Putin meets NGO leaders
Vladimir Putin wants to expand resource centres in the social sector and identify experienced people to work with NGOs and volunteers in Russia.
Putin’s statement was made in response to proposals made by Elena Topoleva, Director of the Agency for Social Information and member of the Federation’s Public Chamber, at a meeting with representatives from the public sector and social entrepreneurs in Karelia.
“More and more people are now wanting to come and work as volunteers in various institutions, hospitals, residential orphanages and so on. But current rules that apply to working with the authorities are hard for them to fathom, i.e. where should they go and who should they deal with? This only puts people off volunteering, thereby denying the benefits their actions can bring, said Topoleva.
“We are currently discussing this (working with NGOs) with our governors and I’m sure we’ll do it. Olga Golodets has responsibility for social issues at federal level. Should this be brought to Deputy Prime Minister level, then naturally it will fall within her remit. I believe this to be the case and that her duties should be clarified as a result. And that’s just what we’ll do”, said the Russian President.
Laws are to be introduced in the near future that will regulate social entrepreneurship. “The Russian Government has drafted two laws. The first will define the concept of social entrepreneurship. We don’t have a definition of the term in law which has been a big problem for us”, said Putin. The second piece of legislation which will regulate implementation mechanisms should be approved by the State Duma during their autumn session.
The Head of State has also endorsed a proposal to provide sustainable funding to a single federal Internet resource that highlights the work of volunteers which has been developed by the Association of Volunteer Centres in collaboration with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. According to Artem Metelev, a member of the Public Chamber, the site will require 27,000,000 roubles per year. “Money will also be needed for staff to operate the site”, he said.
The meeting with Vladimir Putin also discussed problems related to missing persons searches. Grigory Sergeev, head of the voluntary search and rescue team Liza Alert, has called for the creation of an All-Russian response system that would effectively combine the efforts of civil society in trying to find missing people.
“De facto volunteers have been playing a leading role in such matters for many years. We know what to do and how to do it. We now need an overall response system for organising searches for missing people in Russia which we are ready to work up and offer in collaboration with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. I think people will support us in this endeavour”, he said.
Elena Meshkova, CEO of the Konstantin Khabensky Foundation, has suggested the creation of a social standard, one of whose indicators would be transparency in family access to accident and emergency (A&E) services in Russian regions. She explained that, up till now, such decisions on access to A&E services have been taken at administrative level in medical institutions.
“In order to promote successful and transparent A&E services across the country, we, along with the Association of Paediatric Anaesthesiologists and Reanimatologists, have developed certain standards, rules and guidelines for visitors and staff. Such practices already exist in regional clinics and ordinary city hospitals as well as in large modern federal medical centres”, said Meshkova.
Vladimir Putin has said that access to A&E services is a “very sensitive area which should chiefly be regulated by the experts themselves so their advice cannot really be ignored”. At the same time, Putin has indicated his readiness to move towards transparency of medical institutions, stressing that such a move was necessary to monitor what is happening in healthcare centres.