Lobbying group of Caritas Ukraine reforms legal and regulatory framework of social services delivery for vulnerable population categories


20.12.13, Ukraine
Since 1999 Dzvenyslava Chaykivska has been a member of Caritas Ukraine team. In times past she was a doctor of functional diagnostics and head doctor in one of Lviv city policlinics. Mrs. Dzvenyslava initiated and developed Home Care project, and coordinated it for many years; for the last 1,5 years she heads lobbying group of Caritas Ukraine. 

We interviewed Dzvenyslava Chaykivska on lobbying and advocacy of interests of vulnerable categories of Ukrainian population and changing of social services delivery system for such people.

Mrs, Dzvenyslava, please, tell us about the development of lobbying project and what is it about?
Our lobbying project has been operating since June 2012 and was compiled of several stages.

The first stage lasted three months and was directed at evaluation of situation on medical and social services delivery in Ukraine, in particular: what is the need, how can it be satisfied and who works in this service market. Evaluation of legal and regulatory framework of services delivery in Ukraine was another issue we faced. This stage seized analysis of medical, social and legal field of activity: tasks for lobbying group work were determined.

The second stage lasted 9 months; at this period lobbying group implemented its activities in three main areas:

  • Presentation of Home Care project as model of Caritas Ukraine at different levels (local, national and international) and increasing the scope of work in sphere of palliative care, activities with disabled individuals, crisis children etc;
  • Establishment of cooperation with civic organizations and state institutions that is aimed to form powerful impact of civil society for further influence on governmental structures;
  • Forming of legal and regulatory framework to attain the main project objective.

What is the final result of such work?
Changing and improvement of national system of social services delivery for vulnerable population categories should become an ultimate outcome of our work.

The aim is rather ambitious, but how is it possible to alter national system of social services delivery? Is it easier to start such changes on regional level?
No, it is not easier, and it is difficult even to start. On regional level our organizations (note – Caritas Ukraine includes nearly 20 regional organizations in 8 oblasts of Ukraine) reached in dialogue with authorities everything they could in terms of their excellent reputation and professionalism.

It is high time to change the system from the top-down, in particular, for funding (by the state that is responsible for this) of social services to citizens of Ukraine in crisis living conditions.

Do you get a hearing from ministries, administrative entities and committees of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine?
Caritas Ukraine took the lead in Coordination and Expert Council on social policy in Center of advanced studies of Ministry of Social Policy and National Academy of Ukraine; we participate in Sub-committee on reforming social services system in Committee on forming state policy in sphere of social services delivery to seniors, disabled people, homeless and other socially vulnerable population categories.

We closely cooperate with Ministry of Health Care, Ministry of Social Policy, Academy of Medical Science of Ukraine, Shupyk Institute of Postgraduate Education, Institute of Strategic Studies.

Recently, on October 11, Memorandum on joint activity in sphere of palliative and hospice assistance was signed with all-Ukrainian civic organization “League on favoring the development of palliative and hospice assistance” and public association Red Cross . And on the first of November interdepartmental working group “Decent ageing” was formed on the initiative of Caritas Ukraine. Among its members are representatives of Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Health Care, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education, Administration of President, Steering Committee of Verkhovna Rada, and Committee of Veterans of Ukraine.

What are the concrete changes to legal and regulatory framework suggested and implemented by Caritas Ukraine?
1. Participation in the development of an ideal model of social services delivery as an alternative for an existing one. Suggested model foresees the importance of changes to range of regulatory documents, notably Law of Ukraine on “Social services” and Budget Codex of Ukraine.

As a result, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine approvingly estimated the suggested model and taking in consideration recommendations by Coordination and Expert Council it introduced amendments in draft legislation on “Social services” and changes to Budget Codex. The recommendations mentioned below were taken into account:

– charitable organizations will get right for direct funding from state budget of Ukraine, at the moment it is impossible in theoretical terms;
– new edition of Law of Ukraine on “Social Services” anchors voluntary principle of choice for social services provider, flexibility of system according to needs of social services clients; foresees creation of register of social services entities and implementation of differentiated approach to payment for social services etc.

2. Critical analysis, aimed to remove drawbacks of Cabinet of Ministers ruling №324 from April 29, 2013, “On adaptation of procedure of implementation of social procurement at the expense of budget money” that was presented at the round-table on May 16 with participation of non-governmental organizations and representatives of ministries and administrative entities.

3. Creation of concept of Single social register of Ukraine that will contain all data on recipients and donors of social services, their needs and territorial belonging, and also range of services that are rendered by accreditation services provider.

Our concept was taken into account and by ruling № 718 of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On creation of single information environment of social sphere and securing information exchange between central bodies of executive powers” from  September 11, 2013, and it was implemented as an experiment in 2 oblasts of Ukraine (Kyiv and Vinnytsyia) on approbation of the Register.

4.  Introduction of proposals to Ministry of Health Care on the importance of assignment of major “Palliative assistance” on legislative level  and working out of terminology and main provisions that are registered as decree №41 of Ministry of Health Care “About organization of palliative assistance in Ukraine” as of 21.01.2013.

5.   Great work conducted on national and community level on implementation of tablet forms of morphine and securing the accessibility to anaesthesia. Cabinet of Ministry of Ukraine adopted a ruling № 333 from May 13, 2013 “On approval of procedure for purchase, transportation, storage, dispensing, use and liquidation of narcotic agents”.

This list can be continued, but there is the key message: when experts from civic and state sectors unite with aim to improve the existing system of social services delivery, there is definitely success that awaits ahead!

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