provides information on the range of services the public can access and so provide people with more effective support.
Elena Mukhtiyarova, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, said that involving CSOs will help increase competition in the social service provider market and so improve the quality of services. This also solves the problem that arises when there are no suppliers of certain services in a particular area of the public sector. Sergey Nelyubov, Deputy Governor of the Novosibirsk oblast, remarked that CSOs provide innovative services in contrast to the more standardised approach adopted by the State.
A law on social contracting was passed in the summer of 2020, aimed largely at striking a balance between the position of State and non-State service providers. In terms of further development of the legislation, the Ministry of Labour has confidence in the effectiveness of social certificates which will allow people to choose for themselves the list of services they need, as well as their providers.
Four of the ten regions taking part in a pilot scheme to trial the legislation in the social protection sphere chose the certificate as a form of social contracting. Five out of six regions followed suit in the field of employment.
However, the innovative use of certificates is viewed with caution by the healthcare industry. A competition was held to select organisations to be involved in social contracting because it is a familiar and well-understood process, said Larisa Kamanina, Deputy Governor of the Vologda oblast, which is also participating in the pilot scheme.
More CSOs involved in the social service market
Mukhtiyarova also reminded attendees that the Ministry of Labour, with its responsibility for social protection and employment services, was tasked with increasing the number of non-State service providers in the social sphere. And in this, the Ministry is already seeing positive trends. “According to our monitoring data, the number of CSOs providing social services this year is nearly 1,900, compared to 1,300 in 2019, for which 19 billion roubles have been allocated”, the Deputy Minister said.
You can watch a recording of the discussion here: здесь.
Translated by Neil Hailey