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New social service database and case management system promises to improve quality services for vulnerable children

Skopje, 13 December 2011 - At a press conference the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) together with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Institute for Social Activities (ISA) presented a first of its kind electronic data collection and case management system that promises to transform the way Centers for Social Work (CSW) in this country deliver services.  

Developed by ISA with UNICEF support, the new system has been designed to improve data collection as well as improve the quality of social services delivered to vulnerable children and their families.

“We are here to say goodbye to manual administration performed by professional staff in the Centers for Social Work and consuming their time rather than providing services of those in need,” said Mr. Spiro Ristevski, Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

The limited capacity of CSWs and the need to urgently provide CSWs with the human, technical and financial resources has been raised in two consecutive reports on the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  The electronic system is a one of the positive steps taken by the government towards improving efficiency and quality of services delivered to those in need.

“Having an updated, integrated and sortable data collection system detailing what kind of social services are  being  provided to who, is essential for ensuring  that resources are allocated efficiently and for ensuring that the most vulnerable children get the support they require,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative.

Up until recent reforms, all the records in the CSW were maintained manually only on paper without a unified record keeping system leading to inaccurate data on beneficiaries.   In 2010, the World Bank initiated the development of an electronic data collection system for the administration of cash assistance. The UNICEF supported electronic data collection system for social services complements this initiative. 

By turning the outdated manual data collection into an electronic system at the national level based on standard tools and procedures, this initiative has linked social policy with child protection data management, policy and planning.  The new system will enable the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Institute for Social Activities to produce disaggregated data on the most vulnerable people using cash assistance and social services simultaneously.

“This is important because it t will help policy makers to create a thorough situation analysis to develop evidence-based policies and plans and to monitor the effectiveness of interventions to date and reallocate staff and resources where necessary,” said Mr. Yett.

The initiative is part of the ongoing reform of the social protection system designed to improve the efficiency of the system and improve the quality of social services for vulnerable groups, including children.  Its rollout has been supported by training of all users.  UNICEF has provided four rounds of training for all staff in 30 CSWs working on social services.  The trainings were conducted by ISA and a core group of CSW staff.  The four rounds specifically focused on building basic skills to use the database, entering existing data, creating new files and generating reports.

For further information, please contact:
Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext: 127),  072  236 725 or spappas@unicef.org or Irina Ivanovska (02) 3231-150 (ext: 107),  072  236 722 or iivanovska@unicef.org

 

 

 
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