Knowledge society to promote charity and social care

7 april 2014

Speaking at the 10-th meeting of the «Charity in Russia» conference, Tatiana Eferina, expert of the Analytical Center, proposed an initiative to launch a data-bank accumulating information on the under-privileged individuals and their needs to be managed by the local social welfare authorities.

Tatiana Eferina made her proposal at the conference session on “Dialogue between a charity provider and a charity recipient”. Mrs. Eferina underlined the recent trend for a deeper regional localization of the charity and social care and its Internet-reliance. The regulatory and legislative environment, methodological and organizational resources necessary for the new data-bank are almost fully in place. One of the key data gatherers will be the local social welfare service units to be set up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the Russian Federation. According to the expert, the data-bank registering those in need and their particular demands will facilitate the decision-making process at the local level, moreover, it is expected to help in finding comprehensive solutions to the strategic goals in the field and to contribute to promotion of public-private partnership.

“I would like to put my initiative forward as a response to the opinion voiced before that these days we see a gap between the demands of the under-privileged population and the available supply on part of the social service providers. Obviously, this supply-demand gap can be narrowed down by different means. However, what we see now is that in most cases the issue is being solved at the local level, meaning that the charity solutions are either narrowly targeted at individual target groups or are focused specifically on a certain administrative territory. Currently much effort has been paid to develop a complex approach to tackle the challenges in the field on a systemic level”, says Mrs. Eferina.

Apart from being a tool for the social service providers, the data-bank will work as an essential instrument for all players in the social services field. Currently the government has been providing wider access to the budget funds to non-state social services providers, developing support mechanisms for NGOs and intensifying public-private partnerships. A road-map showing how to strengthen private sector organisations involvement in social services has been prepared. It is assumed that the key stakeholders in the social services field are going to be the Customer (the Government), the Service Providers (socially oriented NGOs and commercial organizations), other state bodies and the End-Consumer (the target population).

Along with the state social service providers, the non-state players in the field face the same challenges, such as the lack of information on the services in demand, perception by population of the social services as a social obligation, paternalistic attitude on the part of the population associating social services with the state support without acknowledging the NGOs and commercial organizations as an alternative to the state in this field.