Together with OPM’s health team, we were contracted by the EU to introduce new approaches to the delivery of end-of-life care in Serbia
OPM has recently delivered major multi-year projects on behalf of DFID supporting the planning and delivery of social services in Moldova and Serbia
OPM is supporting the government of Tajikistan to improve the delivery of social services nationwide
We offer technical advice & support across social services development from policy & strategy planning & standards development through to advising on the design of specific interventions & the training of personnel.
When a developing country is struggling to meet the very basic needs of its population, it is hardly surprising that national development plans, social protection strategies and donor policies place an overwhelming emphasis on poverty reduction and the provision of basic public services such as health, education, and water and sanitation. It is precisely at these times however that people who are already vulnerable, for reasons not only associated with levels of material income but also with their fundamental human capacities, are even more at risk. This may include children (including orphans, street/working children, children at risk of abuse and neglect, children lacking appropriate care), the disabled of all ages and older people with limited capacities. Whilst poverty may be one of the drivers that leads people to require social care and support, income generation alone will not, in many cases, provide the solution to meeting the needs of people who are dependent on others for basic care or protection.
As the demand for social care services increases, policy-makers face the challenge of deciding which services are most needed, but also which are most effective, within a context of limited resources. Pressure from different sources can push governments into making quick decisions about developing services which may not be clearly linked to policy objectives, may not reflect good practice and may not meet the needs of the people they should be reaching. Traditional top-down approaches to service provision result in a similar outcome. Whether establishing new services, or expanding existing services, a participative approach to needs assessment can bring benefits both for the policy-maker and for the end recipient of the services.
Determining the expected costs of providing social care services as part of budgeting for social protection is becoming an issue of increasing importance for governments and donors, especially in country contexts where social care services are just beginning to be developed, where a shift needs to take place from one predominant model of care to another or where services are being expanded to provide a continuum of service provision. The answer is rarely straightforward and is linked to a number of factors including the particular needs of vulnerable groups in a given country or locality, the range of services to be provided, the way in which they are organised and the standard to which they should be delivered.