Ministry of Economic Development examines results of state support for socially-oriented NGOs in regions
The Russian Ministry for Economic Development has compiled ratings for regions of the Russian Federation according to their implementation of support mechanisms for SO (socially-oriented) NGOs and social entrepreneurship. The study is based on data available for 2017, and considers the access NGOs have had to the social services market and whether regions have introduced competitive ways of providing state-funded social services.
Criteria used for research included the quantitative growth of SO NGOs in the regions, the proportion of municipal regions and urban districts implementing programmes to support SO NGOs and social entrepreneurs, and the funding provided to create a support infrastructure for non-commercial organisations. In addition, experts assessed the share of providers of non-governmental social services; the proportion of non-governmental medical organisations participating in the implementation of the compulsory medical insurance programme (OMS); the percentage of NGOs registered as providers of social services in different regions; and the number of children in private nurseries. Based on data received from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), the Federal Tax Service and the regional authorities, experts categorised the regions as follows: ‘leading’ regions, those with mediocre results, those taking their first steps towards successful outcomes, and those with the greatest potential for further growth.
Researchers noted that in 12 regions of Russia, SO NGOs enjoy tax benefits, while in six regions donors to non-commercial organisations receive tax concessions. The research also showed that, in 67 regions, programmes are being implemented to support NGOs at municipal level; in 84 regions non-governmental medical organisations are participants of the OMS system; and in 82 regions NGOs are included in registers of providers of social services. In two ‘leading’ regions the proportion of non-governmental providers exceeds 70%. Researchers also noted that, in 28 regions, the infrastructure that supports SO NGOs and social entrepreneurship is not financed from regional budgets.
‘The rating sets out to show regions where they stand in relation to other subjects of the Russian Federation – where they outperform others and where they are lagging behind,’ Artem Shadrin, Director of the Department for Strategic Development and Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Development, told the Agency for Social Information. ‘It shows that even “leading” regions may emerge as winners according to some indicators, but find themselves well behind other regions when judged by different pointers. This should give every region in Russia pause for thought and encourage all subjects to consider how to build up support for the work of SO NGOs and social entrepreneurship. We are talking about more than just direct financial support or the gifting of assets. NGOs require a more open market for the services they offer, and these should be funded from regional budgets.’
Earlier, the Ministry of Economic Development submitted a report on how socially-oriented non-commercial organisations might be supported, and on implementing measures to help SO NGOs gain access to the social services market. The report indicates that, in 2017, the regions received over 24 billion roubles to introduce procedures that would progressively give SO NGOs access to budgetary funds aimed at providing social services to Russia’s citizens. These funds were distributed among 4,100 non-commercial organisations, which offered services to over 6 million people. Researchers noted that, in comparison with 2017, the number of SO NGOs providing social services had grown by 156%.