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CBC SOC COOP (ROBG-150)

Cross Border Cooperation Mechanism in the Field of Social Assistance at multi-regional level Romania-Bulgaria

What’s the goal?                                              

To increase the cooperation capacity and the efficiency of the Romanian National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection (ANPIS) through its cross border decentralized bodies and of the Bulgarian Agency for Social Assistance in the field of social policy in a CBC context.

What’s the budget?

538,554.97 euro, out of which 457,771.70 ERDF

Who is doing it?

Lead beneficiary: County Agency for Payments and Social Inspection Constanta (Romania)

Beneficiary 2 (B2): County Agency for Payments and Social Inspection Dolj (Romania)

Beneficiary 3 (B3): County Agency for Payments and Social Inspection Teleorman (Romania)

Beneficiary 4 (B4): Agency for social assistance /ASA/ (Bulgaria)

When?

Start date: 23.08.2017

End date: 22.11.2019

Duration: 27 months

Where?

Mehedinti, Dolj, Olt, Teleorman, Giurgiu, Calarasi, Constanta, Romania

Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse, Silistra, Dobrich, Bulgaria

How?

  • Comparative study Romania-Bulgaria regarding the regulatory framework and working methodologies and procedures in the areas of social benefits and social inspection;
  • Needs analysis regarding the areas for improvement in the fields of social benefit management and social inspection, via a series of 18 focus groups;
  • Developing by CBC 2 public policies, one for each country, regarding the areas of benefits management and social inspection that will valorize the best practices identified in the two countries;
  • Organizing a series of 6 workshops, 3 on social benefits management and 3 on social inspection, taking place in Vratsa, Ruse and Craiova, with a total of 23 specialists of partners, from the two areas of competence;
  • Capacity building for the border area deconcentrated bodies of the two public institutions in the areas of social benefits management and social inspection, based on the new policy developed in cooperation;
  • 7 training sessions organized in Romania by partners for neighboring AJPISs (3 by AJPIS Dj, 2 by AJPIS Tr and 2 by AJPIS Ct) and 28 trainings in Bulgaria at regional (8 courses) and local level (20 courses);
  • Capacity building for staff of mayor's offices and NGOs from border area regarding the new policy developed in cooperation;
  • Organizing two types of trainings for (1) staff of Mayor’s Offices from the Romanian 7 border area counties and (2) management staff of NGOs from both same 7 border area counties, as from the 8 border districts of Bulgaria;
  • Development and implementation of an online information exchange tool between the partner public institutions;
  • Information and publicity: 7000 leaflets; 7000 pens; 1800 calendars; 2100 folders; 1400 posters; 2100 bloc notes; project website (RO/BG/EN), Facebook account organizing 4 conferences in Romania and Bulgaria;

Results (what’s the contribution to the Programme)?

Programme outputs:

      5 supported cross border mechanisms to enhance cooperation capacity: 1 comparative study; 2 public policies developed in cooperation; 1 inter-institutional agreement; 1 exchange information tool;

Programme results: increased level of co-ordination of the public institutions in the eligible area.

Project status:

The project implementation was finalized on 22.11.2019.

The following results were achieved:

- The project beneficiaries purchased the necessary equipment for the project implementation teams.

- The project website was elaborated and is available at http://ajpisconstanta-interreg.ro in Romanian, Bulgarian and English.

- The experts of all project beneficiaries elaborated the Comparative study regarding the regulatory framework and working methodologies and procedures in the areas of social benefits and social inspection for Romania-Bulgaria. The comparative study was developed in Bulgarian and Romanian languages and printed in 1.060 copies and is available on the project website at the following link: https://ajpisconstanta-interreg.ro/category/ajpis/.

- 9 focus groups: 3 with staff of AJPIS, 3 with staff of town halls and 3 with management staff of NGOs were held in Romania and 7 focus groups: 2 with staff of RDSA, 2 with staff of public institutions, 2 with management staff of NGOs and 1 with representatives of all groups. During the focus groups were identified the needs that will form the basis of the elaboration of the public policy proposals. The Final Needs Analysis Report and the Guide for Good Practices have been elaborated by the Lead Beneficiary and translated into Bulgarian language by the Beneficiary 4. The Guide for Good Practices is available on the project website at the following link: https://ajpisconstanta-interreg.ro/category/ajpis/.

- 6 workshops on social benefits management and social inspection were organized in Craiova, Ruse and Vratsa in the period March – April 2019. As result, two public policies, adapted for Romanian, respective, for Bulgarian legal environment, were developed and tested in the same working groups in which the needs analysis took place: 18 working groups were organized in the period April – May 2019.

The proposal for public policy in the field of social assistance was sent by the Lead Beneficiary to the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection on 14.11.2019. On his turn, ANPIS has sent the document to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection on 27.11.2019.

At the Beneficiary 4 level, the proposed public policies in the field of social benefits and social services were presented and discussed in the framework of Regional Directorates "Social Assistance", within the ASA and in the inter-institutional working groups for the development of the new Law on Social Assistance. By order № RD01-749/28.09.2017 of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, an inter-institutional working group was established to develop the Law on Social Services. Representatives of the Social Assistance Agency (from item 21 to item 26 of the Order), the project partner, actively participated in the Working Group. The Working Group was active for almost 2 years, and the law officially entered into force in July 2020. The proposal for public policy in the field of social services, developed within the project, was presented to the members of the working group and reflected in the law, such as the establishment of a Quality Control Agency and other elements related to the licensing of service providers.

- The content of the two policies was transposed into training materials: for social benefits management and for social inspection and 35 trainings for developing the capacity of the staff of the deconcentrated bodies of the project partner institutions all along the border area and 25 trainings for developing the capacity of the staff of Mayor’s offices and management staff of NGOs were organized in the period July – October 2019.

- Inter-institutional cooperation agreement regarding the permanent exchange of information in the area of social security was drafted and signed by high level representatives of the two central public administration agencies from the two countries in November 2019.

- IT information exchange tool was created: https://ajpis.mbmsoftware.com/.

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