Ashgabat, 11 May, 2021: The Steering Committee Working Group of the Joint Programme on community-based social services convened its fourth meeting online co-chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan and UNICEF to discuss the Joint Programme implementation ahead of piloting community-based social services in pilot etraps of the country. The online meeting brought together representatives of the UNICEF, UNDP, UNODC, and UNFPA, and the national stakeholders, including leading national partners such as Mejlis of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, and Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan. Representatives of civil society organizations, such as the National Red Crescent Society, Yenme, Keyik Okara, and Deaf and Blind Society of Turkmenistan also participated in the meeting.
The meeting participants reviewed in details the results achieved within each component of the of Joint Programme. Ms. Maral Yayliyeva, Secretary of the Steering Committee Working Group, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan, highlighted that considerable progress was achieved due to close collaboration between all partners.
Mr. Furkat Lutfulloev, UNICEF Chief of the Social and Child Protection Programme, flagged the issues related to sustainability of the programme that needs attention of all national counterparts, including the representatives of the local governance. They included developing a plan for social services system based on the analysis of data on more than 500 cases, piloting 12 community-based social services, accelerating the legislative component of the Joint Programme by taking further action based on a package of draft amendments and regulations to the current legislation related to social service provision and accelerating the process of introducing social work major to the higher education system of the country. He also mentioned the importance of close collaboration from the national partners in terms of implementing the economic analysis of the existing social services as part of an economic analysis of new community-based social services.
Participants also watched a video about the work of social work specialists and how this new profession is being developed in Turkmenistan.
The Joint Programme “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services”, funded by the Joint SDG Fund, is being implemented by the partnering UN agencies, namely, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNODC and Government of Turkmenistan. The Joint Programme aims to introduce a new model of social services at the community level accompanied by relative legislative reviews and capacity building of the national social service workforce. The lead national partner is the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan and the lead UN agency is UNICEF. Other key national partners include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Ministry of Finance and Economy.
Implementation period: 2020-2022.
Source: UN office in Turkmenistan.