NGOs encouraged to provide social services

Ministry for Work and Social Development intends to be more active in
encouraging non-commercial organisations (referred to below as NGOs) to provide
social services to the population, said a Ministry representative at an “Effect
and solidarity” conference on 20 September.



his speech, the department’s deputy head, Alexsei Vovchenko, outlined various
options such as help to large families, the disabled, single mothers and
pensioners. This proposal will allow officials to reduce Government spending. However,
implementation of similar tasks undertaken by NGOs will not receive enough
private funding. Financial support to NGOs will be in competition with subsidies
from individual Russian Federation budgets. This year, support was in the order
of 8.3 billion roubles.



Director of ASI, Elena Topoleva, believes that there are two tendencies prevalent
today. Firstly, people think that the responsibility for solving their problems
lies with everyone, apart from themselves. On the other hand, self-help
organisations and initiative groups are beginning to emerge – in social
networks and offline, there are people who have the desire to do something –
parent associations, next-door neighbours etc. There’s a lot of social capital
out there and one can make qualitative leaps forward. It’s also true to say that
a huge gap in the income of the population can slow the growth of these
initiatives” she declared.



to the Director of the Department of Growth and Innovation at the Ministry of
Economic Development (MERT), Artema Shadrina, Russia lags significantly behind
the developed countries in attracting volunteers to provide social services.
“It’s all about a shortage of business partners and donors as regards
supporting the work of the NGO. Even the population mistrusts help that comes
from outside”, Shadrin believes.



representative from the Ministry of Economic Development also stated that it is
vital to provide incentives and contracts to NGOs and to create regional
resource centres. MERT, in partnership with the Finance Ministry, intends to
work out ways of providing tax incentives wider than just the citizen.
According to plans by the Ministry of Work, social development up to 2018 will
operate on the social services market, where private businessmen are also planning
to be involved.



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