Establishing the Architecture for Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Services

At the first in a series of meetings, the project presented proposed architecture for establishing an effective monitoring and evaluation system for community-based social service delivery for people with disabilities. The meeting was held with participation of representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the EU Delegation in Skopje, the Institute for Social Activates, social work centres, community social service providers (public and private) and the project team.

“This is a result of a very systematic and committed work from all of us, the project team and the partners, in the last year. As Maya Angelou said, facts and truth can be very distant to each other. A very successful monitoring and evaluation system allows us to collect and measure the facts in order to lead to the truth.” stated Maria Marinakou, Project Team Leader.

According her, this system will allow enhancement of community based social services, making informed social policy decisions, and everyday experience of service users more related to their needs and their expectations.

According Nafi Saracini, representative of EU Delegation, in Macedonia, we are very successful in establishing the systems, but when it comes to monitoring, evaluation, ie when it comes to assessing what we have established, we always show many weaknesses. “In this area, we are making great strides in expanding the system of social service providers, and it is crucial to have a good monitoring system, which will evaluate effects and provide a certain standard and sustainability of services.” stressed Sarachini.

For the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Jagoda Shahpaska, it is very important to establish indicators that will measure the success of social reform is implementation. We need to build them together, and we need to measure the satisfaction of the recipients of social services. We need to know how far we are in the process and what are the weaknesses that will arise from the implementation of social services at the local level.

Mihaela Stoichici Varlan, one of the project experts involved in the preparation of the proposal, emphasised that the monitoring and evaluation system should help the people involved in the provision of social services and social protection to add value to their daily work, while it does not become a burden process and contribute to increased efficiency of the delivered social services. It should be flexible and easy to adapt to changing contexts. According Stoichici Varlan, the flow of data to be exchanged between the different levels of the monitoring and evaluation system should be from the bottom up, from where it is collected (local / service providers / level of social services) to all relevant entities at national level, but also from the top down, from national institutions to local service providers.

Aleksandra Geprgievska, project expert, highlighted that the key aspect in the implementation of the system of indicators, as a component of the mechanism / system for M&E is the unitary understanding, of all stakeholders involved. What and what are the quality principles, what are the indicators, what are the most relevant types of indicators that should are used for community-based social services for people with disabilities.

“Data related to investments and achievements should be collected, adapted for each type of social services. Data related to the results and impact is to be used for periodic measurement and assessment of the quality of social services and the impact, by measuring efficiency, effectiveness, customer satisfaction and data on the quality of social services based on minimum standards applicable to each type of social service, including service quality infrastructure, process quality, service delivery, level of satisfaction for users, their families and communities.” said Georgievska.