SOCIAL WELFARE INFORMATION SYSTEM (SWIS)
E-Social is the backbone of the national social protection system. The project supported the development of the new legislative framework, organisational/institutional and human capacities, ICT infrastructure, and the Information System (e-Social/SWIS) itself to ensure effective delivery of social protection.
E-Social is a sophisticated Information System for all social protection work processes that has been operational since January 2015. As of 2023, it includes the following functionalities and features:
Social cash transfers, including 19 types of social cash transfers and 11 types of war veteran cash transfers, through application processing, eligibility determination, approval, calculation, payments, audit, and monitoring. The System is responsible for over 200,000 individual payments to citizens monthly, totaling around 240 million euros annually, which is almost one-tenth of the State's budget. Social Welfare Centres became a ‘one-stop shop’ where eligibility for means-tested transfers can be determined on the same day when the application is submitted.
Case Management for Social Services, including guardianship, fostering, placement in institutions, domestic violence, counselling, parental rights supervision, etc.
Domestic violence database and various e-registers.
Sub-Information System (including e-health module) for social welfare residential institutions (homes for the elderly, a home for children without parental care, etc.).
Business Intelligence module (reporting, analysis, and statistics), which generates a valuable evidence database for M&E and policy development.
The overall goal of this capital project is structural reform of the social protection system for the benefit of the poor and vulnerable. So far, the project has allowed for the following:
Improved social public expenditure through better social cash transfers (minimising inclusion error and misuses). E-Social provides in-depth insight into the individual and family files and eliminates non-eligible applicants, in turn providing fiscal space for those genuinely in need but not covered by the social security schemes.
Improved access to cash transfers (one-stop shop) and quality social service—through the introduction of case management.
Improved, modernised public administration and reduction of administrative costs.
Social protection data.
Social welfare system credibility.
A brief overview of complex and comprehensive project key activities:
The Legislative Framework and Institutional Reform activities supported the development of the new Social Protection Law and key by-laws – standards, reorganisation, new ToRs in expanded network of Social Welfare Centres and most importantly, reengineering of the current work processes at Social Welfare Centres, have been introduced.
New e-Social functionalities and its continuous optimisation and maintenance to ensure maximised social protection benefits.
Investments in infrastructure: ICT infrastructure was provided at central and remote locations (35), along with equipping all the locations with hardware, servers, and long-term maintenance contracts both for applicative software and hardware.
Continuous capacity building: Over 100 workshops solely for the design and testing of e-Social/SWIS functionalities with Task Force teams (end-users) were organised. In addition to initial computer literacy and SWIS trainings, there were over 50 tailor-made training sessions and presentations. Users manuals along with a manual for the professional staff licencing process was developed, among other activities.
Implemented structural social welfare sector reform - for the better targeting and access to social cash transfers and services for the poor and vulnerable.
Capacities have been significantly improved, while the modus operandi of Social Welfare Centres is fully unified across the country, professional social welfare staff are relieved from administrative work. On the other hand, poor and vulnerable applicants no longer experience difficulties and expenses related to the collection of paperwork. For example, a four-member family applying for means-tested transfers previously needed to submit 36 papers from other institutions and resubmit them every six months. This is no longer the case, as the System automatically collects and reviews data periodically.
The IS generates various E-registers and a BI (Business Intelligence) module for reporting and evidence-based policy making, but it also serves for monitoring and improving the quality of work and staff performance.
- In experts' opinion, the E-Social is a sample project in terms of functionalities integration. It is also the best practice model for how to implement a substantial structural sector reform and an excellent example of citizen-oriented service delivery, as well as a powerful tool for monitoring and public expenditures savings.
- 2023 Survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare found that more than two-thirds (66.6%) of professionals from Social Welfare Centres believe that e-Social has improved the overall social and child protection in Montenegro, ensuring transparency and compliance with the laws and regulations, and it has minimised errors in their work. More than 80% of them are satisfied with ease of use of SWIS, indicating that it is designed with special care to facilitate and enhance the work of professionals in the centres. Even 90% the respondents believe that the System makes it easier to access data and information about each individual beneficiary. Over 68% of them trust that SWIS contribute to a better work quality, while 83.6% believe that it has ensured greater accountability in their work.
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