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Social Assistance Pilots Program SA P ilot s Seminar Approaches to improvements in the Social Assistance System in Ukraine Janusz Szyrmer March 2, 2010. Our assignment…. Design, i mplementation and e valuation of outcomes of the SA P ilot P ro gram

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Social assistance pilots program sa p ilot s seminar

Social Assistance Pilots Program

SA Pilots Seminar

Approaches to improvements in the Social Assistance System in Ukraine

Janusz Szyrmer

March 2, 2010


Our assignment

Our assignment…

Design, implementation and evaluation of outcomes of

theSA Pilot Program

intended to demonstrate feasible approaches

to modernization of the SA system of Ukraine

2


Objectives for this seminar

Objectives for this seminar:

  • Overview of selected results achieved thus far by our program

  • Assessments of these results and collecting of feedbacks

  • Discussion and initiation of consensus building among all parties involved

  • Setting priorities: identification of directions for the way forward

3


In this presentation

In this presentation:

  • Task

  • Five Pilots

  • Pilot areas/offices

  • Our activities

    • Our reports

  • Courses of action

    • Cross cutting issues

    • Specific issues

      • Session 1

      • Session 2

      • Session 3

  • 4


    Social assistance pilots program sa p ilot s seminar

    Task

    Our task: to formulate alternative proposals for improvement of SA system in Ukraine, and presenting their assessments (cost-benefit analyses), while addressing a number of issues:

    • Targeting and fairness

    • Incentives and impacts

    • Comprehensiveness and unification/harmonization; consistency

    • Measurability and accountability

    • Accessibility/availability of information; transparency and fraud avoidance

    • Procedural efficiency and cost effectiveness (budget expenditures)

    • Sustainability/robustness and long term impact

    • Social and economic policies’ objectives

    5


    Five pilots

    Five Pilots

    The tasks are being accomplished within five pilots:

    1. Improvement of housing subsidies mechanisms

    2. Improvement of privileges mechanisms

    3. Introducing uniform households means testing criteria

    4. Strengthening the institutional capacity and legal framework of the social inspectors

    5. Ensuring interaction between SA and employment centers in: data exchange; training and employment of able-to-work members of the vulnerable families

    6


    Pilots activities

    Pilots activities

    • Pilot Projects #1, #2 and #5: mostly analytical activities: assessment of SA in Ukraine; applications of international experience

    • Pilots #3 and #4: predominantlyfield work, directly involving pilot offices and SA beneficiaries

    • Pilots #1 and #3: involve SA means testing

    • Pilot #2: confined to privileges in housing, transportation and communications; currently not subjected to means testing; introduction of means testing in some cases is considered

    • Pilot #4: focused on social inspectors, involved in many SA activities, including means testing

    • Pilot #5: analysis of international experience; several proposals for Ukraine’s welfare-labor cooperation are formulated

    7


    Pilot areas offices

    Pilot areas/offices

    There are five SA offices in which Pilots #3 and #4 are run:

    • Bashtanka / Mykolayivska oblast

    • Kitsman / Chernivetska oblast

    • Koryukivka / Chernighivska oblast

    • Lughansk / Lughanska oblast

    • Uman / Cherkaska oblast

    8


    Our activities 1

    Our activities (1)

    • Collecting information and assessing performance of SA system in Ukraine, its main accomplishments and failures; formulating detailed tasks for program’s activities

    • Helping establish five piloting entities; hiring program coordinators and their assistants; providing equipment; supporting day-to-day piloted activities

    • Initiating an information campaign (leaflets); preparing training materialsand offering several training classes

    • Assessing relevant international experience: (i) best practice cases; (ii) comparative analyses of Ukraine SA with those in selected countries; based on which (iii) considerations of using this experience after their adaptations to Ukraine’s specific conditions; and (iv) formulation of proposals

    9


    Our activities 2

    Our activities (2)

    • Consultations and discussions with the stakeholders; interviews with staff of pilot offices; focus group roundtables with SA applicants

    • Collection and analysis of data on SA applicants in the five pilots

    • Formulation of rigorous statistical econometric models

    • Developing a comprehensive methodology for estimating incomes from agriculture; also an experimental methodology for deriving/estimating imputed incomes from non-farm assets

    • Predicting family incomes, hard-to-verify and total, by means of regression models and other imputed income methods

    • Computer simulations withhypothetical quantitative scenarios fortesting/evaluating alternative SA improvement concepts

    • Monitoring the pilots, initial analysis and evaluations of their results

    10


    Our activities 3

    Our activities (3)

    • Under the guidance of and in a close cooperation with MLSP formulating preliminary proposals for improvements in selected SA areas; the proposals have been consulted with the staff of pilot offices

    • Designing an M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) system

    • Preparing documents for an MLSP working group; creating several computer applications, writing training manuals, drafting regulatory documents, and making powerpoint presentations

    • Writing reports (about 100) documenting and presenting results of our activities

    11


    Our reports

    Our reports

    • Ukraine: Housing assistance policy; Simulation scenarios for housing reforms; Social inspectors; Interviews with SA staff; Comparative data analysis: HBS 2006, HBS 2008, and pilot data; Cooperation with labor employment centers; Legislation on transportation and communications; Ukraine participation in international conventions; SA improvement concepts

    • Pilots: Interviews with SA staff; Focus groups with SA beneficiaries; Role of commission; SA denials; SA experience of the Mikolayev oblast; Inspection act proposal; Initial SA applicants survey and results; Revised survey and results; Proposal for new procedures in SA; Pilot activities’ progress reports; Comparative analysis of family income estimation results; M&E proposal

    • International experience: Rules for designing support for children; Subsistence minimum as an SA threshold; Fraud prevention; Labor activation policies in Bulgaria; SA transformation in Moldova; Reforms of social privileges in Kirgizstan; Best practices of interactions between welfare and labor service in EU; SA in US; Housing assistance policies in Central Europe; SA in transportation; Social electronic cards; SA beneficiaries: family vs household; HMT method applications

    • Methodology: Means testing methods; Methodology for income estimation; Targeting by proxy means testing; Use of econometric models; Estimation of agricultural income; Non-farm imputed income approaches

    12


    Two parallel courses of action

    Two parallel courses of action

    1. Cross-cutting issues: Efforts to formulate more general approaches/concepts, related to SA policies, which help fulfill our advisory tasks, in particular:

    • Provide good foundations to our work and integrate our activities

    • Identify main directions for our efforts; set priorities

    • Secure consistency and avoid duplication

    • Formulate a long-term vision

      2. Detailed tasks: Fulfillments of our detailed tasks as listed in our TOR and requested by the MLSP

    • Results of selected detailed tasks will be presented during this seminar

    13


    Cross cutting issues dynamic approach

    Cross-cutting issues: Dynamic approach

    • Involves taking account of not only current status quo but also the expected developments during the next decade.

    • Even if adequate conditions for certain kinds of changes are lacking, relevant preparatory activities are needed.

    • Focus is not only on specific SA changes, but also (even predominantly) on a broader reform context: institutional conditions to be created, capacity building, incentives, anticipated social/economic impacts, costs, possible difficulties and risks.

    • Special attention is given to European experience (in many cases well tested) which in many cases reflects future conditions and needs of Ukraine; also helps facilitate a gradual integration with EU.

    14


    Cross cutting issues innovative approaches

    Cross-cutting issues: Innovative approaches

    In many European countries many nonstandard approaches have been developed/tested/implemented and we should not be afraid to consider some novel approaches. In SA there are no strict international standards. The one-size-fits-all approach does not apply.

    Examples of possible new approaches:

    • New approaches to SA means testing (Section 3)

    • New procedures involving requirements of additional statements to be made by applicants related to their costs of living and sources of coverage, their time use, efforts in job searching, etc.

    • Search for some alternatives to SA transfers, e.g., involvement of commercial banks in arranging contracts with people who possess some assets (stocks) but lack incomes (flow), which could provide some relief for budget expenditure

    15


    Cross cutting issues rules and procedures

    Cross-cutting issues: Rules and procedures

    Streamlining SA

    • Clear decision making structure:

      • social inspector > commission (appeals) > court

  • Checks and balances: balancing rights and responsibilities

  • Reduction of exceptions cases (and exceptions from exceptions)

  • Simplifications in the circulations of documents

    Privileges

  • Abolishment of most privileges (some of them are not consistent with market economy)

  • Subjecting some of them to means testing

  • Introduction of social electronic cards

  • 16


    Cross cutting issues lessons from eu

    Cross-cutting issues: Lessons from EU

    • Co-financing SA from local budgets

      • Supports local governance; help account for regional specificities, provide better incentives in the use of funds (reduce moral hazards)

      • Risks: May complicate SA, and work against harmonization

  • A broader involvement of NGOs in SA activities and promotion of public-private partnerships (popular in Western Europe)

    • Supports development of a pluralistic, democratic society; improves transparency and information; may reduce costs

    • May complicate SA, needs a strong civil society

  • Use of modern technology, e.g., social electronic cards, ATM facilities, and mobile phones

  • 17


    Session 1

    Session 1

    Social inspectors (Pilot #4): reform alternatives

    • “Low hanging fruits” vs more radical changes

    • More flexibility/discretion vs tight regulations and detailed guidelines

    • Current responsibilities vs a European model (separation of functions of inspector/auditor from social worker)

    • Horizontal model (reporting to heads of SA offices) vs vertical model (reporting to a central authority)

      Social electronic cards

    • May be used in public transport, financial, social and medical services; also in payments for other subsidized goods and services

    • Reduce transaction costs and fraud; improve transparency and accountability; help harmonization of benefits

    • Will require preparatory work; should be introduced gradually

    18


    Session 2

    Session 2

    Housing subsidies (Pilot #1)

    • Several scenarios: alternative hypothetical eligibility thresholds; estimation of impacts on the number of recipients, poverty levels, effects on vulnerable groups, budget expenditure, etc.

    • Proposals ranging from “conservative” (minor changes) to “radical” (far reaching transformations)

      Transportation privileges (Pilot #2)

    • Possible directions of reforms: reduction in number of beneficiaries, abolishment of free-of-charge services, financing from local budgets

      • Two scenarios of reforms: (i) improvements of current system; and (ii) gradual change toward means tested monetization

        Voluntary public work for the unemployed (Pilot #5)

      • May help improve targeting of SA, reduce unemployment and informal sector activities, save budget expenditure

      • Will affect only a small number of SA beneficiaries

    19


    Session 3 hmt pilot 3

    Session 3 (HMT: Pilot #3)

    Underlying concepts and international experience

    • Satisfactory performance of means testing in Ukraine; HMT applicable for selected uses; will need substantial preparatory work (improvements: SA rules and procedures, data, and analytic capacities)

      Pilot data and procedures

    • Two application surveys; computer data entry applications: monitoring activities; staff interviews and focus user groups; initial proposals

      Econometric models

    • Rigorous statistical analysis, experiments with many models (linear, loglinear, nonlinear, two-stage heckit, others), updated to February 2010

      Proposal for new SA procedures (third round)

    • Detailed/extended guidelines and rules for means testing and eligibility

    • Income tests and non-income tests (Inspection Act)

    • Randomization of verifications and inspections

    • Procedure algorithm: INITIAL INTERVIEW => APPLICATION => VERIFICATION & HOME VISIT => ASSESSMENT => DECISION

    20


    Social assistance pilots program sa p ilot s seminar

    Comments welcome

    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    Дякую!

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