Anna Kucinska
25 March 2015

Specific, ready to use innovative solutions in the area of employment and social inclusion

In the project run by the National Supporting Institution - the National Thematic Network in the area of Employment and Social Inclusion ready-to-use, free of charge innovative solutions have been developed in order to help respond to everyday challenges in these areas, ranging from vocational and lifelong learning offers ill-adjusted to the needs of the labor market, high unemployment rate among people aged 45+, low level of innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises or insufficient development of management methods and tools in local government units.

The solutions presented below have been developed by individuals and institutions which are regularly confronted with these challenges, which makes them highly valuable and practical. The solutions have been tested by the people whose problems are meant to be resolved. Furthermore, these new tools have often been developed in wider co-operation, including the institutions from other countries and their unique perspectives, experience and good practices.

The solutions are specific, ready to use, for example in the form of guides, manuals, training programmes or ready to implement models. The solutions are available free of charge to everybody.

1.  Area of solution’s application EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
2. Thematic block

Measures for social economy entities

Number of solutions within the block – 10.

Solutions presented within this block aim to systemic support and to improve quality of operating social economy entities (SEE). The aim of these tools is to create a working framework for SEE responding to the current needs and challenges. The use of the presented solutions should also improve the effectiveness of the SEE cooperation with public administration to make these entities become an active partner in local development by acting as an employer and provider of social services. Most of the solutions used in this block contain a set of instruments forming a support system of social economy, which can be divided into financial, training tools and building partnerships with institutions of public administration. Among the solutions one can find: long-term models of cooperation and joint action programmes between the public administration and the SEE; financial tools to support the SEE (e.g. loans with a guarantee, loans and working capital loans); learning platforms in the social economy; models of training programmes in the field of social entrepreneurship and partnerships operating in the field of social economy.

The solutions below are associated thematically with a group of solutions to support employers and employees undergoing processes of modernization and adaptation, contained in a block theme: "Building the adaptation potential of enterprises", in the area of "Adaptability".

 

There are solutions characterized below available within the block:

Ø  Financial instruments (5 solutions).

The aim of the solutions is to increase the availability of funds for SEE, tailored to their specific needs. Developed financial instruments include: loan guarantee, loans and working capital loans and investment loans provided under the Loan and Guarantee Funds. All instruments include procedures for their use, rules for granting and accounting, rules of use, model contracts, risk assessment methodology which takes into account the specificity of SEE, as well as the procedures for the investigation of any claims. In order to increase the professionalism of SEE activities, it is also proposed to use the tools for updating their business strategies and for the creation of infrastructure around the fund, or the provision of information and advice to interested SEE, e.g. by specially created consulting points. The novelty in the proposed solutions is the "marketization" of financial instruments to support the SEE, which is popularization of the loans and credits, possible to repay, and promoting the idea of guaranteeing loans by the local government borrowing, e.g. by entities constantly cooperating with the Local Government Units.

Ø  Instruments for building partnerships (11 solutions).

The aim of the presented solutions is to improve the quality and increase the range of mechanisms of cooperation between the SEE and public organizations and institutions, based on the principles of partnership. Among developed tools there are: models of cooperation between local government and the SEE; models of partnerships and consortia / clusters in the field of social economy and the information database concerning the public administration demand for specific social services. An aspect often emphasized in the available solutions is the recognition of SEE as a key partner in the creation of local public policies and local development strategies. The cooperation between social economy sector with government is to be facilitated, inter alia, by: treating it in a systematic way (i.e. introduction of appropriate regulations to the local development strategies); implementation of the monitoring system of implemented projects, combined with an integrated database of SEEs (e.g. on their participation in competitions and tenders); establishment of teams for cooperation which monitor process of outsourcing the services to SEE and sample designs strategies or programs of cooperation between public administration and SEE. There is also a solution that will enable social economy entities action on the principles of public-benefit organization[1] and assumes the implementation of two instruments: the specific subsidy received in the competition from the local government for the implementation of specific tasks as well as lending by the government flat on preferential terms where the SEE can operate in.

In addition, within one of the proposed solutions the social economy sector institutions activity area was enlarged on issues of culture, offering a mechanism for evaluating the costs and benefits of implementing such tasks by SEE. The developed models and programmes take the form of instructions describing the procedures for working out the basic directions of activities in the sphere of social economy, guidelines and manuals aimed at public administration – e.g. employees of procurement departments in local government units for proper use of the so-called social clauses[2] and commissioning tasks SEE.

Solutions in this thematic group are thematically associated with a group of solutions to support the process of transfer by the local government social services to non-governmental organizations and social economy entities, including testing the quality of their execution, contained in the thematic block of "Active nØ  Training instruments (4 solutions).

The purpose of the proposed solutions is to increase knowledge and the number of educational instruments in the field of social economy. The developed solutions put the emphasis on the growth of knowledge and skills among staff of NGOs working in the field of social economy and public administration, which should effect into an increase in the number and quality of services. Among the proposed tools there are online learning platforms, training programme models for animators in the field of social economy and sample promotional activities which aim to promote the social economy sector and paths of specialization at the universities in the field of social services aimed at disseminating knowledge about the social economy among students. The novelty in the proposed solutions is to move away from the fixed forms of training and promoting education on-line, e.g. in the form of an educational - counseling online platform and the use of ICT simulation tools, e.g. for testing business activities, which allow future social entrepreneurs gain the skills to conduct of such enterprise.

Solutions in this thematic group thematically associated with the solution concerning the introduction of components of the social economy to the system of secondary education as a form of entrepreneurship and economic activity, presented in thematic block: "Activation of graduates and unemployed persons below 25 years old", in area:  "Employment and social integration". 


[1] Public-benefit activity - socially useful activity, i.e. conducted for the benefit of society through NGOs, under the Act of 24 April 2003 on Public Benefit and Volunteer Work (Journal. Laws of 2003. No. 96, item. 873), in the sphere of public tasks specified in the Act, e.g. in the areas of promoting and protecting women's rights, protection and promotion of health, maintaining national traditions.

[2] Social clauses - a tool made ​​for national regulations in 2009, allowing public authorities (ordering) to oblige the companies that win bids to hire several categories of groups at risk of social exclusion, i.e. groups discriminated against in the labor market - e.g.: disabled, the unemployed , former prisoners.

3. What problems could be solved with the solutions?
  •  Often unstable cooperation between social economy actors and public institutions due to insufficient durable / mechanisms for cooperation and not always sufficient knowledge among officials about the potential benefits of this cooperation;
  • Addiction of social economy entities from external grants, hindering financial independence and limited access to other sources of funding than grants;
  • Insufficiently used potential and the low activity of non-governmental organizations in the delivery of social services
  • Insufficient support for social economy entities by the local government (insufficient number of public procurements with social clauses addressed to SEE);
  • Incomplete knowledge of public administration officers and students on initiatives in the field of social economy made ​​for the social economy.
4. To whom the solutions are addressed?

 Which institutions/entities may apply the developed tools in their business? (use of both systemic as well as unit – i.e. for use in daily practice employees)?

  • Social economy entities (NGOs, worker or disabled persons co-operatives, social co-operatives)
  • Local government units
  • Welfare and social inclusion institutions.

Whose problems can be solved with the presented tools?

  •  Members, representatives, managers, employees of the social economy entities
  • Management and employees of local government units
  • Residents of local communities benefiting from social services
  • Persons unemployed seeking employment
  • People at risk of social exclusion.
5. What benefits can be achieved by using the tools?

Ø  Developing effective system of cooperation between public administration and SEE through the establishment of sustainable public - social partnerships and implementation of the multi-annual cooperation plans

Ø  Improving access to external repayable financing for SEE by designing loan - guarantee tools taking into account the needs of social entrepreneurs

Ø  Increasing the level of knowledge and competences in the field of social economy among the employees of non-governmental organizations, local government units and students, through the use of new forms of training in this area

Ø  Increase in the number of the social services outsourced by the public administration to SEE through the use of a wider social clauses in public procurement

          Ø Increase the level of knowledge on the public tasks outsourced by the public administration to  non-governmental organizations through the use of various types of monitoring activities and
              aggregating the data.

6. Links to other thematic areas Indicated above, for individual solutions or groups of solutions. Descriptions of thematic blocks / solutions, which are related with tools placed in this thematic block are available at website indicated in row no 7.
7. Detailed information on the particular solutions 

NSI website (www.kiw-pokl.org.pl) includes among others (in Polish only):

  • Electronic version of the descriptions of the thematic blocks with lists of the solutions attached, available in the tab "Dissemination and mainstreaming"
  • Detailed information on the specific solutions available in the tab "Projects & Products" - "HCOP" - "Browser for projects and products."
8.  I want to use the solution – what I should do? Positive vivificated tools are provided free of charge to all interested by the project implementers, funders project, as well as the National Supporting Institution. Solutions ready for implementation are available on the website www.kiw-pokl.org.pl. Information on. Solutions that are in the process of developing are available at the entities implementing projects.
 

For more information on thematic block contact Paulina Chodyra, Coordinator of the National Thematic Network in the area of Employment and Social Inclusion, National Supporting Institution – Center of European Projects e-mail: paulina.chodyra@cpe.gov.pl

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