Press Release

Community based social services Joint Programme: summing up results and the way forward

30 June 2022

  • The fifth and final meeting of the Steering Committee of the Joint Programme on inclusive and quality community-based social services was held to review the achieved results and agree on the way forward to ensure its sustainability. 

At the opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of the leading partner ministries, national entities as well as the heads and representatives of the participating UN agencies, Mr. Muhammetseyit Sylapov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanmyrat Ashyrov, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the National Assembly of Turkmenistan and Mr. Dmitry Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator, highlighted the importance and catalytic value of the joint programme.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population presented the overview of the main results achieved in two years of its implementation and the progress made in the design of the National Plan for the development of the system of social services in Turkmenistan for 2022-2030.

The participants were also introduced to the data derived from the analytical etrap worker and specialized services assessments report as well as to the results of socio-economic analysis. The main conclusion was that the new service model focused directly on the needs of the individual in terms of living in society, social integration, maximum independence, maintaining family ties and protecting the rights of users. This has contributed to the introduction of a new concept of social services and helps in the transition from the medical to the social model of service delivery. It also helps establish approaches focused on comprehensive support for and maintaining the integrity of the family, as presented in the new Law on Social Services.

Finally, the participants discussed the next steps to ensure the sustainability of the Joint Programme. The following suggestions were discussed for consideration:

• to open the position of a social worker in each etrap of the country in order to increase the efficiency of the work of social workers at the etrap level;

• the gradual deployment of primary and specialized social services in all regions of the country that will help strengthen the social protection system by providing targeted support to persons with disabilities, large families, single elderly people, children left without parental care, women exposed to gender violence, young people at risk and other vulnerable groups;

• to involve non-government social service providers and to consider the introduction of the state social contracting mechanism to meet the needs of all those in need of specialized services at the regional and local levels,

• to launch a new specialty in the area of social work at the undergraduate level, as well as short-term courses for continuous professional development of social work specialists.

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 national social service workforce. The lead national partner is the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan and the lead UN agency is UNICEF. Other key national partners include Mejlis, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan.


Mahri Eyeberdiyeva

Programme Communications and Advocacy Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

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