JOURNAL ISSUE 17.5

Fall 2008

 

 


MONITORING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SOCIAL PROTECTION STRATEGIES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA

 

Vid Žiberna, Polonca Jakob & Barbara Kobal

Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia,

Ljubljana

 

 

 

 

Abstract

The main responsibility of the Republic of Slovenia as a contemporary democratic social state is to view social and economic development as being interconnected and consequently to attempt to ensure the optimum harmonious development of both. National social protection strategies establish systems of social solidarity. Their purpose is to overcome aid recipientsí dependence on both the market value of labour and the solidarity of informal social networks and, at the same time, to provide measures to ensure basic human needs are met. In this way Slovenia attempts to protect its citizens from poverty and social exclusion. The adoption of national strategies by the Slovenian Parliament placed monitoring the effects of their implementation on the agenda of the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. For that purpose, specific indicators were created on the basis of data collected from various social assistance and social service providers: public institutions, concessionaires and other non-governmental organisations. For eight years the Institute has monitored two national social protection strategies: the National Social Strategy up to 2005 and the Resolution on the National Social Protection Programme 2006–2010. The paper outlines the experiences of monitoring the two documents.

Keywords: evaluation, monitoring, national strategies and policies, Slovenia, social indicators

 

 

 

Introduction

Modern countries view social and economic development as being interconnected and consequently attempt to ensure the optimum harmonious development of both. The national social protection strategies of such countries establish systems of social solidarity. Their purpose is to overcome aid recipientsí dependence on both the market value of labour and the solidarity of informal social networks and, at the same time, to provide measures to ensure that basic human needs are met. In such a fashion Slovenia attempts to protect its citizens from poverty and social exclusion. The adoption of the National Strategy by Parliament in the Republic of Slovenia placed monitoring the effects of its implementation on the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Sloveniaís agenda.

Probably the most important role of the Institute is to monitor implementation of the National Social Protection Programme (NSPP) for combating poverty and social exclusion and to develop guidelines for the development of social assistance and social services. For that purpose, specific indicators were created on the basis of data collected from various social assistance and social service providers: public institutions, entrepreneurs, concessionaires, and other non-governmental organisations.[1]

In the paper we will outline our experiences in creating this document and present some basic indicators of the social development of the Republic of Slovenia, with special emphasis on the effectiveness of the programme, by introducing evaluations of the countryís social assistance programmes.

 

The social situation in the Republic of Slovenia

The Republic of Slovenia is one of Europeís newest states. It established itself as an independent state in 1991. As a young state, the Republic of Slovenia has come a long way in the last decade. Although some changes from the former centrally-planned system to a contemporary market economy started before the disintegration of the common state of Yugoslavia, the real process of transition in Slovenia began with the countryís independence. Today, the Republic of Slovenia is a full member of the EU and one of the most developed among its new members. Sloveniaís GDP is c.90.6% of the EU average and GDP per capita is EUR 16,616 (SORS 2008).

The Slovenian welfare system may be described as a dual model combined with elements that are b asic constitutive elements of both conservative-corporate and social-democratic welfare systems (Kolarič 2006). The foundations of the Slovenian welfare system are the compulsory insurance systems that are based on a social partnership. They represent the principal instrument for providing social protection for employees and their family members in the sense of maintaining their relative social positions. Rights arising from social insurance entitle beneficiaries and their family members to have their lost income covered in the case of sickness, accident, old age, death, disability, and unemployment. In addition to social transfers, the state provides different types of social assistance to secure a minimal level of social security to citizens who cannot provide for themselves. Social assistance is means-tested; however, it is becoming more and more linked to the principle of activation.

Fig. 1 shows that the unemployment rate (the percentage of registered unemployed) is falling; in 2005 it was 10.2%, in 2006 it was 9.4% and in 2007 it was 8.7% (Employment Service of Slovenia, 2008; Eurostat 2008).

 

Fig. 1: Unemployment rate in the Republic of Slovenia (percentage of registered unemployed) (Employment Service of Slovenia 2008).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloveniaís total expenditure on social protection in 2007 was 16.7% of the GDP. Data on social development, based on social cohesion indicators in Slovenia from 2005, indicate that Slovenia has had a successful social policy: the main equivalised disposable income in 2004 was EUR 9886 and in 2005 it was EUR 10,371; the at-risk-of-poverty threshold in 2004 was EUR 5516 and in 2005 it was EUR 5765; in 2004 the at-risk-of-poverty threshold for a household consisting of two adults and two children was EUR 11,585 and in 2005 it was EUR 12,107. The at-risk-of-poverty rate in 2004 was 11.4 and in 2005 it was 11.1; the inequality of income distribution S80/S20 quintile share ratio was 3.3 in both 2004 and 2005; and the inequality of income distribution – the Gini coefficient – was 23 in both 2004 and 2005 (SORS 2005; Eurostat 2008). A significant impact on reducing poverty has been created especially by well-targeted social benefits.  

 

As part of the welfare system the state also provides various services in fields such as health care, preschool care, education, culture, sport, and social care. Public institutions still hold the central place in the provision of different services, which are accessible to all citizens on equal terms. Private, non-profit providers are gradually strengthening their role in this respect, usually in conditions where concession agreements complement public sector services offered in all fields where such services are not made available with sufficient or adequate quality. Private, for-profit organisations are emerging through the privatisation process in certain fields, especially in the field of health care. Together with private insurance schemes, these represent the beginning of the market sectorís development, offering the possibility of a choice of services to those individuals who can afford them.

 

National social protection strategy up to 2005

The national social protection strategy was steered by a social policy based on objectives, measures and other instruments developed and used by the state with the purpose of assisting individuals and certain population groups to fulfil their personal and common interests as well as to function as full and equal members of society and the state (MLFSA 1998: 2). In a narrower sense, social policy is determined by measures providing social protection for individuals. Social protection is reflected in principles, regulations and activities which enable an individual to be included and remain included in the social environment, and to be active in it (MLFSA 1998: 2). Hence, the stateís measures in the social welfare domain up to 2005 were oriented towards the following stated objectives:

 

Objective 1: Improving the conditions for a quality life

To ensure such conditions that enable everyone to work and thus provide for their own social security, human dignity, along with conditions for maintaining and developing the favourable social standing of the entire population and conditions which contribute to social fairness, the development of solidarity, tolerance and appreciation of difference.

 

Objective 2: Assuring active forms of welfare

To prevent poverty and social exclusion and to provide basic financial security for all individuals unable to ensure the same on the basis of work, the insurance system, investment income or in other active ways, and design the basis for implementation of the self-responsibility principle.

 

Objective 3: Development of professional social help networks

To ensure special support and assistance so as to satisfy the personal and social needs of those individuals who, for different reasons, are unfit for independent life and work or cannot operate successfully in their social environment, and enable them to have an influence on the planning of the activities and the possibility to choose from among different programmes.

 

 

 

Objective 4: Setting up and developing pluralism

To ensure the possibilities for voluntary work, solidarity, charity and self-help development for affirmation of the non-governmental sector, private sector and usersí associations and to connect the same within a uniform social welfare system at the national level.

 

Objective 5: Design of new prevention models

To develop new social assistance programmes in a planned manner so as to enable reactions to the social situation, changes of the population, the introduction of new work methods and development of the profession (MLFSA 1998: 6).

Pursuant to the National Social Protection Strategy up to 2005, the Resolution on the National Social Protection Programme (ReNSPP) 2006–2010 was formed in 2005.

 

Resolution on the National Social Protection Programme 2006–2010

The ReNSPP was adopted in 2007. The document introduces new forms of provision for certain social security services and programmes. Reflecting on its provisions, a package of amendments to the Social Security Act was drafted in 2007, containing the following changes (MLFSARS 2007: 8):

      The transfer of certain social security services, programmes and measures from the national to regional and municipal levels (a new separation into three levels)

      New entitlement conditions for the recipients of services and programmes and monetary welfare benefits (along with citizens of the Republic of Slovenia wanting to return to their homeland, and foreigners residing legally in Slovenia and who enjoy rights on the basis of international treaties)

      A provision mandating the involvement of the ministry responsible for social affairs in the crafting of certain policies (including health, employment, and housing), and the mainstreaming of social inclusion measures and efforts to prevent any greater threats to social security

      Several changes to social security services in terms of content and definitions

      The new provisions draw a clear distinction in the types of implementing social security programmes (they may be public, developmental or experimental in implemental terms); as regards funding, these are social security programmes

      Introduction of a process of verifying social security services and programmes in order to improve their efficiency, quality and accessibility

      The introduction of new services, changes to the system of financing social security services and programmes, and the overhaul of the Centres for Social Work

      a provision calling for the creation of an expert-beneficiary council at the ministry responsible for social security for monitoring implementation of the new policies and making proposals for improvements in social security (the main benefits of this measure include the creation of a direct link between policy-makers and beneficiaries and enhanced possibilities for users to participate in planning the social security system).

 

Formation of the indicators for monitoring the ReNSPP

The goals and strategies of the social policy included in the NSPP are the basis for forming the indicators for monitoring implementation of the Resolution. In the process of forming the indicators we used qualitative methods, and subsequently the indicators were described in quantitative and qualitative terms. In the first step we established the indicators, in the next step we merged them and summed them up, and in the last phase we defined the final indicators. These goals and strategies fall into four groups (Fig. 2):

      The first group – social inclusion – is divided into deinstitutionalisation (home care), voluntary work (number of projects, programmes, etc.) and social and economic inclusion (vulnerable groups, poverty, unemployment rate, etc.).

      The second group – accessibility – is divided into services and programmes of social protection (first social aid, custody, youth centres, etc.), regional coverage, children and adolescents, the elderly, and people with special needs (institutional care, daily care, etc.).

      The third group – innovations (efficiency) – is divided into regional coverage, the number of innovated programmes of social protection (number of users and professionals), and the number of volunteers involved in social protection programmes.

      The fourth group – effectiveness – is divided into an overview of the beneficiaries of social transfers to vulnerable groups, and an improvement of the quality of services and programmes of social protection and their orientation to the goals and effectiveness.

 

 



In the framework of the goals and strategies of the NSPP our key tasks are to conduct analyses and research in the following fields: the NSPP, individual and direct funding, innovations, organised work centres, social work centres, evaluations, home care, and the action plan for disabled persons. Special attention will be paid to evaluating the social protection programmes in the final sections of this paper.

 

Evaluating the implementation of social protection programmes in the Republic of Slovenia (2003–2008) on the basis of the ReNSPP

The NSPP states that Slovenia has to ensure the functioning of an integrated social protection system. To achieve this task, it is necessary for feedback information on the systemís functioning to be available, and this can be provided by an evaluation of the countryís social protection programmes. Because evaluations in the field of social protection have so far been carried out according to different models and considered diverse criteria, and also the fact that past self-evaluations do not allow for comparisons between similar programmes (Rihter 2004, 152–253), the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs entrusted the Institute as well as the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Ljubljana with the project task of establishing an evaluation system to evaluate the implementation of social protection programmes. The main focus is not on the evaluators themselves but on the people and groups with particular social problems. All stakeholders (policy-makers and decision-makers, evaluation sponsors, target participants, programme management, programme staff, evaluators, and programme competitors) were invited to co-operate in both defining the evaluation criteria and implementing pilot evaluations.

The project aims to establish a system for evaluating social protection programmes in order to enable a comparison of effects between similar programmes (as requested by the Ministry) and to supply the providers of programmes with feedback information to enable them to plan and direct their future work (i.e. the evaluation should not represent an additional task for programme providers but bring benefits to their further work).

 

Establishing the evaluation system for social protection programmes

The first phase of the project involved identifying the starting points of the system for evaluating the social protection programmes. With social protection programmes varying considerably in their aims, they all had to be reviewed and their common points and similarities identified to enable a comparison of their mutual effects in order to establish the evaluation system. Given that any social protection programme can be classified within the social protection field – which is defined by two dimensions: (1) duration and (2) an orientation towards prevention–correction – the typology of programmes provided by Nino Rode (2001) proved to be useful during an evaluation process of a non-governmental organisationís programmes. Within the duration dimension, programmes may range from momentary services, through transitional programmes of different durations, to permanent programmes, i.e. programmes of an unlimited duration which may provide the lifelong inclusion of the user. The prevention–correction dimension may range from purely informative programmes, through different combinations of preventive and curative programmes, to therapeutic programmes. In this way, similar programmes which can be evaluated with similar methods are brought together.

We adapted Yatesí (1999) evaluation model, according to which it is necessary to analyse the sources, procedures, processes, and outcomes of a programme and evaluate the connections between them. Within this model, the sources are the means and personnel needed to carry out programmes; they help establish what and how much is invested in programmes. Procedures cover all activities and services which contribute to realising a programmeís aims. Processes are all changes in the users, their reactions, and events involving them which influence the final results of the programme. Outcomes are changes in psychological and social states resulting from programmes, i.e. skills and knowledge acquired by the users and other changes resulting from a given programme. Primarily, the measurement of the outcomes requires preliminary consultations with the programme providers and users regarding the possible evaluation criteria.

Accordingly, the next step included the proposed social protection programmes evaluation criteria. In the process of establishing the criteria we insisted on the co-operation of all parties involved in the implementation of social protection. On the one hand, this includes the users of services whose common characteristic is that they cannot resolve their problems without help. On the other hand, there are the programmesí providers (professionals and volunteers), whose interests are twofold: firstly, they tend to identify with the organisation in which they work, are related to it and therefore interested in its success, and secondly, they wish to have favourable working conditions. There is also a third side, namely the state which finances the social protection programmes.

These aims present the basis for how to establish the general criteria which can be used when evaluating all social protection programmes, namely the concept of the quality of life and the strength perspective:

      An improvement in the quality of life means ensuring conditions which enable the social protection and human dignity of all people, conditions which contribute to social justice, to the development of solidarity and respect of difference, and other conditions which help guarantee a favourable social status to all residents and prevent poverty and social exclusion. In other words, a rise in the quality of the userís life in at least some spheres (general health, work and education, free time and participation, religion, financial situation, housing conditions, legality and safety, family relations, social contacts, health, and self-image).

      A community orientation towards social work that influences the structuring of so-called community social work, which shows the benefits of preventing segregation and raising the quality of life for users. The aim of this criterion is to enable and empower users to do things the way they want to and thereby treat them individually.

      The strength perspective: to guarantee a favourable social position to individuals, families and population groups who cannot achieve this by their own means (i.e. through work, the insurance system, property, income, or in other ways), including not only passive social assistance but also support for maximum independence in their struggle to find a way out of difficult situations. This is a practical approach that largely addresses the innovation, creativity, courage, and common sense of the user and social worker. This requires an individual approach and feedback information is needed to find out whether programme providers are using it.

In its continuation, the research will include the identification of the second complex of special criteria, which will be defined in line with the professionís findings regarding the social problems encountered by various kinds of social protection programmes. These criteria involve functional ability and therapeutic effects.

On the one hand, functional ability has a limiting function, while on the other hand the concept is considered part of training and empowerment procedures in social protection programmes because it enables users to learn new skills. The therapistís task is to teach the user how, despite their problems, they can live a perfectly normal life like that of an average citizen.

Therapeutic effects are certain changes effected by a programme, such as those in high-threshold programmes for drug and alcohol addicts, i.e. a lower frequency of substance use, potentially improved employability, and social and psychological characteristics (Merino 1999, 26), while in low-threshold programmes they include, for example, harm reduction (in health, and socially). For programmes in the field of addiction these can include improved physical condition and better mental functioning, higher quality relationships and social conditions, and reduced incidences of illegal behaviour and the use of drugs (Nizzoli 1999, 64). Therapeutic effects have to be defined by the profession and the programme provider, while the evaluatorís task is to find out whether these effects have been achieved. It should be emphasised that the two concepts of therapeutic effects and the strength perspective are frequently complementary.

The third complex of special criteria includes specific criteria formed by individual programmes for self-evaluation. One of the starting points for establishing the evaluation system was the formation of the proposed way of evaluating programmes originating from certain general principles:

 

      To ensure the highest possible level of objectivity.

      The necessity to ensure dialogue between the evaluators and the representatives of organisations in order for the latter to reveal any possible reasons for good or bad results.

      At least two similar programmes should be evaluated simultaneously to ensure the comparability of the evaluation.

 

Definition of specific evaluation criteria

In the second phase of the project, we invited programme providers and defined specific evaluation criteria for each group separately. These were identified by using the focus group method. A Ďfocus groupí is a method in which a structured group interview with the providers of social protection programme services is employed. The purpose of using focus groups is to obtain an insight into their concrete aims and formulate criteria for measuring the quality of work or achievement of aims (Rode et al. 2004). In 2006 and 2007 focus group interviews for seven groups of programmes and/or services were carried out.

 

Creating the measuring instruments

On the basis of general, special and specific criteria, appropriate measuring instruments were prepared to find out whether the aims set by the individual programmes had been achieved and the level of the quality of their work. We created questionnaires to measure the general criteria (quality of life, community orientation principles, strength perspective), special criteria (functional ability, therapeutic effects), and specific criteria (formed by individual programmes for self-evaluation).

 

Pilot control of implementation of the evaluation

Within the service of institutional care of the elderly, the pilot control proceeded as follows. In October 2004 an introductory meeting was organised, at which the evaluators presented the proposed pilot evaluation to two co-workers from two homes for the elderly. The first part of the meeting included a presentation of the researchersí ideas about the evaluation procedure. In the first phase of the pilot evaluation we limited our focus to measuring the effects of the programme; the measurement was based on criteria established by the focus groups. In the second part of the meeting, the co-workers reviewed the proposed measuring instruments and critically assessed the feasibility of the questionnaire. The projectís last phase included pilot control of the implementation of the evaluation in groups of programmes for which the measuring instruments had been created.

At the second joint meeting held at the end of January 2005 the two co-workers from the respective homes submitted a report on the data collection procedures upon inclusion in the programme and on problems regarding data collection. The last part of the meeting included a presentation of the collected data on the resources, procedures, processes, and also other criteria for which it was necessary to obtain data from the service providers.

Subsequently, the evaluators of the pilot evaluation paid two visits to the two homes for which they were responsible respectively. At the time of the first visit each evaluator, together with a representative of the home, reviewed the documents which were a potential source of data for the needs of the pilot evaluation. During the second visit, the evaluator and the representative of the home collected all the necessary data and filled in a customised form which had been adapted according to Yates (1999). Then the evaluators processed the data (using the SPSS programme) and together with the homesí representatives they prepared a report for their respective homes.

At the beginning of June 2005 both reports were sent to all four evaluators, together with an evaluation sheet. The evaluators then formed their own estimations based on the reports and their familiarity with how both homes functioned. All evaluators met at the harmonisation meeting at the end of June, where they jointly estimated both organisations and made proposals to improve the evaluation systems.

Building on their evaluation, the evaluators wrote the final evaluation report, which shows that there were not many differences between the two evaluated programmes. The procedures carried out in both programmes are legally defined, while the connections between the processes and their effects on the users are not explicitly defined; for the purpose of the evaluation the notion of process was defined by the evaluators and representatives of the homes. While the prescribed working procedures are well known to all professional workers, the latter evidently do not think much of the processes which the procedures may trigger in users. In permanent programmes in which people mostly stay for the rest of their lives, the final outcome of the programme has to be understood differently than with short-term programmes, where the final outcomes are linked with an exit from the programme. This is why the majority of outcomes identified here were defined as final outcomes.

In both organisations the aims are set but not in a way that allows their direct measurement. The feasibility of the established aims is high because each aim has a defined procedure which is expected to contribute to its achievement. Both have organisations emphasised the fact that there is still not enough time being dedicated to the users. We had no data to allow an estimate of the appropriateness of management, so a special measuring instrument will have to be prepared for this. Judging by usersí assessment of their satisfaction with the services, we can say that the atmosphere in both organisations was fairly good at the time when the study was conducted; however, there are no data on what the atmosphere was like among the employees. In both organisations the users have an influence but the extent to which this is put into practice depends on the users themselves. Regarding the evaluation criteria stated in the focus groups, in general the users were found to be satisfied with the quality of their life.

 

Reviewing the pilot reports

In summer 2007 training was organised for social service providers of the following groups of programmes:

 

      A night shelter for homeless people

      A network of counselling centres for refugees (support in defending their rights and psychosocial help)

      A network of counselling and advocacy centres for people with long-term mental health problems

      Therapeutic communities and other programmes which offer accommodation to drug users; counselling and social rehabilitation centres of illegal drug users who need treatment on a daily basis

      Programmes for handicapped people (the Slovenian Association of Disabled Students, Organisation for Dystrophies, etc.)

      Psychosocial help for individuals, families, couples, and people suffering trauma caused by violence or rape

      Therapeutic communities and other programmes which offer help to people with nutritional disorders

      Safe houses for mothers with children and/or victims of family crimes

      A network of teams providing telephone counselling for children, adolescents and other people suffering personal distress.

 

Soon after the training finished, focus group interviews for the same programmes were carried out. We redefined the specific criteria and finally pinpointed them for each programme separately. The task of the programme and/or services providers was to follow the instructions relating to the evaluation and to apply the measuring instruments and comment on their usefulness. At the end of the year (2007) they wrote their final reports.

 

Forming the final layout of the reports and questionnaires

In winter 2007–2008 we collected the final reports prepared by the programme and/or services providers. We analysed the financial sources (both income and expenditure) and paid special attention to the procedures, expenditure and indicators (measurement instruments). The procedures were reviewed and logically divided into the common procedures of some service providers groups, special procedures and administrative procedures. Some procedures were combined or renamed. A similar method was used in the analysis of the outcomes. Some groups of indicators (measurement instruments) were established as uniform measurement instruments for specific groups (for example, the quality of life indicators for the therapeutic communities and other programmes which offer accommodation to drug users, counselling and social rehabilitation centres for illegal drug users who need treatment on a daily basis). The analysis of the final reports was presented in spring 2008 to representatives of the service providers.

 

Today, we are working on a computerised application to support the user-friendly collection of data relating to the work carried out by the providers of programmes and services. The application has been made in the Open Office programme, supported by the Sun Report Builder, and is undergoing the test phase. Detailed instructions have already been prepared. The users were found to have been experiencing some difficulties because of the different computer software and hardware equipment, and also because the level of their computer knowledge varied. Some specific changes in the applications should take place in certain cases with special programmes. The problems and changes in the applications are to be discussed in the focus groups and separately.

 

Conclusions

The focus of the article has been to describe the process of establishing a system to evaluate the implementation of social protection programmes in Slovenia which would enable a comparison of the effects of different programmes. First, an evaluation model was chosen and the related evaluation criteria were based on the aims of the NSPP. Programme providers and users (NGO) were invited to co-operate in defining special and specific evaluation criteria, and then measuring instruments were then prepared. The next phase included pilot control of implementation of the evaluation. The feasibility of the evaluation method was checked and the measuring instruments were tested.

The pilot evaluation showed that the evaluation scenario is feasible, although in practice certain problems occurred (the formulating of the measuring instruments, data collection), but these could have been reduced by making a slight correction to the instruments and the implementation of a plan for the data collection. The findings of this specific evaluation have provided good feedback information for the service providers, who can see where and how they can improve or upgrade their activities when their services are compared to those of another organisation being evaluated simultaneously. However, it was necessary to pilot control implementation of the evaluation in other groups of programmes before the system to evaluate whether the implementation of social protection programmes could be established as a whole. It is anticipated that users will soon be able to use the new evaluation forms to secure the long-term financing of their organisationís work based on the reports.

The system of evaluations of social protection programmes in the Republic of Slovenia, established by the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and the Faculty for Social Work in Ljubljana is based on the inclusion of NGOs, which are gaining an even more important role by virtue of the broader scope of the evaluations.

Evaluations in the field of social policies play an important role in the political and organisational culture and the development of public services. The accumulated information gained by the evaluations could represent a very useful database for some sectors of political life, which can combine them and use them to rearrange and improve the work of social work organisations.

 

References

Employment Service of Slovenia (2008). Unemployment rate in RS. Accessible at: http://www.ess.gov.si/

Eurostat (2008). http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu

Flaker, V. & Nagode, M. (2008). Individualiziranje financiranja storitev socialnega varstva (raziskovalno poročilo za leto 2007) [Individual and direct funding of social protection services (research report for 2007)]. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Work and the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.

Kobal, B., Rode, N., Rihter, L., Rape, Ž.T., Jakob, P. & Žiberna, V. (2008). Podpora pri procesu evalvacije izvajanja javnih socialnih programov: Analiza samoevalvacijskih poročil [Supporting process of evaluation of implementing public social programmes: The analysis of self-evaluation reports]. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Work and the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.

Kolarič, Z., Kopač, A. & Rakar, T. (2006). European Welfare System – The Slovenian Case. xxx: xxx.

Merino, P.P. (1999). Treatment – evaluation literature. EMCDDA (ed.) Evaluating the Treatment of Drug Abuse in the European Union, 25–28. Luxembourg: European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

MLFSA (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs) (1998). Resolucija o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za leto 2005 [National Social Protection Strategy up to 2005]. Ljubljana: Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs.

MLFSA (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs) (2005). Resolucija o nacionalnem programu socialnega varstva za obdobje 2006–2010 [Resolution on the National Social Protection Programme 2006-2010] (ReNPSV06-10). Ljubljana: Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs.

MLFSARS (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia) (2007). Amended National Report on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008. Accessible at http://www.mddsz.gov.si/fileadmin/mddsz.gov.si/pageuploads/dokumenti__pdf/nap_soc_zascita_dop_an_sep07.pdf (4 June 2008).

Nizzoli, U. (1999). Treatment information systems: The Emilia-Romagna experience. EMCDDA (ed.) Evaluating the Treatment of Drug Abuse in the European Union, 63–66. Luxembourg: European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Rihter, L. (2004). Evaluations in Social Protection and Their Meaning for the Adjustment of Modern Welfare States to the Challenges of Globalisation [Evalvacije na področju socialnega varstva in njihov pomen za prilagajanje sodobnih držav blaginje na izzive globalizacije]. PhD thesis. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences.

Rode, N. (2001). The Possibility of Evaluating Non-governmental Non-profit Organisations in the Field of Social Protection [Možnost evalvacije nevladnih neprofitnih organizacij na področju socialnega varstva]. MA thesis. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences.

Rode, N., Rihter, L., Zorn, J. & Kobal, B. (2004). Formation of an Evaluation System of the Implementation of Social Protection Programmes: First Part of the Report for 2004 [Oblikovanje sistema evalviranja izvajanja programov socialnega varstva: prvo delno poročilo za leto 2004]. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Work and the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.

SORS (Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia) (2005). Statistics on Income and Living Conditions 2005. Ljubljana: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia.

SORS (Statistical Office of the Republic Slovenia) (2008). Statistical Portrait of Slovenia in the EU 2007. Ljubljana: Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia.

Yates, B.T. (1999). Measuring and Improving Costs, Cost-effectiveness, and Cost-benefit for Substance Abuse Treatment Programmes: A Manual. Maryland: National Institute on Drug Abuse; US Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health.

 

 

About the authors: Vid Žiberna (BSc) and Polonca Jakob (BSc) are postgraduate students at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, and also researchers at the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia; Barbara Kobal (MSc), is a researcher and acting manager of the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia.



[1] Other main goals and activities of the Institute are:

1.     Insuring effective informational support in the field of social protection (being the well-organised source of information and (inter)national analyses from the field of social protection and social policy). Hence, the Institute represents an important source of support in the work of experts, analysts and state administration employees. The databases allow the comparison of various interconnected data related to the financial and non-financial aspects of the field of social assistance and social services of the social work centres and all other public and (non-)governmental institutions, and also development and experimental programmes. The data are collected on a country level, so the database keeps national statistics because the executive rights and obligations are carried out by the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs. In other words, the Institute counsels the Ministry through preparing various documents and providing data.

2.     Carrying out comparative analyses of a number of subjects affecting the effective operation of social benefits and social services, which are measures aimed at social groups that need help by ensuring their social security and welfare. The Institute provides specific analyses and solutions in the field of social assistance and social services while also providing international comparisons and the basis for a variety of legislative measures.

3.     Monitoring implementation of the NSPP and the effects of family policy and related family issues. The main issues are: custody, childís rights, care for the elderly people at home, and the analysis of a variety of forms of family life and family membersí access to life resources.

4.     Regular activities of the Institute on the national and international level include the dissemination of expertise in the area of social protection and family policy, membership of professional organisations, and participation in and organisation of research projects, various workshops and professional conferences.



 

 

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