Building a village-level welfare platform
Suyeong-gu local government of Busan metropolitan city, Republic of Korea

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
As shown in a slogan “Suyeong, Beautiful City, Better Place to Live”, Suyeong-gu has developed into a housing-oriented city most people like in that it boasts a beautiful natural environment with mountains and rivers mainly such as the Gwangalli beach as well as well-established social infrastructure including transport, education and medical centers. The population density is 17,593 persons/㎢, the highest in Busan and the number of people aged over 65 accounts for 16.4% of the total. Therefore, Suyeong-gu’s policy mainly focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of people and creating a sustainable living environment. Suyeong-gu has come up with a plan “Healthy City, Suyeong-gu Project” and kept a steady rise in health and welfare related budget and public administration personnel to minimize any adverse effect on Suyeong-gu resulting from economic and social problems including low birth rate, aging, social polarization, and an increasing number of single-person households irrespective of age range which have emerged significantly since the 2000s. In 2013(before the initiative kicked off), the supply of social welfare surged in a quantitative way as Suyeong-gu spent KRW 88,571 million (48% of the annual budget) on public health and social security areas, a 76% up compared to 2008. However, asocial survey conducted by the National Statistics Office that measures the level of social welfare shows that the percentage of people who thinks there is nothing much changed compared to a year ago is about 53% every year, which means there has been little year-on-year difference. Despite the gigantic social investment, Suyeong-gu failed to achieve a qualitative growth as it did not make a ground-breaking improvement in the system that delivers public administrative service. The existing delivery system divided the types of health and welfare service according to administrative convenience and is a top-down approach in which public agencies were categorized into the district office, Dong community centers and public health center. Under such circumstances, administrative workforce and budget could not be utilized in an effective manner and it was quite passive in that it was very hard to apply demanders’ feedback to public policy process. The way of each segregated supplying agency to deal with demanders varied, making it for each to share information or collaborate. Furthermore, individual operation of administrative workforce triggered constant problems such as overlapping visits to one household and a long cycle of visits per household with a short visit time. As suppliers provided piecemeal service on an individual level, not demander-oriented comprehensive one, the level of satisfaction among demanders dropped. Due to lack of workforce in charge of counseling with the socially disadvantaged and aggressively finding out new demanders, people who were in the blind spot of welfare were left behind. It is fair to say that administrative convenience from the supplier’s perspective served as a confusing and inefficient obstacle to demanders. Therefore, Suyeong-gu has re-organized once-dispersed health and welfare service related institutions in a more effective way and converge into one Dong community center to which demanders’ accessibility is the highest while it has soak to achieve sustainability by covering demand for welfare in certain areas with resources newly discovered within those areas. Plus, Suyeong-gu has desired to build a village-level welfare platform by improving the quality of administration, finance, workforce, the public-private cooperation and service.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
First, transform the role of an administrative agency as a welfare hub by converging functionally dispersed task and work force of welfare and health service into a Dong community center where the residents can most easily access. Second, build a human safety net consisting of administrative personnel and local residents per Dong and carry out surveys on whole population of the vulnerables in Suyeong-gu to actively discover any omissions or overlaps in delivering health and welfare service. Third, engage in close site on-visit-counseling to exactly identify welfare needs among demanders and provide bespoke service utilizing locally discovered and public resources.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
1. Embraced the marginalized into the delivery system. Suyeong-gu actively discovered blind spots in welfare based on-visit-counseling and surveys of the vulnerables and thereby expanded the range of people subject to welfare service and under-case-management households. The number of people subject to welfare service after such initiative expansion as above increased by 4,117 (53,279 at Dec.2014 to 57,396 at Dec.2016). ※ People subject to welfare service: Beneficiaries of national basic livelihood security, self-supporting system for the secondary poor, single-parent households, basic old-age pension, people with disabilities, infants, children in low income family, etc. 2. Expanded the initiative into 70% of the total Dongs in just one year after its implementation thanks to high interest from institutions and achieved a full-fledged implementation in 2 years in 10 Dongs to reach the vulnerables fast. Active administrative cooperation from planning, HR, and budget departments helped restructuring the delivery system fast and contributed to early distribution and stabilization of such system. Regular assessment of an upper-level agency gave credit to fast re-structuring and re-deployment of workforce based on self ordinance revision as one of the main contributors to the successful implementation of the initiative. 3. Enhanced on-visit counseling of the person in charge of welfare hubs enabled more active support for welfare administration. The chief of Dong, who is in charge of welfare hubs, paid a visit to households, having hands-on experience of the reality facing the vulnerables. The visit led to fast welfare service and spearheaded in discovering local resources. 4. Service evolved from inbound-based simple support to outbound-based active service. Suyeong-gu utilized a human safety net with a welfare hub as a base and expanded visits to demanders while actively connecting various fields including health, welfare, employment, housing and education to provide bespoke service. Service evolved from supplier-driven service where once demanders visited administrative agencies and service was provided only in a one-way manner depending on the judgment of a welfare-official to demander-oriented service. 5. Provided information for both demanders and suppliers through on-visit counseling. Suyeong-gu paid a visit to the socially marginalized to give detailed explanation of the types of services available for them and helped those suffering from social-economic harshness due to lack of information. Suyeong-gu identified practical needs for actual demanders through on-visit counseling, supported bespoke service accordingly and discovered local resources they needed. 6. Strengthened the role of Community welfare committee to become one of initiative executors. Service expanded from public-centered provision to private-centered sharing welfare. Suyeong-gu raised the awareness among locals by encouraging them to engage in the committee and educated them to have an understanding of the significance of private-initiated welfare, which has led to local residents being keystone in implementation. The committee participated in initiative detailing, enhanced Welfare fundraising and sought for local resources. 7. Provoked local residents to participate in welfare based on a consensus. Local residents have come to understand a harsh reality facing their neighbors based on their activity in a human safety net. As more are witnessing positive changes among beneficiaries, participants show more desire to keep engaged. A sense of rewarding, satisfaction, expectation and belonging have improved through concrete and specialized community service and participation while an atmosphere of sharing has been expanded. 8. The initiative contributed to the improvement of self-esteem among demanders Suyeong-gu identified the likelihood that persons who were once considered only as recipients of government aid could become suppliers as well based on their talent donation. The initiative inspired their sense of belonging and independence as member of society to contribute to improving self-esteem of recipients.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The initiative integrated health and welfare service into one delivery system in which management agencies and delivery systems operated separately depending on functionality or characteristics. Then enabled the integrated service to be delivered by an agency with the highest accessibility among demanders through administrative re-organization. The initiative established a community welfare committee with local residents based on the village-level integrated delivery system and came up with a human safety net supporting welfare blind spots by discovering available resources within the relevant areas. Therefore, Suyeong-gu has completed a platform called “Dong welfare hub” in which management of delivery system, necessary finance and workforce are autonomously operated on a village level and then has provided service suitable for welfare needs of both existing and newly discovered demanders. Suyeong-gu office, an upper-level administrative agency, serves as a bridge to help village-level welfare hubs maintain their reciprocal collaborative relationship, completing one welfare organism while the traditional top-down approach where it was hard to identify actual needs for the vulnerables and frequent omissions to the bottom–up approach.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Suyeong-gu has created two core organizations to implement the initiative. First, bespoke welfare teams were set up in each Dong community centers to integrate previous dispersed health and welfare services into single system. Second, a human safety net is established in order to discover blind spots in welfare and aggressively search for local resources. The bespoke welfare team consists of a welfare manager, welfare officials, a visiting nurse, a case manager and a vocational counselor. When demanders want more various services, the responsible persons visited all together to provide service at once. The socially vulnerable who have the ability to work have been provided with social contribution jobs. 220 village foremen and local residents are recruited led by the Dong community welfare committee to establish a human safety net of total 1,160 and they are divided into three teams for more effective operation: a team that discovers blind spots and households on the verge of a crisis, a supporting team that engages resources to welfare service and a team that visits, checks the vulnerable and cares their well-being. With more concrete and specialized task division, the net plays a role as working-level consultative group. The Dong community welfare committee consists of public officials(14), religious parties(5), teachers(2), medical practitioners(2), private institutions(21), self-employed(28), presidents of women’s communities(9), village foremen(19), social service groups(47), housewives(9) and other residents(3) to draw up and implement detailed action plans suitable to each local circumstance. The committee mobilized a human safety net consisting of 1,160 and visited all 14,569 vulnerable households to identify actual conditions and needs for welfare. At the end of 2016, total 6,881 blind spots were discovered, totaling the number of people subject to welfare at 57,396. On-visit counseling was provided 34,044 times (including re-visit) to the vulnerable and connected them to 59,130 services.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
1. Delivery system restructuring through active administration Suyeong-gu restructured the organization fast and re-deployed necessary workforce into community centers. In the meantime, the workforce dealing with welfare task is secured by reducing general administrative workloads and installing kiosks for the issuance of various certificates. 2. Various resource secured and MOU Signing - Budget: KRW 805,000,000 - Public contest budget for external institutions: KRW 936,000,000 - Private welfare fund: KRW 3,333,000,000 MOU-signed institution(groups) Agreement Suyeong-gu Committee of Saemaul leadership Housing repair Suyeong Senior Welfare Center Collaboration with survey on seniors living alone Busan Southern Fire Station Discovery of blind spots in welfare Nuriara Convention wedding ceremony Association of Tutoring Institutes education Busan branch of KOREA YAKULT. Co., Ltd. Discovery of welfare blind spots Busan Community Chest of Korea Initiative of hopeful bridges Suyeong Mental Health Center Friendship-matching to prevent depression among seniors living alone Gwangnam Church / Suyeong Local Rehabilitation Center Supporting meals and groceries Hanseo Hospital / Suyeong Convalescence Hospital / Green Oriental Medicine Clinic Medical service Megabox Haeundae Movie for children T-broad Local Broadcasting Cooperation in an initiative for Smart Alarming System for the elderly Five local firms along with human safety net Annual KRW 96,000,000 in donation 3. Sequential approach to verify effectiveness of the initiative and application of a business model considering local characteristics [Population], [the number of people subject to welfare], [accessibility], [participation among residents] and [local income and resources] are identified as core indexes as a result of two pilot initiatives. Based on these indexes, 10 Dongs were analyzed then a basic-type and a sphere-type model were drawn up. At Dongs where there is a relative lack of [the number of people subject to welfare / population], [participation of residents] and [local resources], a sphere-type model was applied to form a welfare hub linked to an adjacent Dong(central) with high initiative implementation indexes. sequence process 1st Pilot project at Mangmi-1 Dong(‘14.7.1~) 2nd Suyeong Dong’s self pilot project (‘15.9.7~) 3rd Mangmi-1 Dong welfare hub modeling initiative (‘16.3~) 4th Initiative expansion into Suyeong, Mangmi -2, Gwangan- 1 and Millak Dong(‘16.4.1~) 5th A sphere-type initiative at Namchoen-1(central) and Namchoen-2(linked) (‘16.10.1~) 6th Full-fledged implementation from January 2017 4. Specialized workforce secured for early settlement of the initiative Senior welfare public officials are dispatched into eight Dongs as the head of bespoke-welfare team while three case managers of Suyeong-gu office and eight visiting nurses of the health center are re-deployed into welfare hubs, securing seasoned and professional personnel. Meanwhile, vocational counselors are employed to respond to various needs of welfare. 5. Encouraging participation among residents through active PR Suyeong-gu exposed the purpose of the initiative and successful cases 768 times through a variety of media and created a sharing atmosphere by motivating residents and raising awareness 6. Efforts to discover blind spots in welfare. Suyeong-gu carried out surveys on the socially disadvantaged of 14,569 households to discover blind spots of welfare that the existing program failed to identify and thereby clearly understood what demanders needed. Surveys on Period Content Children aged under 12 in 499 vulnerable households Jul. ~ Sep. ‘14 222 service linkages, 294 case selection for management 1,143 households in secondary poor class Feb. ~Apr.‘15 1,409 service linkages(777 cases in public-private cooperation) 210 households of seniors who collecting waste paper Jun. ~ Aug. ‘15 152 service linkages(95cases in public-private cooperation) 2,793 single-senior households on depression Mar.‘15~ Jul. ‘16 300 service linkages(focused management for 45) 7,113 households aged over 60 living alone Jan. ~ Jul. ‘16 833 service linkages(support of KRW 10,757,000) 2,520 households receiving basic livelihood security May ~ Dec. ‘16 underway in ‘17

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. The RESIDENT LIVELIHOOD SUPPORT DIVISION was in charge of developing and executing the initiative as headquarters. The team of HOPEFUL WELFARE played a role as a bridge between village-level welfare hubs and established the public –private cooperation. The team enhanced integrated management of cases to ensure that demanders failing to enjoy the existing benefits are not left behind. They also carried out a sequential assessment to verify effectiveness and the level of completeness has been elevated by discovering any room for improvement. 2. The OFFICE OF PLANNING & AUDITING helped restructuring project of a welfare delivery system to develop into a core policy of the whole District. The team of ORGANIZATION & LEGAL AFFAIRS analyzed organizations such as Suyeong-gu office, all community centers and a health care center and evaluated workload. It restructured the organization and re-deployed workforce accordingly by revising [The Ordinance of Quota]. The team enacted ordinances on [Stable living for Low-income Residents] and [Emergency Aid] to support residents who failed to satisfy the requirements of public(national) aid among the newly discovered demanders. They also revised the ordinances on [Installation of Tongs and Bans] and on [Operation of Community Welfare Committee] to strengthen the role of a human safety net and enhance its effectiveness. 3. Dong Community Centers transformed into a village-level welfare platform through functional change. Each Dongs created community welfare committees along with residents, local businesses and cooperative institutions and then served as a platform to deliver service in the front line. 4. Human safety nets consisting of 1,160 put in place in each Dong and 345 suppliers of local resources became a key executor of the initiative. They discovered local resources and blind spots of welfare as well as played a key role as a bridge.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1. Could practice “Leave No-One Behind”, UN’s Key value, discovering the socially marginalized and households suffering crisis on welfare blind spots by mobilizing the increased administrative personnel and human safety nets. Residents who were left away from the benefit because of information deficiency on programs and how to approach could have been selected as welfare-beneficiary group. The households exposed to special situations were linked to case managers so that they could get help from the community welfare committee. 2. Could realize the accurate needs of welfare by carrying out surveys and in-depth counseling on the entire vulnerables. Suyeong-gu conducted vocational trainings and job placements for the unemployed vulnerables due to lack of information and restraints of age/gender/physical conditions so that they could get fair chances of employments and to be financially independent. 3. Increased the participation of middle-aged women in social activity designating village foremen(more than 80% of them are women) and Women’s Society as key members of human safety nets. Suyeong-gu carried out training sessions explaining the concept and significance of local welfare to enhance their capacity and granted them concrete and specialized welfare tasks as well as voluntary services. They participated in the process of service beneficiary selection, local resource linkage and a follow-up monitoring. Middle-aged women who are called "tannie" have had rare chances to participate in social activities. By being dispatched to the forefront of the delivery system, they could achieve senses of belonging and satisfaction as members of society. 4. Through the initiative, the role of administrative agencies has transformed functionally from a supplier of health and welfare service into a platform provider. It was hard for local governments to identify and support all the needs within their boundary due to limited human and financial resources in the traditional top-down way. In addition, whether to continue or stop a certain initiative or the size of subsidies were decided unilaterally by the central(national) government or an upper-level agency, it was impossible to ensure sustainability in supplying service to the needy. In this regard, Suyeong-Gu enhanced the welfare functionality of administrative agencies at terminal where residents can easily access and transferred it into a welfare-hub. Within the hub, the community welfare committee identified welfare needs, procured appropriate local resources and participated in the beneficiary selection process. Suyeong-gu office monitored hubs to distribute resources efficiently while connecting hubs to form a resilient and sustainable system.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Surveys on the entire vulnerable groups showed that many households had been left in the blind spots of welfare more than expected. Households meeting the requirements of public aid as nationally recognized had no issue being protected and receiving support as they were incorporated into the program once discovered. Also, the newly discovered vulnerable group could get immediate linkage service when there were appropriate local resources meeting their needs. However, there were still a lot of demanders who failed to be categorized into these two groups as well as people who could not get support due to lack of ambiguous legal grounds. It was obvious that these cases would be accumulated as the initiative period prolonged and Suyeong-gu could not just stand by and watch until local resources suitable for welfare needs were secured. Gu officials were concerned the efforts to improve system might affect negatively and be not fair to the new needy. The issue should be addressed in order to continue to implement the initiative. Therefore, executive officials of Suyeong-gu had several meetings in order to find out a way within the local government having little authority. They decided to revise and enact local ordinance to set up clear administrative and legal grounds for supporting public goods, visited the District Council to explain the purpose and feasibility of the initiative as well as hardships facing residents who were left behind due to a loophole in the existing local statutes. In the 182nd session of Suyeong-gu Council(Oct. 7 2014) and the 189th session(Sep. 15 2015), 「Ordinance proposal regarding support of stabilizing livelihood of low-income residents in Suyeong-gu, Busan」and 「Ordinance proposal regarding emergency support of Suyeong-gu, Busan」were passed respectively as original to lay out the groundwork for issue solving and sustainable implementation of the initiative.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The biggest benefit that the initiative brought about is that surveys on the socially marginalized of 14,569 households was carried out for 30 months by mobilizing expanded visiting counselor personnel and the needs for welfare were precisely identified. The initiative discovered various resources within the region based on human safety nets consisting of both administrative and private personnel to satisfy various needs for welfare left behind under the existing delivery system. The initiative soak to increase satisfaction by providing demander-customized linked service and secured sustainability of region-level welfare service by strengthening the role of the community welfare committees in each Dongs(villages). Second lies in the private sector arising as a pivotal center in supplying health and welfare service. Previously there were constant efforts to increase the role of the private sector, only to encourage piecemeal participation. Suyeong-gu provided training and promotional activity for members of social gatherings existing in each village to encourage them to participate and assigned them with professional and detailed role. The table headers displayed as below are quantitative indices to be utilized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to monitor the interim process and measure the performance of the initiative, presenting tangible performance of the initiative. [Before vs. After with a basic-type applied in 5 Dongs] Period Number of targets Visiting personnel belonging to community center(privately employed) Households managed as case Blind spots of welfare discovered Site visits Linkage with service Number of resource discovery cases(amount) Before implementation From Apr. through Oct. ’15 33,669 5(0) 71 1,453 2,995 17,787 1,178(₩608,331,000) After implementation ‘From Apr. through Oct. ‘16 35,886 43(28) 216 5,522 23,960 38,274 1,726(₩835,600,000) Increase up2,217 Up 38(28) Up 145 up4,069 up20,965 up20,487 Up 548(₩227,269,000) [Comparison with 5 dongs where the initiative was not implemented during the period of a basic-type implementation at 5 Dongs (Apr. ~ Oct. ’16)] Period Number of targets Visiting personnel belonging to community center(privately employed) Households managed as case Blind spots of welfare discovered Site visits Linkage with service Number of resource discovery cases(amount) 5 Dongs. Where the initiative was implemented 35,886 43(28) 216 5,522 23,960 38,274 1,726(₩835,600,000) 5 Dongs where the initiative was not implemented 21,564 5(0) 5 592 1,363 5,325 50(₩56,749,000) [Before vs. After in expansion into 7 Dongs] Period Number of targets Visiting personnel belonging to community center(privately employed) Households managed as case Blind spots of welfare discovered Site visits Linkage with service Number of resource discovery cases(amount) Before implementation From Jan. through Dec. ‘14 53,279 16(4) 88 1,164 4,645 17,880 515(₩585,000,000) After implementation from Jan. through Dec. ‘16 57,396 50(32) 285 6,881 34,044 59,130 2,576(₩1,104,000,000) increase Up 4,117 up 34(28) up 197 up5,717 Up 29,399 Up41,250 Up 2,061(₩519,000,000)

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
A filter is put in place to prevent omission and overlaps as the delivery system of health and welfare service has been streamlined by forming a village-level welfare platform and actively searching for the socially marginalized. Therefore, any misuse or abuse of budget and administrative personnel is reduced and unqualified beneficiaries are detected so that only the needy can receive the benefit. The number of beneficiaries receiving public fund at the end of 2016 rose by 4,117 compared to the end of 2014 while the number of unqualified beneficiaries exposed amounted to 333. The community social security council and private institutions actively engage in policy implementation and decision making process, which results in securing transparency in the process from public budget to fund raising. Neighbors discovered first hand as a result of a human safety net activity are selected as subject to public aid and those who have discovered get incentives. In this process, reliability for administrative agencies and responsibility among local residents has been heightened. When looking into opinions collected through a phone-call monitoring and written experiences of beneficiaries, those who once got an only-way service in accordance with welfare public officials have received bespoke service that they had requested and saw inconvenience caused by lack of communication redressed. In the meantime, administrative agencies are feeling more responsible for residents.

 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)
When single-mom households in an economic difficulty due to lack of knowledge of the program and other households on the brink of a crisis as they fail to report due to concerns about retaliatory violence are discovered, they are immediately selected subject to case management and much closer care is provided. To this end, internal manual has been put in place and [an ordinance on emergency aid(support)] was enacted for more fast and realistic support. Not to mention economic support by mobilizing public and private resources, psychology counselors, psychiatric clinic within the region and children foundations worked together to help victims of domestic violence by providing psychotherapy so that the victims were emotionally stabilized. Women in vulnerable groups who were willing to work were provided with vocational training and public job opportunities so that they could develop their own self-esteem and pride. In addition, as there was an increasing need to address a root cause of domestic violence and provide damage relief, a female lawyer have been deployed in Suyeong-gu office since Feb. 2017 to exclusively support the socially disadvantaged so that these people could get their legal rights protected.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Suyeong-gu local government of Busan metropolitan city, Republic of Korea
Institution Type:   Local Government  
Contact Person:   Sean Jungwoon HA
Title:   Deputy assistant manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   +82 51 610 4035 / +82 51 610 4019
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   100 Namcheondong-ro
Postal Code:   48305
City:   Suyeong-gu
State/Province:   Busan metropolitan city

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