Creation of a unified system for managing the entire process of implementation of the state policy f
Agency for disabled people

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Initiative to create a unified system for managing the entire process of implementation of the state policy for working with people with disabilities in Bulgaria Data on the number of people with disabilities in Bulgaria significantly differed depending on the source of information: the number varies from 265 thousand persons (National Statistic Institute), passing through about 500 thousand people (Agency for Social Assistance) to 650 thousand people (National Insurance Institute), without a clear internal structure of persons in terms of type of disability, age structure, regional distribution, education and skill level, work experience, etc. Various sources serve different social objectives, target groups and subgroups of people with disabilities and, mainly, institutions supporting a relational database with a relatively self subsidies from the state budget. All that impede the process of administration and finance the integration of people with disabilities. A paradox: on the one hand the cost of budget funds aimed at meeting the needs of people with disabilities are steadily increasing, and on the other - growing unmet needs of people with disabilities, increasing their sense that the public do not pay due attention even and in the case of existing urgent needs.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Proposal to create an unified system for managing entire process of implementation of state policy for working with people with disabilities in Bulgaria was initiated by Agency for Persons with Disabilities(ADP). APD considered the lack of a national database with complete information about disability major weakness for long acting formulation and coordination of policy for people with disabilities in Bulgaria. Therefore, the main strategy was to concentrate on the creation of a national database to serve the planning, implementation and monitoring of government policy for integration of people with disabilities. The Strategy was developed in full compliance with the requirements of Art. 31 "Statistics and Data" of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD). Establishment of a register of people with disabilities and an unified management of process of implementation of state policy for working with people with disabilities in Bulgaria is a prerequisite for tracking key indicators in implementation of policies for people with disabilities. The system allows to monitor in real time the effectiveness of different policies, allowing for the removal in time of the admitted weaknesses and correct them. Main objective: To improve the development process and increase efficiency of the implementation and monitoring of implementation of government policy for integration of people with disabilities by increasing administrative and managerial capacity analysis, planning and implementation of government policy for integration of people with disabilities at national, regional and municipal level. Target group: Public policy for people with disabilities is multispectral, as are the needs of every person, especially one with a disability. They have social, health, labor, infrastructure and other dimensions. Various institutions specialize in solving specific problems of people with disabilities. Targeted institutions and other organizations involved in the work on integration and equal opportunities for people with disabilities were outlined as follows: Government policy for people with disabilities is multispectral, as are the needs of every person, especially one with a disability. They have social, health, labor, infrastructure and other dimensions. Various institutions specialize in solving specific problems of people with disabilities. Targeted institutions and other organizations involved in the work on integration and equal opportunities for people with disabilities are Ministry of Labour and Social Policy(MLSP), Ministry of Regional Development(MRD), Ministry of Education and Science(MES), Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication (MTITC), Ministry of Physical Education and Sports(MPES), Ministry of Culture(MC), Ministry of Health(MH), Ministry of Interior Affairs(MIA), National Expert Medical Commission(NEMC), the Regional Expert Medical Commissions(REMC), National Insurance Institute(NII), National Institute of Statistics(NIS), National Center of Public Health and Analysis(NCPHA), State Agency for Child Protection(SACP), National Revenue Agency(NRA), NGOs, Bulgarian Accademy of Science(BAS) and other bodies working in the field of disability. Public institutions directly involved are the following: • Agency for people with disabilities (APD) - In accordance with the regulations, ADP carries out the implementation of government policy for integration of people with disabilities. The integration is carried out by medical and social rehabilitation; education and training; employment; accessible living and built environment; socio-economic protection; available information. The Agency has a central and five regional representatives in the country. • Departments in Ministry of labour and social policy (MLSP), engaged in the development of policies for social inclusion of people with disabilities in different directions - Directorates "Social protection","Policies for people with disabilities, equal opportunities and social benefits","Policies in the labor market". • Agency for Social Assistance (ASA) is an institution which by its regional and local directorates works directly with people with disabilities for their social support and provides social services. • Ministry of Health and its specialized bodies dealing with certification of people with disabilities from medical view point . • Municipal and regional administrations, which is imputed direct providing of social services for people with disabilities on their areas and the right to transfer social services for management to specialized suppliers and to provide available architecture and environment in populated places for people with disabilities. • National organizations and specialized enterprises of and for people with disabilities are direct participants in realization of many processes relating to people with disabilities.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The initiative addresses the problem in a new way, because for first time a system is embedding the complete information for a specific group of people - those with disabilities and information should be collected from multiple institutions with different character - state structures, local and regional administrations, civil society organizations. Information system in a completely innovative way enhances the development process and increases the efficiency of the implementation and monitoring of the implementation of government policy for the integration of people with disabilities by increasing administrative and managerial capacity in : 1. Improvement in planning, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of government policy for the integration of people with disabilities by creating new information and management environment based on constantly maintained, renovated, inclusive and accessible in real-time database. 2. Construction of the missing structural-core in the overall national information system for the implementation of a comprehensive approach, clearly defined procedures and effective mechanisms to address current problems and long-term integration of people with disabilities. 3. Improvement in the planning and implementation of government policy for the integration of people with disabilities by creating new information and management environment based on constantly maintained, renovated, inclusive and accessible to interested state institutions database.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The strategy was implemented by developing a project that won funding from the Operational Programme "Human Resources Development", co-financed by the European Social Fund of the European Union. The main activities were performed sequentially in the following chronological order: 1. Analysis and evaluation of the current state of the information environment for people with disabilities in institutions of the target group and key stakeholders, including ways of harmonizing the existing databases for people with disabilities; 2 Analysis of the information environment for monitoring and evaluation institutions and organizations making and implementing policies for people with disabilities; 3. Analysis of the use of financial and human resources and streamlining the related indicators that provide information relating to persons with disabilities (eg. resources expended or specific results and effects relating to this group of beneficiaries). 4. Analytical report on the existing system of planning, implementation, monitoring and administration of budgetary resources for working with people with disabilities; Above activities took place after the preparation of a comprehensive list of institutions developing and implementing policies for people with disabilities and ther were visits in each institution for establisment the information environment, including and monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the measures. The reliability of the analysis was verified by site visits, interviews and interviews with key figures from the institutions, as well as with people with disabilities - beneficiaries of the policies. 5.Creation of centralized national database of socio-economic status of people with disabilities and institutions engaged in their service; 6. Creation of a system for monitoring and evaluation of the state policy for people with disabilities and its financing; 7.Creation of a system for planning, implementation, monitoring and administration of budgetary resources for working with people with disabilities; 8. Elaboration and implementation of information system serving the database and systems for monitoring, assessment, planning, implementation and control of the state policy for people with disabilities; 9. Organizing two courses of training on the systems under an approved program 10. Activities of information and publicity were carried out throughout the period of implementation of the initiative 11.Supply of hardware and equipment 12.Working out of external expertise and licensing of the created systems.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
For the design of the initiative the main contributers are Mr. Mincho Koralski - Executive Director of APD and Mariana Karkovska – General Secretary of APD and project manager. Major contribution to the implementation have the team for organization and management of the project and the Managing Authority of Operational Programme “Human Resourses Development”. The team for organization and management of the project consisted of the following officials of APD: Mariana Karkovska –Leader of the Project Svilen Penkov - Coordinator Orlina Apostolova - Financial Specialist Nelly Veselinova - Accountant Joanna Koldova - Lawyer Stefka Zaharieva - Technical Assistant The selected with public procurement unions from the private sector had a great comtributionq too: Union "Information system for people with disabilities" and Union "Motinoring and program budgeting."
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project was implemented with the financial support of Operational Programme "Human Resources Development", co-financed by the European Social Fund of the European Union. The budget agreed amounted 1 859 999,59 leav and its value total up to 1 776 074.43 leva. In APD a management team was established composed of six employees and one full-time technical assistant appointed from outside the agency. Contractors, together with collaborators from the management team from APD, met with representatives of a number of institutions involved in the process of integration of people with disabilities such as Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication , Ministry of Physical Education and Sports, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior Affairs, National Expert Medical Commission, the Regional Expert Medical Commissions, National Insurance Institute, National Institute of Statistics, National Center of Public Health and Analysis, State Agency for Child Protection, National Revenue Agency, NGOs and others.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1.The most important result of the initiative is the fact that only a year after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Republic of Bulgaria the requirements of Article 31 of the CRPD "Statistics and Data" were implemented and a functioning centralized national database of information for people with disabilities was created. 2. After the analysis of the processes and information environment for people with disabilities in institutions was maid a possibility of data on persons with disabilities interchange between different state institutions was created. 3. A basis was created for effective partnership between relevant public and private institutions engaged in policy for people with disabilities in Bulgaria. 4. A system for monitoring and evaluation of the state policy of working with people with disabilities and its funding and also a system for planning, implementation, monitoring and administration of budgetary resources for working with people with disabilities, based on the program approach were created. 5. A mechanism for effective preventive and follow-up control of the use of public funds for the people with disability integration was established.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
During the process of execution the project were derived institutions that implement policies aimed at people with disabilities and having information and databases necessary to complete the data to the system. To each institution – Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication , Ministry of Physical Education and Sports, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior Affairs, National Expert Medical Commission, the Regional Expert Medical Commissions, National Insurance Institute, National Institute of Statistics, National Center of Public Health and Analysis, State Agency for Child Protection, National Revenue Agency, NGOs - was sent a draft agreement for the exchange of information and data collection - personal and statistical. The requested data included various indicators relating to persons with disabilities as well as those relating to analytical, controlling and other activities relating to the development and implementation of various policies for people with disabilities. So far has signed agreements with four institutions - National Insurance Institute, Ministry of Education and science, Emploiment Agency and National Expert Medical Commission. APD employees responsible for various projects for people with disabilities carried out by the agency are responsible for filling up the data on the projects in the system.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main difficulties during the implementation of the project were some communication problems with other institutions involved. The number of institutions and organizations carrying out policies for people with disabilities proved is significant. This slowed somewhat the process. Difficulties were overcome by organizing meetings with those departments and institutions, networking assistance from the governing bodies of these institutions and discussing different issues in the process of signing agreements on exchange of information. Up to now four agreements number are singed. The process of signing of agreements with more departments continues.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The initiative leads to improvement of the development process and increases the efficiency of the implementation, monitoring and controlling of government policy for the integration of people with disabilities by increasing administrative and managerial capacity to analyse, plan and implement the government policy for the integration of people with disabilities on national, regional and municipal level. Development and implementation of (1) a single, centralized national database of socio-economic status of people with disabilities and institutions engaged in their service; and (2) information system for monitoring, assessment, planning, implementation and control of the state policy for working with people with disabilities. A methodology was prepared for collecting information about people with disabilities. Its specific objectives are to define the scope and content of the variables and the responsible institutions as sources of information, the frequency of its collection, methods of verification and the directions of information flows. The methodology defines the basic principles and approaches to determine the sources and types of information for people with disabilities contained in the information system for people with disabilities. A system of variables was developed as a part of the methodology that allows the opportunity to generate the information on the health, social and employment status of people with disabilities on the basis of personal, administrative and statistical information. Opportunity for monitoring, assessment, planning, implementation and control of the state policy for working with people with disabilities. By building the information system the following information and analytical functions (tasks) were ensured: • Analyze the progression of disability in the population and determining the number and basic structures (demographic, social, economic, medical) for people with disabilities; • Taking account of the measures taken and the implemented actions (including beneficiaries and resources expended) with programs aimed at people with disabilities in various departments, according to their competence; • Analyze the degree of social and labor integration of people with disabilities. Providing information for the efficiency achieved with the implementation of the policies pursued; • Planning, monitoring, implementation and monitoring of public policies aimed at people with disabilities in education, health care, accessible environment, employment, transport, etc.; • Inclusion of activities of specialized enterprises and principal bodies carrying out activities to provide facilities and equipments for people with disabilities; • Preparation of reports and analysis on specific tasks and provide different users. These functions are realized by basic technological components built into it:  Register of Persons with Disabilities  Module-register for programs aimed at people with disabilities  Module-Register of specialized enterprises and cooperatives of people with disabilities  Module-register of principal bodies carrying out activities in medical devices and aids, devices and equipment for people with disabilities and certificates issued  Module-register of the target aids provided to people with disabilities  Module for analyzes, reports and statements  Module for ongoing monitoring of integration policies for people with disabilities  Module for supervising the implementation of policies, measures, programs and other interventions for people with disabilities  Module to track the minimum state aid Examples: 1. Defining the qualification and training of people with disabilities, depending on the type and extent of disease in different regions of the country based on the needs analysis, education, training, professional experience of the registered ones. 2. As a result of the signed agreements for exchange of information with other institutions and the need for periodic submission of information binds the relevant institutions with the obligation to monitor and control more closely the fortunes of their policies for people with disabilities and the set of parameters for them.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The following tools were developed to work with the system, contributing to its sustainability and its dissemination among public administrations at national level: Guide Administrator User Guide and Manual with the procedures and rules of operation with the system for monitoring and evaluation of the state policy for people with disabilities and its funding Guide and Manual with the procedures and rules of operation with the system for planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and administration of budgetary resources for working with people with disabilities Training for working with the system was held for more than 253 employees from different institutions who are directly engaged in the development, implementation and monitoring of the implementation of government policy for the integration of people with disabilities. There is a proposal for replication of the model of the system in other schemes of social policy.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
In the process of implementation of the initiative a number of lessons to learn and issues to be resolved accured. As a result of information collected during the meetings with representatives of various departments the following general conclusions about the information environment for people with disabilities in Bulgaria could be made: 1.There are problems with comparability and comparability of the information in methodical, time and classification aspect. Different groups of persons defined by different criteria and for different periods are covered. Information in different departments is organized according to their specific social objectives and covers different categories of people who are subject to the impact of different policies. This created a methodological incompatibility of data provided by them in the attempts to summarize. 2. Technological incompatibility. It was found that the existing information for people with disabilities and policies is scattered in different departments, where it is processed and stored in different technologies and formats - records, spreadsheets, paper media, which creates problems in linking it into a single system. The created system for people with disabilities laid the groundwork and developed the standards which must be used in future to obtain integrated information system. 3. Information in any department does not provide full historical range as concerning the people with disabilitiesas, as well as concerning the terms of specific characteristics of persons with disabilities, the parameters of social policies and the effects of their implementation. The system makes it possible to trace the history of the changes in the data of the activities and policies implemented. 5. The institutions are currently at design stage and construction of their information systems. The start of operation of these systems will facilitate the exchange of information between them and data base for people with disabilities. Recommendations: 1. In MLSP and its secondary administrators, as well as in MPES and MES there are program budgets that are intended entirely for activities aimed at people with disabilities. They can serve as a basis for future model of a single program for planning and budgeting around which to join other policies and interventions. 2. There are programs in all targeted institutions whose focus is on people with disabilities and which are part of the policies pursued in this area. They also produced inclusion to other target groups which currently hinders independent planning and reporting of interventions aimed at people with disabilities. These programs are relatively easy to be restructured and brought in a form similar to that which is entirely geared towards people with disabilities. 3. Every year general interventions involve a substantial number of people with disabilities which means that considerable resources are directed to satisfy their needs. In many cases, these resources are not valued, and therefore can not determine how much of them are designed for people with disabilities. This hampers the process of planning and reporting within a single policy for people with disabilities. We need to move towards planning of financial resources and natural indicators specifically for people with disabilities.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Agency for disabled people
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Mincho Koralski
Title:   Executive Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   +359 2 931 80 95/+359 2 832 41 62
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ahu@mlsp.government.bg  
Address:   104-106 Sofroniy Vrachanski Str
Postal Code:   1233
City:   Sofia
State/Province:  
Country:  

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