ENCON — Enhancing CSOs Contribution to Evidence-Based Policy Making for Vulnerable Groups (2017-2018)

Project reference

CASE Belarus in cooperation with CASE (Poland), Institute of Economic Research of Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia), The Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University (Czech Republic), as well as ACT (Belarus) starts a project to enhance evidence-based policy towards vulnerable groups in Belarus.

Project title: ENCON — Enhancing CSOs Contribution to Evidence-Based Policy Making for Vulnerable Groups

Project duration: April 2017 – June 2018

Project funding: International Visegrad Fund, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Background

The current social policies in Belarus are focused not at rights protection and inclusion but rather at provision of non-means-tested benefits backed up by the state monopoly on punishment. These are opinion-based policies relying on views of Ministries, often inspired by ideological prejudices. In the case of families at risk, parents are obliged to pay monthly fees for alternative care for their kids if they are taken away. The penitentiary system is equally costly/not effective: 40% convicts were recidivists in 2014. Young disabled have reduced access to inclusive education, work, public transport, medical/social care. Only 17% of young persons with multiple disabilities are employed. Social policies in Belarus are a significant public financial burden, but social results remain modest and rarely evaluated.

Objectives

The proposal will be focused on evidence-based public policy literacy and enhancing the capacity of CSOs to effectively design and implement projects aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (VGs). It will support strengthening civil society in Belarus specifically via:

  1. strengthening capacity of CSOs to participate in and contribute to policy dialogue and accountability processes at local and national level;
  2. provide CSOs with methodology and case-studies to effectively argue for improved access of vulnerable groups of population and quality of services; and
  3. promoting new innovative experiences and trends in social service delivery, in order to involve more and different CSOs under the Belarusian Law on Social Service Delivery.

Outputs

State-of-the-Art Reports
Three reports (one for each VG) will contain comprehensive information on the situation of three preselected vulnerable groups in the region including statistical data and description of current public policy measures, including statistical data, V4 and international experience, benchmarks, as well as results of stakeholder interviews in Belarus

Analytical Cost-and-Benefit Reports
Three Cost-and-Benefit reports (one for each VG) will contain a cost-and-benefit analysis of a VG programme/project/service delivery in the chosen geographic area in Belarus. The analysis will include calculations of effectiveness of a chosen programme/project/service delivery run by a CSO or a local authority or a state institution in Belarus.

Policy papers “How to make social policy better in Belarus”
Three policy papers (one for each VG) will contain policy recommendations for the introduction and effective use of social policy evaluation tools, utilizing case studies and best practices from the Project, as well as V4 and international evidence.

Publications in Belarus on project issues and results
We plan to distribute in total 40 publications (different types, online and offline) about the findings and results of the project unveiling the situation with chosen VGs in Belarus.

Public events

September 29, 2017. The State-of-the-art Workshop in Minsk, Belarus. The workshop is planned for Belarusian CSOs to secure buy-in of the Stae-of-the-art reports.

March 2018. Analytical reports presentations in Minsk, Belarus. Three consequent presentations the results of the cost-and-benefit analyses on pre-selected VGs in Belarus.

Partners

Lead Partner: CASE Belarus

Other Partners:

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