Programme Management (local)
At the local, municipal level, SPIS programme is coordinated and lead by the Municipal Management Board (MMB) that is comprised of all relevant social sector institutions and professionals (Municipal authorities, Centres for Social Work, Health Centres or clinics, educational institutions, police, judiciary and civil society organizations representatives).
The first step towards the creation of strong municipal referral mechanisms is the establishment of Municipal Management Boards (MMBs).
First MMBs were established in 2009 in ten targeted SPIS municipalities.
The Municipal Management Boards are comprised of all relevant social sector institutions and professionals (Municipal authorities, Centres for Social Work, Health Centres or clinics, educational institutions, police, judiciary and civil society organizations representatives).
Out of ten MMBs, after only one year functioning, eight of them were transformed into permanent Municipal Commissions for Social Protection and Inclusion of Children. The transformation of the MMBs into the more institutionalized form of permanent Municipal Commissions shows the commitment of the local governments to continue investing in social protection and inclusion of children in their municipalities.
The MMBs are the promoters of the referral mechanism of cooperation and coordination between the various social sector institutions and professionals as well as the professionals from non-governmental sector. In line with the introduction of municipal referral mechanisms, first ten SPIS municipalities adopted the Protocols of cooperation in spring-summer 2011. Protocol of cooperation is a binding document, which defines functions, roles and referral mechanisms. They represent the core of the referral models at municipal level, thereby contributing to a sustainable, institutionalized and integrated approach to social protection and inclusion.
Municipal Management Board conducts in its municipality a Situation Analysis collecting and analyzing information on the needs of children and families and constraints of current social protection and inclusion system in the municipality. Based on the evidence gathered from the analytical work presented in the Municipal Situation Analysis, Municipal Management Board with the support of Participation Action Research groups of children and adults develops the SPIS Municipal Action Plan and thus define the services that need to be improved or developed.
The Municipal Action Plans assists Municipal Management Board in improving the social protection and inclusion services and in promoting cooperation between various institutions in the community to work together. This cooperation is visible in the local community projects that aim to improve the social protection system at the local level. There are two types of the community based projects: Special Focused Projects and Civil Society Organizations Projects.
The Municipal Action Plans developed and monitored by the Municipal Management Board provide the baseline for the definition of the municipal priority projects. These priority projects are named Special Focus Projects (SFPs) as they are focused on the shorter time of implementation, require funds that are affordable for the less developed municipalities and are focused on the specific vulnerable group of children. UNICEF has been supporting SPIS targeted municipalities and their SFPs since 2009.
In 2011 is established additional funding mechanism that aims to provide support to the civil society organizations (CSOs) to implement projects that will introduce new and innovative services of social protection and inclusion of children. Through dialogue and knowledge exchange between CSOs and centres for social work, new services are to be developed and thus the increased the service quality and children outreach.
The Civil Society Organizations Projects added value is in building the long-term partnership among various actors in the public, private and civil society sector.
The SPIS programme continues in promotion of replication of this (SPIS) model of development, implementation and coordination of municipal based actions in social protection and inclusion of children in other municipalities in the country.