| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Dabokdong Project has been a huge success and greatly contributed to the increase of social capital in Busan. The success of project is in fact the result of close public-private cooperation. The city government pursued the project with broad participation of local residents and private social welfare services providers.
The project was initially designed and developed by the city government. The government then organized a consortium with private social welfare services organizations such as the Busan Community Chest (BCC) and the Busan Association of Social Welfare Center (BASWC). The consortium, in turn, supported CCSS in each Dong. For instance, the city government supports the administrative affairs of CCSS; BCC supports funding to the programs of CCSS; and BASWC trains and advises the CCSS members. With the support and guidance of the consortium, CCSS plays a role of anchor organization in accomplishing the success of the Project.
Eventually, some of the existing social services programs came under the umbrella of the Dabokdong Project to produce a synergistic result. For example, an urban renewal program and a public health promotion program were combined with the Dabokdong Project to offer comprehensive care services tailored to the specific needs of residents.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
1. There are six key players who played a role in implementing the Dabokdong Project.
a. The city government of Busan
The government supervises and coordinates administrative and other general affairs of the project. Following is what the government has done: created the Dabokdong Task Force Headquarters and organized a management committee of the project; issued and distributed practical guidelines for people working for the project; created a website of the project, coordinated research projects related to the project; cooperated with private social welfare services organizations; supported the management of CCSS; and provided training for people working for the project.
b. The Gu (municipal district) offices in Busan
The Gu offices establish and operate Customized Social Services Team in their respective districts. They also support CCSS in their respective districts and establish a Gu-level plan for the project. The CCSS at Gu level coordinates and adjusts budget imbalance among Dongs.
c. The Dong offices in 16 Gu/districts of Busan
The Dong offices perform front-line tasks of the project. They send social workers to visit residents for a consultation session, locate and support people excluded from the benefits of social welfare, and organize and run CCSS at Dong level.
d. Private social welfare services organizations
The operation manager of a CCSS in each Dong brings together private social welfare services organizations in the respective neighborhood. Cooperative organizations pool and share material and human resources, optimizing the use of resources.
e. Support Team for Community Council on Social Security
The team is composed of following members from the private and public sectors: four university professors of social work studies; five management personnel of private social services organizations; and eleven civil servants. It provides training and consulting for CCSS.
f. Local residents
Residents participate in CCSS as a council member, helping private social welfare services organizations and Dong offices locate a previously neglected underprivileged person. They also participate in a neighborhood-specific project to tackle local welfare issues.
2. On the other hand, there are three major beneficiaries affected by the project.
a. Local residents
Local residents are direct beneficiaries of the project by receiving administrative and financial support. At the same time, they gain considerable confidence in themselves and develop strong ties to their community by participating in the process to deal with local welfare issues. Residents learn by active trial-and-error, which helps them build the capacity of the community.
b. Private social welfare services organizations
Once private social welfare services organizations participated in the project, they enjoyed enhanced communication with the public, mobilized material and human resources in a more efficient way, and shared latest information among themselves and with the government.
c. Civil servants in charge of social welfare services
As civil servants in charge of social welfare services visited residents participating in the project for a consultation session, they realized that it was very important to understand correctly the needs of the participating residents and take a proactive approach in dealing with them. As a result, the civil servants felt a strong sense of responsibility towards the resident participants and truly appreciated the work they carried out.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Phase 1 – trial period (July 2014 – December 2015)
During the trial period, Busan carried out the Dabokdong Project in four of the most underprivileged Dongs in Busan.
In August 2015, an evaluation conducted by the Busan Social Welfare Development Institute (BSWDI) showed that the number of instances of locating a previously neglected underprivileged person was reported 17 times more than before. The evaluation report also found the number of social welfare cases increased tenfold and the number of a visiting consultation session nine times. Naturally, the satisfaction of local residents increased greatly as well.
In September 2015, the government established the Master Plan for the Dabokdong Project based on the BSWDI evaluation report and secured the municipal budget of USD 1.14 million.
Phase 2 – implementation period (January 2016 – December 2016)
From February to March 2016, the government accepted an application from Gu (municipal districts) to implement the project in a Dong in the respective Gu. Each of the 52 selected Dongs received funds of USD 26,200 and support personnel.
From March to July 2016, three supportive bodies for the project were established. In March 2016, the government established the Dabokdong Task Force Headquarters led by Vice Mayor. The headquarters took overall responsibility for the project. In May, the Support Team for CCSS was set up to offer monitoring and consultation to CCSS. Two months later, the Management Committee of Dabokdong Project was launched, consisting of ten civilian experts in the fields of public health, welfare and administration.
In April 2016, 207 staff members, the entire personnel of the project, received an in-depth training course provided by the city government. And a month later, the government, in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Labor, chose 52 senior citizens with professional licenses or certificates to be dispatched to the 52 Dongs.
From May to July 2016, civil servants from the city government and Gu offices in cooperation with civilian experts of BSWDI conducted monitoring and evaluation of the 52 Dongs which had launched the project to identify and suggest solutions to the problems that the 52 Dongs encountered.
In September 2016, the Action Plan for the Promotion of CCSS was announced. According to the action plan, in November 2016, USD 275,000 was funded through the Busan Community Chest to assist the Support Team for CCSS.
On October 17, 2016, the city government invited five social welfare experts from the Nihon Fukushi University in Japan to the Korea-Japan Policy Conference on Social Welfare to review and assess the outcomes of the project.
During the second half of 2016, the government commissioned the Korea Society of Social Welfare and Administration to conduct research on the efficiency of the project. Upon the performance evaluation, the government adopted necessary measures to improve the project.
In addition, from May 2016 to April 2017, BSWDI has conducted and will be conducting preliminary, mid-term and post-project surveys and assessments. These surveys and assessments were and will be carried out in both the 52 Dongs and other Dongs in Busan which did not undertake the project in order to draw a comparison.
Phase 3 – expansion period (January 2017 – December 2017)
By applying information technologies to the project, Busan launched an information sharing system (ISS) that allowed the government to share its data on social welfare with private social services organizations. ISS reduced the number of people who were omitted from social welfare services and prevented the recipients from abusing the social welfare system by benefiting double from the system.
Phase 4 – stabilization period (January 2018 – onwards)
All the 205 Dongs in Busan will participate in the project.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
There are 12 key stakeholders who played a role in designing and implementing the project.
1. 16 Gus (municipal districts)
They are responsible for implementing and coordinating the project activities in the respective Gu.
2. 205 Dongs
Each Dong office has a Customized Social Services Team, consisting of civil servants and civilian experts.
3. Local residents and Community Council on Social Security
Local residents and CCSS consisting of about 40 members participate in following activities: locating a previously neglected underprivileged person; visiting the vulnerable for a consultation session; and supporting a neighborhood-specific project to tackle local welfare issues.
4. Dabokdong Task Force Headquarters
The headquarters comprises 11 civil servants and takes full responsibility for the implementation and coordination of the project. Vice Mayor, who leads the headquarters, is assisted by Director-General of Social Welfare Bureau and nine Directors from pertinent Divisions.
5. Management Committee of Dabokdong Project
It consists of 10 civilian experts from various fields, including the academia and social services organizations.
6. Support Team for Community Council on Social Security at Dong Level
The team comprises scholars, civilian experts and civil servants, and provides training and consulting for CCSS.
7. Busan Association of Social Welfare Center
The head of Social Welfare Center in a Dong takes a role of operation manager in CCSS in the respective Dong.
8. Rehabilitation Center of Busan Metropolitan City
The center trains 207 persons working for the project.
9. Busan Community Chest
It cooperates in securing funds for CCSS.
10. Busan Social Welfare Development Institute
The institute cooperates in publishing practical guidelines and conducts performance evaluation.
11. Busan Community Relations Center
The center manages senior citizens working for the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Labor
12. Food Bank of Busan
It conducts Share Our Refrigerator Program in each Dong.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
One of the most successful outputs is that community-based welfare pluralism was achieved upon the implementation of the Dabokdong Project. It was grassroots organizations whose concerted efforts made this accomplishment possible. Grassroots organizations tried hard to involve local residents in the project implementation process. It was no longer a top-down decision making process. Local residents were encouraged to contribute by taking responsibility and action for their own neighborhoods. As a result, residents’ pride in their neighborhoods was restored and their self-confidence was enhanced considerably. A good example can be found in the cases of Suyoung-dong and Dadae-dong where recipients of National Basic Livelihood Security Benefit contributed to a neighborhood support program by means of talent donation.
In addition, the project successfully provided a strengthened social safety net for the vulnerable and poor. Social workers visited a poor neighborhood to gather information about the disadvantaged people who had not yet benefited from the social welfare services. They also gathered such information by keeping in touch with people, who were in frequent contact with the vulnerable, i.e. postal carriers, meter readers, landlords, real estate agents and owners of small village shops. Consequently, previously neglected disadvantaged persons were located and placed in appropriate care so no one would be excluded from the benefits of social welfare system.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The city government encountered an obstacle at the outset of the implementation of the Dabokdong project. The first serious obstacle arose in the public sector. It was the municipal districts’ negative attitude towards the project. By the end of 2015, the government wanted to implement the project throughout the city. However, the government’s wish was met with resistance from Gu (municipal district) offices. Even though Gu offices recognized the necessity for and potential of the project, they hesitated to bear expenses of human resources regarding civil servants responsible for social welfare services.
To ease Gu offices’ concern, the government decided to provide funds to cover operational expenses for any Gu office that were capable of implementing such project and demonstrated commitment to complete the task. The government fully supported four Dongs from four different Gu once they were selected to conduct a test run. The trial period proved successful and many Gu and Dong offices were eager to apply for the project from then on.
Another major obstacle the government encountered came from the private sector –private social welfare services organizations. It was essential for a Gu or a Dong office to establish cooperative relationships with the private sector to streamline the implementation process. However, private social welfare services organizations were skeptical of the project’s effectiveness, and considered social welfare services as their own area of expertise. Therefore, the organizations regarded the project as unwelcome governmental intervention.
In this regard, the government began a vigorous campaign to change the organizations’ negative attitude towards the project. Civil servants of the city government regularly participated in the meetings, conferences and seminars organized by the Korea Association of Social Welfare Centers. The government also hosted various meetings to give an informative presentation on the project and eventually persuaded them into cooperating with the implementation.