• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

HSE University Scholars Discuss the Fight Against Poverty

HSE University hosted a Russian-Chinese meeting on ‘Social policy as a tool for combating poverty and developing human capital’. Representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, the World Bank, the Russian Pension Fund, the government of Tatarstan, and HSE University researchers evaluated the social policies of both countries, shared effective measures for combating and eliminating poverty.

The HSE Institute for Social Policy (ISP) — that researches and analyses social policy at the federal, regional and municipal levels — organized the conference. As noted by HSE Vice Rector and ISP Director Lilia Ovcharova, the university has been cooperating with the World Bank for 25 years on policy for the reduction of poverty and inequality.

According to Renaud Seligmann, the World Bank’s Country Director for the Russian Federation, HSE University scholars have produced a number of outstanding publications. ‘Through a variety of forums, they enable organizations and countries to share their experience in this field. We are grateful to our colleagues at HSE University for organizing this event and ensuring the participation of leading experts on this subject.’

Lilia Ovcharova told conference guests about Russia’s national development goals. She also noted the challenges the whole world faces and those that are particularly acute in Russia. ‘Economic growth is not intensive enough here, but we will solve this problem. Another major problem is income inequality, and the town and region in which a person lives is one of the contributing factors. These inequalities block development.’ According to the director of the Institute for Social Policy, the labour market also plays a major role in the problem.

What causes poverty in general? It correlates primarily to two labour market indicators: minimum wage and unemployment benefits

World Bank representative Ruslan Yemtsov compared the Russian and Chinese systems of social policy. ‘Our reforms in this area were largely inspired by the experience of our Chinese colleagues: both countries began implementing social policies very late and have accumulated a certain amount of experience and knowledge,’ he said. ‘There have been and continue to be many similar processes in both countries. The poverty level differs by region in both Russia and China and neither country settled on a definition of poverty quickly.’ At the same time, noted Ruslan Yemtsov, there are also differences. ‘For example,’ he said, ‘China has the “DiBao” targeted assistance programme. Russia does not yet have such a flagship programme.’ He expressed confidence that the two countries share great potential for the exchange of experience. ‘This applies particularly to the use of information technologies in combating poverty, adapting systems to local conditions, establishing a common national standard and raising the level of coordination in the regions and municipalities,’ he said.

Elena Petina, head of the Russian Pension Fund’s Department of Federal State Projects, told the Chinese participants how Russia uses information technology for social policy. Early last year, the agency launched the Unified State Social Security Information System (EGISSO), the concept for which was developed by the Higher School of Economics. Ms. Petina explained how EGISSO informs citizens of measures for preventing poverty. She also noted that the information system will expand in the future. ‘We are currently developing a guide to life situations and improving the social calculator — an aggregator that determines what assistance a person needs in different circumstances,’ she said.

Regional authorities also shared their experience. Irina Kuznetsova, head of the Tatarstan Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Protection’s Social Register Department spoke about the poverty prevention measures they employ. ‘When low wages are the cause of this problem, we advise employers to raise them to the average level. When necessary, we also send people for treatment for alcohol dependence, help individuals recover child support payments, and in rural areas, we support the development of farms.’

In turn, Weidong Li, head of the Chinese delegation and Deputy Director of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs’ Center for the Monitoring and Verification of Low-Income Families, shared his country’s experience in creating the ‘DiBao’ targeted social assistance programme. ‘In China,’ he said, ‘approximately 70 million people receive various benefits. Our objective is to increase economic growth — which is the source of all social benefits. In addition, China must now improve the mechanisms for the work of government bodies. They should not simply sit and wait until citizens request assistance: they should seek out needy families themselves. It is a two-sided task,” he said.

See also:

Caring for Loved Ones Motivated Young People to Wear Masks and Wash Their Hands More Often during Pandemic

Researchers from the HSE University in St Petersburg have found out what motivated young people to comply with the recommended quarantine measures during the pandemic. It turned out that willingness to protect their loved ones had the greatest effect on their behaviour. At the same time, fear of fines for not wearing masks and gloves in public places did not affect behavior in any way. The results of the study were published in the International Journal of Adolescence and Youth.

'We Are Seeking to Translate Research into Policy Solutions'

Social Policy for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Economic Growth is one of HSE University's strategic projects. The project is aimed at translating scientific achievements into practical solutions for social and economic policy. HSE researchers and their partners have been actively involved in this work, and the first results have been obtained. In her interview with the HSE News Service, Vice Rector Lilia Ovcharova, Academic Supervisor of the project, spoke about what has been done so far.

‘Uncertainty Transforms the Social Protection System into a Safety Cushion’

As part of the XXIII Yasin (April) International Academic Conference, HSE University held a meeting between HSE scholars and Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation. The title of the meeting was ‘The Future of Social Security: Trends and Forecasts.’ The experts and the Minister discussed the experience and lessons learned from population support initiatives during the pandemic, social protection efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, measures to counter sanctions, and the situation in the labour market.

Universal Basic Income: ‘This Is the Golden Dream of Artistic Bohemians’

The book ‘Exploring Universal Basic Income. A Guide to Navigating Concepts, Evidence, and Practices’ was presented at an HSE University event, which was organized by the HSE Institute of Social Policy. During the event, participants noted the foundational nature of the publication prepared by the World Bank experts and held an emotional debate on the prospects of introducing a universal basic income.

‘The President is Focused on Increasing the Birth Rate and Reducing Poverty by Half’

National objectives for social development, as well as existing risks and opportunities in implementing these objectives were discussed by participants of HSE International April Conference.

Russia Has the Resources for a Budget Manoeuvre That Helps Education, Healthcare, and Social Welfare

Issues concerning changes pertinent to key social spheres were discussed during the ‘Human Capital and Social Policy’ plenary session of the XIX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development.

Human Capital Quality Delivers Economic Boost

In an environment where the natural-resources growth model is exhausted, human capital becomes the Russian economy's key competitive advantage. The problem of how the state, business and citizens can develop and invest in it was the main theme for the plenary discussion 'Social Policy Priorities' which took place on 7 April at the HSE's XVI April International Confernce on Modernizing the Economy and Society.

Interest in Sociology through Interest in Russia and Eastern Europe

The new term’s cycle of methodology seminars SotsUp at the HSE Centre for Youth Studies in St Petersburg began with a talk by Dr Charlie Walker of Southampton University on the social mobility of young working class women in the service industries.

Second Plenary Session of the XIV HSE April Conference: The Social Sphere in Search of Money and Ideas

The second day of the XIV HSE April Conference started with a plenary session on ‘Institutions and New Social Policy’. Problems of education, healthcare, and the labour market were discussed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov, the Russian Minister of Education and Science Dmitri Livanov, Professor Simon Marginson of the University of Melbourne, and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Thinking Conceptually, Analyzing Empirically: The New Europe Barometer

On November 17th, 2011, Richard Rose, Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy and 6th Century Chair in Politics (University of Aberdeen) gave a talk on 'Thinking Conceptually, Analyzing Empirically: The New Europe Barometer' at the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in Saint Petersburg.