The Government of Turkmenistan has prioritized improvement of social services in its mid-term national development programme and human rights action plans. In this work, the UN Country Team will support Turkmenistan’s efforts to modernize the existing social service provision system by creating a national model of inclusive quality community-based social services that align with SDGs. With this aim, the United Nations and the Government of Turkmenistan signed a two-year Joint Programme in December 2019 to improve the system of social service provision in Turkmenistan.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan is a key national partner. Other key national key stakeholders include the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
The Joint Programme aims to ensure that the social protection system of Turkmenistan is ready to provide inclusive quality community-based social services. This will empower vulnerable people to address various challenges they face and enable them to lead independent lives in their communities. As part of the Joint Programme, the UN agencies and national partners will work together to develop an inclusive community-based social service model and prototype its key elements to address multiple vulnerabilities of the most in need; to review and reinforce the national legislative and regulatory framework and establish institutional mechanisms to facilitate the introduction of the new community-based social service delivery system; and strengthen the country’s social work and social service workforce capacity.
The Joint Programme will take ambitious and transformative steps to reform the social service provision system of the country. To this effect, the social service workforce capacity will be strengthened through a series of training covering the newly hired social workers, social work managers, social service providers and allied workforce. As part of their trainings, specialists of social work will be involved in assessment of individual needs of the most vulnerable groups of the population of Turkmenistan. The existing social services will also be reviewed to inform planning and development of some 15 new models of inclusive, community-based social services. Governmental and non-governmental social service providers will be invited to develop and provide specialized community-based social services through the social contracting mechanism. In this way, the Joint Programme will test and compare different modalities of social service delivery, including through social contracting.
In addition, legislative and regulatory framework for social services will be revised to draft related laws and regulations. JP will develop social contracting mechanism and institutional architecture to define multi-level system of social services. Costing of the new social services and assessing their cost-effectiveness will support the Government in making informed decisions about transforming the system of social service provision.
Finally, within the framework of JP, the theory and practice of social work in Turkmenistan will be established through professional capacity building and training of social work practitioners and educators. The programme will facilitate preparation of the national standards of higher education, curricula and programs for social work adapted to the local legal, social and cultural context as well as national characteristics of the social service provision in Turkmenistan. This process will further be strengthened by developing standards of professional development and supervision for specialists of social work.
It is expected that
- A new model of community-based social service will be fully taken over by the government by the end of the JP and scaled up by 2025;
- By mid-2021 the prototyped models of community-based services will have been demonstrated, piloted, measured and cost assessed;
- By 2022, based on results of JP and on efficiency of piloted services, Government of Turkmenistan will increase budget allocations for community-based social services;
- By 2022, all vulnerable populations will have access to quality community-based social services provided by professional social workers and qualified social service providers to address their individual needs and ensure their social inclusion.
- UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund
- UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund
- UNODC: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- IOSLAD: Institute of State, Law and Democracy
- TKM MIA: Turkmenistan Ministry of Internal Affairs