The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia has developed a web application Material Support at the Local Level Intended for Vulnerable Persons and Families. The application was developed based on the analysis of the content of individual decisions regulating the rights to provide social protection at the local level, focusing on types of material support or material benefits (in cash or in-kind) financed by local self-government units (municipalities and cities, hereinafter LSGUs).
The application aims to:
- provide citizens with information on the types of material support (cash and in-kind benefits) to which they are entitled in accordance with decisions on rights and services in the field of social protection in the municipalities/cities in which they live;
- provide employees in institutions, civil society organisations, research and academic community, as well as other interested actors, with an overview of the material support system regulated by decisions on rights and services in the field of social protection at the local level in the Republic of Serbia.
The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit collected and analysed 113 decisions, adopted by 31 October 2020, while the remaining 32 decisions were not available, did not exist, or were not adopted in certain LSGUs (excluding LSGUs in AP Kosovo and Metohija). Systematisation and analysis of local decisions on rights in the field of social protection were conducted in accordance with the European System of Integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) methodology, which is a recognised methodology for these purposes at the European level. In accordance with this methodology, social benefits are classified by function and by type. Risks or needs that require social protection are presented as functions of the social protection system and include the following eight risks/needs: social exclusion; illness/health care; disability; old age; survivors; family/children; unemployment; housing. In addition to the aforementioned social protection functions defined by ESSPROS, for the needs of the analysis of material support at the local level in the Republic of Serbia, and due to the frequency and the fact that such benefits are regulated in significant numbers through local government decisions defining social protection in their territory, SIPRU decided to introduce an additional, ninth, so-called “Nationally specific” function in the field of social protection: education. These include benefits provided by the social protection system, whose primary goal is supporting the process of education for children. On the other hand, according to the type, material benefits can be provided in cash or in-kind. Cash benefits refer to cash payments, while benefits in-kind refer to reimbursement of costs and directly provided goods and services.
The list of analysed decisions can be found on the page Decisions on Social Protection Database, while the Excel spreadsheet contains identified types of material support in social protection. In line with the ESSPROS methodology, benefits are classified as cash and in-kind benefits (cash benefits are marked in green, while in-kind benefits are marked in yellow).
The analysis of the decisions regulating the rights to provide social protection at the local level has mapped 62 types of material support, i.e. material benefits. The type of material support represents a set of individual rights to material support, which may have different names, but are given with the same purpose, which is why they are classified in the same type in this analysis. Simultaneously, 1,037 individual rights to material support were mapped.
On the Get Informed page of the web application, you can search through material support designed for vulnerable persons and families within a particular LSGU, while on the page Research, you can search by functions of the social protection system and by types of material support, and you can further narrow the search to the region, area and LSGU.
In order to be able to accurately, completely and timely inform citizens, civil society organisations and other actors about the material support/assistance provided at the local level, we invite local governments to submit to us their newly adopted decisions regulating the social protection system in their territory, including the decisions amending existing decisions. LSGU representatives can send all necessary information and documents to the e-mail address of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia: email@example.com.