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On June 19-20, 2018, over 20 researchers from the Institute for Social Policy, HSE, took part in the training workshop “Analytical tools for poverty reduction programs and social policy objectives in the Russian Federation”

Lilia Ovcharova, Director of the Institute for Social Policy, HSE, and Aleksandra Posarac, Lead Economist at the World Bank, opened the workshop conducted by Ruslan Yemtsov, Lead Economist and Team Leader for Social Safety Nets in the World Bank Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, conducted the workshop with the unevaluable help of Maria Nagernyak, Coordinator of social protection projects in Russia of the World Bank.

The new objectives to reduce poverty and to promote the welfare of the Russian population set higher requirements for the analytical tools of assessing the results of the social policy as a whole and the organization of the social support and service in particular. The new requirements demand to redefine existing paradigms and approaches to the social policy analysis and to implement up-to-date methods of social policy’s quality assessments. To achieve a leading edge level of program performance evaluation, we need to advance the analytical tools and enhance the knowledge and the competences of the analysts who provide objective result assessment and develop guidelines for the progress of the reforms. Among other goals should be a gradual revision of the legislative and methodological framework of providing social support to those in need.

During the workshop, the participants learned about the latest research methods and tools to evaluate social policy, found out about new ways of working with the international databases and carrying out benchmarking analyses, and discussed analytical assessment methods of poverty reduction policies. The workshop also presented the lessons learned from the attempts to improve the social support system aimed at reducing the risk of poverty and improving the welfare. Through the discussions and practical trainings, the experts of the World Bank and the Higher School of the Economics exchanged their experience of carrying out research programs, the data collection and analysis, and modeling social programs’ adaptation scenarios. They also covered the subject of organizing educational activities dedicated to various social policy issues such as prosperity promotion, improvement of the living conditions and enhancing health, longevity, and education. During the open debates, the workshop participants inspected their approaches to the analytical support of the decision-making process by analyzing the cases from the experience of several countries. The participants also shared their ideas on disseminating progressive approaches of social policy performance evaluation.