Generale Directorate of Social Assistance

The Problem

There are 973 Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations in Turkey and every foundation had had its own data bank. During the social assistance application, applicants used to collect all the necessary documents by themselves. All reports and household files were kept and processed manually. All steps of the social assistance were recorded step by step manually. Information which belongs to the households were not up to date. Those social aids were not recorded simultaneously as the assistance delivered to the applicants, thus there were no system to see duplicated aids and target population of the social aids were remained unknown. Paper works were time consuming. Besides, payment instructions and accounting information were logged manually, thus the process was not totally accountable. There were no categorization of the families according to their needs, thus it was hard to plan new social policies according to existing needs of the target group. Since assistances were not monitored in the household level, impact of the social assistances remained unknown.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Integrated social assistance services is an IT project which enable collecting the applications of poor and needy people to any social assistance programs from each local SAS Foundations to a single database in which socio economic status of the applicants can be gathered from other central databases by using web-service technology and the decisions about the applicants can be given and tracked by using this online system. By using the ISAS system all process starting from application to any social assistance till delivery of the desired assistance to needy people including the banking and accounting can be investigated centrally.

The aims of Integrated Social Assistance Services Project are;
• To collect information about all Government funded social assistance in one center.
• To establish the “household approach” in social assistance by integrating all necessary information.
• To develop a smart information system that helps providing a fair resource distribution.
• To increase the effectiveness of the social assistance decisions by the help of the management of social assistance information as a whole.
• To obtain the application of social assistance programs by the use of electronic channels,
• To support social security policies with the information gathered from the single data base
All of the socio-economic information about 5.5 million household and 21 million people are registered in the database. Information like; addresses, copies of civil-family registration, employment status, unemployment insurance, short-time working allowance and job loss compensation, social assistance received from any local SAS Foundations, home care allowance received, existence of social security, benefiting from health services and receiving allowance (assistance) according to the law no.2022, owning property or planted area and owning a motor vehicle, being registered to tax system and running a business, getting a scholarship can be obtained by using the ISAS in few seconds. Besides, all of these information for each family and people (21 million people) in the system is updated within every 45 days from other databases centrally and the changes in socio-economic status of each family is tracked and the final decision are made to decide whether the desired household should continue to have the social assistance or not.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Project is financed by State Planning Institute in 2009 investment program. Project is a component of Information Society Strategy Action Plan and design by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
First part of the project, named “Conditional Education and Health Assistance” is activated in September 2010. In October 2011, “social assistance and fund management” modules are activated. In January 2012 General Health Insurance, Income Test module is activated.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Government agencies that serve in social assistance field are determined.
Data sets to be shared are determined.
During the technical meetings with this agencies data sharing methodology is determined.
Then data base structure is formed.
After that to legal infrastructure is formed by signing data sharing protocols between agencies.
In this process, paper work is done after face to face meetings to overcome bureaucracy

Designing the project.
Workflow of the GDSA is examined and simplified
Demands of the users are collected and examined.
Customer requirements document is approved.
Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document is prepared.
Software is developed according to CONOPS.
The first prototype is tested be GDSA and SAS Foundation workers.
After tests errors are fixed.
235 SAS Foundation workers are educated to use the system and they teached other workers in their SAS Foundation.
A detailed manual is prepared and distributed.
Software is activated step by step for all SAS foundations.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
ın order to maintain the users satisfaction, SSAS FOundation workers and GDSA personel are involved in all steps. other IT projects in this field are examined to see the probable obstacles. so before encountirng an obstacle a solution is prepared.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
Human resources:
In General Directorate of Social Assistance side team members
13 Socail Assistance Expert
2 Computer engineer
2 Analyzer
2 Programmer
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey side team members:
1 Project manager,
2 Projecet manager assistance,
2 Team leader
15 software developer,
4 instructor
Financial Resourcing:
CProject is founded by central budget

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Project is funded by central budget so there is no risk about financial sustainability. Project is based on virtualization technology; because of that extra hardware investment is not necessary. Because of that system can meet in case of increased demand momentarily. In this way technical sustainability is achieved. Application is transferable, repeatable and expandable. System is a working example in this manner.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
All data of the applicant is stored on household bases, from the application to the payment.
In social assistance application, the whole process, from the acceptance of the application to the payment, is maintained electronically.
Social assistance and employment integration is activated via this system. During the social assistance application also Turkish Employment Agency is alerted about unemployed person. So protection to promotion approach is used and nearly 19 thousand of social assistance beneficiaries are get a job and nearly 50 thousand of them get a course to get a job.
Reliable statistics are produced to plan effective social policies.
In January 2012 Income tests of General Health Insurance is done by using this project. By the end of 2012, 14.6 million of people are registered by using this system.
In social assistance application, bureaucracy is eliminated, thus a big step in the social inclusion is achieved
Giving reiterated assistances by public institutions has been thwarted; it has been provided that social assistances are delivered to really needy citizens and larger masses.
The workloads of public institutions from which the citizens request documents about their situations, have been decreased.
The workloads of SAS Foundations have been diminished; the time, which the personnel of the Foundations allocate for social investigation, has been increased.
Bureaucracy has been minimized by abolishing the correspondence between public institutions in order to prevent reiterated assistances and this contributes using the public resources effectively. Becaouse of the reduced bureaucracy 96 million page paper is not used and 132 million TL paper and transportation expense is saved in a year.
According to a simulation done by 50.000 household, %25 of the social assistance is canceled because of the duplicated assistance. Since the total expanse in this area is 10 billion TL, this amount is notable.
Neediness-poverty of citizens applying the social assistances has begun to be determined by the state itself by using the central databases; citizens have been unburdened from proving their neediness. It has been prevented that citizens applying for social assistances collect documents about their situation by going to public institutions one-by-one; it has been started to determine whether citizens deserve assistances or not by submitting only their identity cards. Access period to assistances of poor citizens has been shortened.
Because all the process is done electronically, 96 million pages of paper saved thus 479 tons of paper is not being produced, 210 tons of water and 3 million 640 thousand Kw electricity is not used.
Only necessary steps which are the basics of the social assistance structure are integrated to the system.
The importance of the on system training approach is used to obtain the users support.
In order to eliminate duplicated databases by using a Web Service Gateway. By doing so a distributed data architecture approach is chosen instead of a central data base model.
In General Directorate of the Social Assistance is the first government agency whose applications are all running in a virtual environment. Cloud Computing model is being used.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Generale Directorate of Social Assistance
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Ersin BİÇER
Title:   Expert  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Postal Code:  
Country:   Turkey

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