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EU and UNDP summarize the results of a year-long project on the development of social services

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Kyiv, 21 June 2024 – The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, summed up the results of a year-long project to develop the social service delivery system in partner communities at a national conference in Kyiv.

In 2023, UNDP, together with the EU, launched a project to analyse the state of organization and provision of social services, determine the level of unmet demand, and create programmes and plans to further develop social services in communities in Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Poltava, and Sumy oblasts.

The project implementing partners – the NGOs Ukrainian Institute for Social Research named after O. Yaremenko and League of Social Workers of Ukraine – in cooperation with oblast state administrations, created working groups to study the population’s needs for social services. They conducted a functional analysis of how social services are arranged in communities and a sociological study to determine the level of unmet demand for social services. Recipients of social services were engaged through focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires. In-depth interviews were conducted with social service providers.

In addition to creating tailored programmes and plans for strengthening social service delivery in the six oblasts, one of the project’s achievements is creating interactive maps of social service delivery. This tool enables easy identification of social service providers, which significantly improves the quality and speed of service delivery, and also ensures effective referrals to the necessary specialists or organizations.

Oksana Zholnovych, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, noted that this project is an important component of the Ministry’s strategy to improve social services in communities, as well as evidence of their readiness to innovate and move to more effective management. “Thanks to the support of the EU and UNDP, we were able to conduct an in-depth analysis, prepare innovative solutions and develop specific plans for the further development of social services in communities,” she said. “We believe that these recommendations will enable us to provide high-quality and accessible social services to all citizens in the six partner oblasts with the potential to scale this approach at the national level”.

Henrik Huitfeldt, Head of Section for Public Finance, Business Support, and Social Policies at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, emphasized the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, modernization and reforms, including on social policy and social protection. “We acknowledge that investing in social services reform helps to strengthen the society as a whole, improving the quality of lives and contributing to community development across the country,” he said. “Through our joint efforts with the Government of Ukraine, UNDP, and other development partners, we are further improving the conditions for a sustainable social service system, a key element of the EU’s overall strategy to address the socioeconomic consequences of the war and support stability and prosperity in Ukraine”.

Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, said that UNDP, together with the EU and other development partners, is helping Ukraine to implement comprehensive social sector reforms. “This project, one of numerous initiatives with the Ministry of Social Policy, is improving Ukraine’s social service delivery system,” he said. “It shows how a systematic approach increases the accessibility and effectiveness of social protection by making it transparent and convenient. By enhancing the capacities of all stakeholders at both national and local levels, we are reforming the social service delivery system to respond effectively to the needs arising from the war.”

Background

The “Improving the system of social work and provision of social services in six target regions by analysing the state of organization and provision of social services in the territorial communities of these regions, identifying providers and needs for digitalization of processes” was implemented by the NGO Ukrainian Institute for Social Research named after O. Yaremenko and the NGO League of Social Workers of Ukraine, with assistance from UNDP in Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and financial support from the EU, under the “EU4Recovery – Empowering Communities in Ukraine” project.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org

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