Creating a social safety net

What problem are you solving?:

As a result of the transition to a market economy and years of conflicts and political instability, Serbia is one of the poorest countries in the region. There are an estimated 700,000 people living below the poverty line and many more just above it, 300,000 people with disabilities, 500,000 Roma, many of whom are living in slums, squatter settlements, etc.
Citizens have major needs for social services, however they are not well informed on how to access existing services, where services are located, the quality of the services, etc. Additionally, there are no real mechanisms to influence decision makers and policies are created without feedback from beneficiaries of services. Furthermore, the state lacks the capacity to monitor existing services.

Describe your idea:

Our idea is to start up a forum for citizens of Serbia to ask for information and receive answers, express their views and suggestions regarding social welfare services.

Additional benefits:
– Service providers (state, local governments, NGOs, associations, individuals, etc.) are be able to offer their services, receive feedback from citizens to improve their services, get ideas to start up services…
– Citizens who have already had experience with services could recommend (or not) these services, putting pressure on service providers to improve their services….
– Information from the web site would provide feedback to policy makers, i.e. which services are useful to citizens, which services do not exist, what the main issues are around implementing services/policies, which part of the country doesn’t have appropriate services, etc.

The project would be implemented in cooperation with the Serbian Institute for Social Welfare and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

What country will this operate in?: Serbia

Who are you?:

LINK 011 was founded in 2005, in Belgrade. The aims of this organization are: to contribute to the development, implementation and monitoring of reforms directed at improving the quality of life of all vulnerable and marginalized groups, their empowerment and inclusion into society, and to develop citizens’ awareness through the promotion of the values of democracy, equality and tolerance.

Some of our donors are and have been:
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia
The Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia
City of Belgrade
Norwegian Government
Social Innovations Fund
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia

In the past few years our individual members have been working as consultants on the implementation of social policies of international financial institutions such as the EBRD and EIB, in relation to investment projects and loans.