On 29 June, 30 June and 1 July 2021, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, the Republic Institute for Social Protection, the Provincial Institute for Social Protection and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM), held consultative workshops where they presented the applications Material Support at the Local Level for Vulnerable Persons and Families and the Social Benefits Calculator. The webinars held via the Zoom platform were attended by representatives of local self-government units engaged in social protection, representatives of centres for social work and local municipal offices, as well as other associates in local communities working in the Vojvodina Region, Belgrade Region, Šumadija and Western Serbia Region, and Southern and Eastern Serbia Region.
As the manager of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Dragana Jovanović Arias explained that the applications had an illustrative character, which should enable citizens to exercise their rights. “The Social Benefits Calculator enables the assessment of the amount of financial social assistance and child allowance, while the application Material Support at the Local Level for Vulnerable Persons and Families is primarily intended for providing relevant information to citizens about the types of material support available to them in line with the decisions on rights and services in the field of social protection in municipalities, or cities where they live,” said Jovanović Arias.
The representative of the Republic Institute for Social Protection, Slavica Milojević, emphasised the importance of transparency provided by these applications. “On the one hand, people realise what is possible for them, that is, how they can exercise their rights, and on the other hand, people become more informed and most of all we bring information closer to young parents,” said Milojević and expressed confidence that these applications would find their use in the daily operations of all those involved in social protection.
The representative of the Provincial Institute for Social Protection, Bojana Tatović Bojović and Mirjana Komnenović from the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM), also pointed out the importance of the applications for a wide range of users. “Together, we have the same task, to provide support to citizens and professionals who plan and directly implement support measures for their fellow citizens,” said Komnenović.
The applications were presented by the coordinators of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Ivana Maksić and Jovana Ilić.
The web application Material Support at the Local Level for Vulnerable Persons and Families is a database of local government decisions in the field of social protection, with the presentation of social benefits classified by function and type. It provides information on types of material support (cash and benefits in kind) to which citizens have rights in accordance with decisions on rights and services in the field of social protection in the municipalities/cities in which they live. The Social Benefits Calculator application takes into account the specifics of a household and provides users with an estimate of the amount of financial social assistance (right defined by the Law on Social Protection) and the amount of child allowance (right defined by the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children).