NSI empowers regions to improve social services for over a hundred everyday issues

As Svetlana Chupsheva, Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, announced during her visit to Yaroslavl region, each of the 52 regions that have already joined the National Social Initiative (NSI), chose three to ten common everyday issues where their social services need improvement the most.

“The key performance indicator here is improvement in the citizens’ satisfaction with social services. It’s vital that the entire operation is based upon the feedback received from the people, the individuals that use government services and can relay their experiences and the issues they faced in this or that situation in their lives. We started our project with about a dozen of issues. Now the regions handle about a hundred of them in total, and each of them sets the priorities based on users’ feedback and expert advice,” Svetlana Chupsheva said.

The Yaroslavl Region was one of the first to fully deploy the infrastructure needed to implement the NSI, Agency Director added. Among other things, they created a position of the service curator.

“The service curator sets up interactions with all regional authorities and organizations involved in solving a particular everyday issue, in building up new client experience that would be efficient for the person and focused on improving that person’s satisfaction with the quality of the service,” Svetlana Chupsheva noted.

The Yaroslavl Region selected five of such everyday issues: education for children who have missed a lot of school time due to objective reasons; finding first jobs through employment centers; families getting the child birth allowance they are entitled to; medical help for families experiencing fertility problems; birth of a third child with special needs in low-income families.

In particular, the procedures that would improve quality of services provided in a situation when a third child with special needs is born in a family, will be tested in the regional perinatal clinic (RPC). Parents will be issued a birth certificate and the health insurance policy right at the clinic. The clinic is also where they would be able to get the necessities (the drive to collect them would be organized by RPC advisory and social service together with charities). The newborn’s mother can determine the time for her hospital stay and maternity leave on her own. When making an appointment for a doctor’s check-up, they select the time that would be the most convenient for the parents, and arrange all the specialist doctors’ visits on the same day, without the need to wait.

“In this situation, we work together with charities and non-profit organizations, they serve as drivers for a number of processes. We have a thought to re-orient this work in the future, so we’re able to give support like that to the families with the first or the second child with special needs, instead of just the third one. Because there are also cases when parents abandon a first or a second child like that,” Nadezhda Sorokina, regional NSI curator for the Yaroslavl Region said.

The objective of the National Social Initiative is to improve the population’s satisfaction with social services and their quality of life. The idea of NSI was first voiced at the meeting of the ASI's Supervisory Board in July 2020. As a result, President Vladimir Putin instructed to implement the project on a nationwide scale.