The fourth meeting of the Steering Committee of the Joint Programme on inclusive and quality community-based social services was held to review the progress and agree further steps towards scaling up of the achieved results to ensure the sustainability.
Held online and co-chaired by Mr. Muhammetseyit Sylapov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan, and Mr. Dmitry Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator, the meeting had also the pleasure to benefit from the participation of the Deputy Chair of the Mejlis and Deputy Ministers from the leading partner ministries and national entities as well as the heads and representatives of the participating UN agencies.
The participants highlighted the main milestones achieved in the process of transforming the system of social protection under the Joint Program, such as:
- Successful piloting of a new local model of inclusive social services that has assessed the needs of 5,000 vulnerable people, covered over 3,100 people including 235 vulnerable children and adults benefitting from the new types of specialized social services provided by trained social workers;
- Development of the Law on Social Services, adopted by the Parliament of Turkmenistan in December 2021. It enabled funding the activities of the trained social workers workforce from the State Budget starting from 2022;
- Development of social work core competencies in more than 700 social service providers, heads of social services and related departments, social work professionals and academia through more than 200 days of training, as well as the launch of a bachelor’s degree program with major in “Social Work”.
Finally, the benefits, cost-effectiveness and relevance of the new model as compared to the existing social services system will be reflected in the socio-economic analysis of the proposed community based social service model being currently finalized.
During the meeting, the participants watched a short video showcasing new specialized social services piloted in Turkmenistan, learnt about the results of the Final analytical report presenting the data from the etrap social worker assessments and from the specialized services. The analysis covered recommendations on scaling up of the district level and specialized services and evidence-based suggestions on the recommended distribution of services across the country.
Further on, the specialists of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population presented National Plan of social service development 2022-2030 and opened the floor for discussing the further steps to ensure the sustainability of the Joint Programme.
The Joint Programme “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services”, funded by the Joint SDG Fund, is being implemented by the partnering UN agencies, namely, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNODC and Government of Turkmenistan. The Joint Programme aims to introduce a new model of social services at the community level accompanied by relative legislative reviews and capacity building of national social service workforce. The lead national partner is the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan and the lead UN agency is UNICEF. Other key national partners include Mejlis, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan. /// nCa, 31 March 2022 (in cooperation with UN in Turkmenistan, 30 Mar)