The purpose of the research is to develop a methodological framework to assess the needs of the population in Russia, based on direct and indirect indicators of material well-being and social service necessity; and to present recommendations on how to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of targeting programs and their contribution to reducing poverty and inequality.
Empirical base of the research:
1. Data from the “Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey - Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE)”, conducted by the National Research University - Higher School of Economics and CJSC “Demoscope”, with assistance from the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences.
2. Federal and regional legislation, regulating how the government administers social support, and analysis of specific practices in working with the poor population, based on new principles of providing assistance – the principle of co-operation and mutual-obligations of both parties.
Results of the research:
1) A comprehensive study of the poor as a target group of Russian society that requires social support from the Government. Examined the traits, and demonstrated the characteristics of income poor Russian households, identified by the use of absolute and deprivational concepts of poverty. Conducted an analysis on the duration of poverty. Displayed the social dynamic specifics of poor members of society, differentiated on the basis of the duration of their income poverty, and transition from one poverty group to another.
2) Developed a method of assessing the needs of Russian household when allocating targeted social assistance, on the basis of easily recorded household characteristics, referred to in literature as “proxy means testing”; analyzed viable procedures to apply the suggested methodology in assessing the needs of Russian households. Presented real-life implementation examples of proxy means testing for the appreciation of household income, provided methodological and conceptual suggestions and recommendations concerning the implementation of proxy means testing needs assessment in Russia.
3) Uncovered various issues and contradictions within the Federal legislation “Detailing the basics of social support for the population of the Russian Federation”, completed a modeling forecast of the repercussions from developing legislation on Russian households.
4) Analysed the performance of regional programs of social support for the poor, and developed new methods of approach to social assistance in Russian regions and abroad
5) Presented an evaluation of the degree of efficiency of statistical data flows and the existing system of indices for analysing efficiency in the system of social transfers, developed a new frame for statistical reporting of social support provision.
6) Suggested the most appropriate method for introduction into the Russian practice of social support, that of conditional social transfers, which assume mutual-obligations of both the donor and recipient on the regional level, a result of bringing together the full spectrum of specific practices in implementing the new approach to providing targeted assistance.
7) Developed a new method of assessing the efficiency of government social support on the basis of the social contract of transfers, provided methodological and conceptual suggestions and recommendations concerning the implementation of methods to evaluate the efficiency of government social support provision, on the basis of the social contract of transfers, in regions of the Russian Federation.
Implementation of the research results:
The results of this scientific research project have been used by government institutions to develop legislation on the adoption and evaluation of efficiency of the new framework for providing targeted social assistance to impoverished citizens. By order 297 of 30.07.2013, RosStat approved the frame of Federal Government Statistical Monitoring No. 1-Social-contract “Statistics concerning the provision of Government social assistance on the basis of the social contract, financed by funds from regional budgets of the Russian Federation”, as well as approved the methodology to evaluate the efficiency of government social assistance provision on the basis of the social contract (order of the Ministry of Labour of Russia and RosStat of September 30th, 2013, 506n/389 “Concerning the approval of method of evaluating the efficiency of the provision of government social support on the basis of social contract).