From Stand Alone to Joined Up Social Protection and Active Labour Market Services: workshop in Tashkent

Tashkent hosted a workshop on development of integrated social protection and active labour market services based on user-specific needs and improvement of electronic management information systems. The inception workshop was organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) within the UN Joint Programme on Social Protection in Uzbekistan.

News | 10 September 2021

The inception workshop was opened with welcoming speech by Jamshid Abruev, Deputy Minister of Finance. He informed the participants about the progress on drafting the National Strategy of Social Protection and stressed the importance of synergies between different policies targeting vulnerable groups.

In her opening remarks, Adiba Nuriddinova, Head of the Social Protection Department at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELP), presented interim results of the pilot project on the social contract. The Ministry in collaboration with other line ministries and social partners are piloting the social contract. Total 28 districts across Uzbekistan will be pilot sites till 1 December 2021. At the same time, Ms Nuriddinova stressed the need for a more active outreach campaign in order to motivate more people to enter such agreements.

According to the ILO, the social contract has a potential to become an effective model of service delivery to vulnerable groups, especially the unemployed, working poor and workers in the informal sector, with particular attention to youth and women. Mikhail Pouchkin, Deputy Director of the ILO Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, expressed his confidence that this project would result in an integrated management of customer services, through introduction of new referral protocols among services, as well as advanced coordination and information exchange.

The workshop agenda included a presentation by Eamon Davern and Eugen Platita, experts from Development Pathways consulting company who described best practices of transition from stand alone to joined up services and data management. This new approach could transform the experiences of service users and enhance their income security, employability and access to decent work in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is making steps to improve coherence between social protection and active labour market policies (ALMPs), with a particular focus on most disadvantaged citizens in the labour market. Electronic Management Information Systems are key for service coordination, delivery and impact monitoring. Introduction of the Single Registry on social protection is the first step by the Ministry of Finance. The Single Registry should be linked with a variety of currently unaligned automated and manual administrative databases, which would significantly improve delivery of support services.

ILO’s technical assistance aims to support the Government of Uzbekistan in fulfilling, with the engagement of the consulting company Development Pathways Ltd., the following three objectives: design of an integrated package of social protection and active labour market services focused on the needs of disadvantaged groups; compilation of lessons learned from  the social contract pilot programme to further incorporate a human-centred approach to service delivery; proposed solutions to ensure coordination and interoperability of existing databases to enhance coordinated delivery of services, impact assessment and forecasting of Government programmes in line with international statistical standards.

It is planned to organize a series of knowledge exchange workshops for national and international experts.