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39th NEWSLETTER  ON SOCIAL INCLUSION AND POVERTY REDUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Social Development Index of Towns and Municipalities

Author: Lidija Kuzmanov, Employment and Economic Development Coordinator, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia

We hereby present the updated issue of the Social Development Index of Towns and Municipalities. The Index is a composite one, enabling the comparison of achieved social development levels among towns and municipalities in the Republic of Serbia. The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit initiated the development of the methodology and application aiming to place such a tool at the disposal of all interested users, from decision-makers and policymakers, to independent researchers and analysts.

Changes have been made to the indicators included in the Index, introduced in order to make it stable and comparable throughout a longer period of time. The Index is now available for four years (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014).

The Social Development Index provides for the comparison of the quality of life by towns and municipalities, sortable under six areas: demographics, economic activity, education, social protection, healthcare, other indicators of quality of life and social participation. The Social Development Index also offers the option of comparison by year.

The Index covers the period from 2011 to 2014, and all towns and municipalities in the Republic of Serbia. It has a value of 1 to 100, with higher Index values indicating better living conditions in a given local self-government unit. It was produced by aggregating 32 indicators across six areas, with adjustments of the direction of action for individual indicators. In addition to the 32 indicators included in the Index, graphs can show three additional indicators (poverty rate in 2011, accessibility of public facilities and e-Government development index in 2014). These important social development factors are not available for all the years in the 2011-2014 period, therefore they were not used for calculating the overall Index.

The Social Development Index application was optimized for use across all modern browsers, as well as mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), independent of the operating system. The web application was optimized to work on even the slowest internet connections, making it accessible to the widest possible audience.

Click here to access the Social Development Index of Towns and Municipalities.

NEWS

ACTIVITIES OF THE SOCIAL INCLUSION UNIT


Call for Training Trainers in the Field of Project Planning in Education (Deadline: 7/11/2016)

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, started the initiative of creating trainings in the field of raising the capacities of educational institutions in Serbia for writing projects and utilizing potential sources of financing for improving the quality, equity and efficiency of work.

This phase of the initiative envisages the selection of trainers among educational workers and holding trainings to be further disseminated to representatives of education institutions/schools. Trainings will be held by the end of 2016.

Applications for training will be open until 7 November 2016. Any additional information can be obtained by e-mail dragana.malidzan@gov.rs.


Results of the Programme “Local Initiatives for Increasing Social Inclusion and Reducing Poverty”

The goal of the Programme was to contribute to improving social inclusion and poverty reduction in Serbia by providing support to the development and implementation of effective social inclusion policy measures at the national and local level. The programme consisted of 11 local initiatives across five thematic areas (education, employment, social protection, social housing and rural development), encompassing the territory of 21 local self-governments in three regions in Serbia: South and Eastern Serbia, Šumadija and Western Serbia and the region of Vojvodina.

The purpose of the Programme was support to the partnership of civil society organizations and local self-governments with the goal of formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating strategic and legal frameworks in areas of importance for social inclusion and poverty reduction and establishing cooperation with other relevant stakeholders from the public, private and civil sector, at the local and regional level.

The closing of the Programme “Local Initiatives for Increasing Social Inclusion and Reducing Poverty” was officially marked on 26 and 27 September 2016 in Kragujevac.

More information on the programme can be found in the brochure “Local Initiatives for Increasing Social Inclusion and Reducing Poverty”.


37th Belgrade Ignite “Get Involved No. 4” Held

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the association “Serbia in Motion” organised the 37th Belgrade Ignite called “Get Involved No. 4” dedicated to social inclusion. The event was held on October 25, 2016, at the premises of the Belgrade Impact Hub. For the fourth year in a row, the organisers traditionally celebrated the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and encouraged visitors and participants to fight for an inclusive society.

The visitors of the 37th Belgrade Ignite called “Get Involved No. 4” had the opportunity to hear dynamic five-minute presentations by: Renata Đorđević Sabadoš, woman entrepreneur from Zrenjanin; Nataša Danilović, activist; Jovanka Dimitrijević, volunteer and active aging advocate; Tanja Maletić, secondary school student;  Jelena Srnić Nerac from the Centre for Criminal Prevention and Post-Penal Assistance “Neostart”; Jelena Stupar, graphic designer and Serbian sign language advocate; Miloš Mitić, Paralympic athlete; Marija Cvejić, activist from the citizen association “Atina”, and Silvia Sinani from the Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beat (GRUBB) Foundation.

The Belgrade Ignite was officially closed with an exclusive performance of the GRUBB musical by its young ensemble; this musical is a result of the collaboration of young Roma and international artists.


The New Issue of the “Liceulice” Magazine Supported

On the occasion of the International day for Eradication of Poverty, the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia supported the publishing of the newest issue of the “Liceulice” magazine. This issue focuses on the status of young people who are the most at risk of social exclusion and poverty.

This publication has been funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation within the “Support to the Implementation of the Programme for Employment and Social Reform in the Republic of Serbia, with the focus on youth employment and employability.”

The visitors of the 37th Belgrade Ignite “Get Involved No. 4!” had the exclusive opportunity to buy the first copies of the newest issue of the “Liceulice” magazine.


Students from Šid, Svrljig, Užice, Niš and Belgrade Received the First Entrepreneurial Skill Pass

Serbia received its first owners of Entrepreneurial Skill Pass! This September, secondary school students from various parts of the country had the opportunity to take an exam and receive an international certificate which would confirm that they had acquired the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to be employed or self-employed. Among them, the most successful were the students from Šid, Svrljig, Užice, Niš and Belgrade. Apart from receiving the Entrepreneurial Skill Pass (ESP), they will have numerous advantages in their further education, and also when they decide to enter the business world or start their own business.

This pilot project was realised by the Junior Achievement Serbia organisation with the support of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and it included 242 students from 40 secondary schools who attended last year’s entrepreneurial education programme “Student Company.”

The Entrepreneurial Skill Pass is a joint initiative of the Junior Achievement Europe organisation and the European Commission, during the 2015/2016 school year it included over 14 thousand secondary school students from 22 European countries. The objective of this initiative is to demonstrate the influence that entrepreneurial learning has on the acquisition of skills and knowledge in young people.


Registration for Participation in the “New Technologies in Education 2017” Conference Extended (Deadline: 13/11/2016)

For the fourth year in a row, ‘New Technologies in Education 2017’ conference and fair will gather some of the best speakers who will present their experiences of using ICT at different levels of education with the aim to improve the quality of education in this part of the world through the use of information and communication technologies. The event will be held in Belexpocentar and premises of Holiday Inn hotel in Belgrade, from 9 to 11 February 2017.

Because of the large number of participant who didn’t have the time to apply, organisers have decided to prolong the application for presenters until 13 November 2016. If you work in education, IT or HR, we invite you to present your ideas about using Information and Communication Technologies at the ‘New Technologies in Education 2017’ show and share your examples and experiences in ICT with colleagues.

‘New Technologies in Education 2017’ show is organised in partnership with the British Embassy in Belgrade, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit (Serbian Government), Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Center for the Promotion of Science, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Skills company and other partners.

OPEN CALLS

Call for Proposals for the Improvement of Living Conditions of IDPs and Returnees in Serbia and Support to the Sustainable Return to Kosovo* (Deadline: 15/11/2016)
The Competition for the Tenth VIRTUS Philanthropy Award is Opened (Deadline: 17/11/2016)
The Competition for the Annual Corporate Volunteering Award (Deadline: 20/11/2016)
Call for “Brave Steps Forward in New Cultural Practices” Open (Deadline: 29/11/2016)
“Share your Knowledge – Become a Mentor” Competition Opened (Deadline: 30/11/2016)
Public Call for Awarding Self-Employment Grants (Deadline: 9/12/2016)
INTERREG Cross-Border Co-operation Programme Hungary-Serbia: Second Call for Proposals (Deadline: 31/1/2017)
You may follow the news on open calls regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/tenders

READ MORE...

Public Call for the Submission of Comments on the Preliminary List of the Priority Structural Reforms for the Economic Reform Programme (ERP) 2017-2019
Serbian National Representatives are on the Shortlist for the European Enterprise Promotion Award
Preševo Municipality is Organising a Public Debate before the Adoption of the Budget
2016 Social Impact Award Competition Winners Announced
Winners of the Competition for Social Innovation for Refugees and Migrant Integration
“Human Resource Management in the Local Self-Government” Training
Toward further development and sustainability of the civil society in Serbia
Appeal to the Citizens to Report Violence
You may follow the news on social inclusion and poverty reduction regularly at: socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/

SOCIAL INCLUSION BLOG

TANJA JOVANOVIĆ: Pick the Flowers from Your Own Garden!

(...) I had a lot of trust in my best friend, she knew all my insecurities and always supported and encouraged me. Whenever I doubted myself, she told me not to worry, that I am imagining it all and it’s all in my head. I remember the day it all changed.

The faculty organized a seminar we attended together. During lunch, she unexpectedly asked me if I would be with a boy of a different nationality. I was confused by her question. I did not understand why she was asking me this all of a sudden. I was uncomfortable and told her I do not know. I wanted the conversation to end as fast as possible. However, she kept talking: “I could not. And neither could you. You must face that. It is not without reason they say PICK THE FLOWERS FROM YOUR OWN GARDEN. And you should know that all people think like that, it’s not just me.”

We were silent until we got to our room, where we encountered our mutual friend. She noticed something was wrong and asked us what happened. I did not want it talked about or retold any more. My best friend told her everything and leaving the room, said through laughter: “I won’t have my child called little Gypsy in school!” What I remember well is that at that moment, the picture in my head was of my sister and her husband, brother and his girlfriend… I saw their children going to school one day, and was afraid someone would call them precisely that. (…)

When I was little, I thought I should PICK THE FLOWERS FROM MY OWN GARDEN and be with someone of the same nationality as me, thinking I could never be liked by someone who is not Roma. To an extent, this thought still follows me today. There is insecurity and fear in my mind. But insecurity and fear exist in other people, as well, coming from different situations and circumstances in life. One thing that can empower us all is the support of true friends. Regarding friendship, true friends can be found and had, regardless of the garden you come from.

The story was created as part of the activity “Living Library”, part of the project “Network of Friends of Inclusive Education” implemented by the Centre for Interactive Pedagogy and Open Society Foundation of Serbia.

The text in its entirety can be found on the Social Inclusion Blog.

Other texts by our bloggers can be found at: www.socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/blog/

SUCCESS STORY

Emotion – Key Note for the Choir from Jabuka

The choir “Zvuci u Jabuci” is composed of 20 residents of the “Srce” home for persons with intellectual disabilities, and 20 residents of the village Jabuka. During their five years and seven months under the leadership of teachers Olgica Ilić Mitevski and Ivan Karaklić they had several dozen performances. This year they will face their first international experience: in November they are to perform in Germany.

The long and heart-felt applause, like the one given by the audience for the ethno group “Vrelo” and their guest from Bosnia and Herzegovina Damir Imamović, a performer of traditional sevdalinka songs, was not a surprise for the members of the unique inclusive choir “Srce u Jabuci” when they performed in Pančevo at the 14th Ethno Music Festival “Etno kom”. They have been regular performers in various cultural events in this town, as well as the village of Jabuka, where five years and seven months ago – as Ivan Karaklić, teacher-sociologist and his colleague Olgica Ilić Mitevski, teacher-special educator, say very precisely and not without a hint of pride – they started implementing an idea that was hard to imagine up until that moment.

They gathered the residents of the Home, persons with intellectual disabilities and members of the local association of Macedonians “Ilinden” and started… singing. (…)

Everyone in the choir is an amateur-singer. The majority of the members who are residents of the village of Jabuka are pensioners. The residents of the Home are persons with multiple disabilities; none of them can read sheet music; many suffer from chronic illnesses; some of them cannot pronounce certain letters clearly; others do not know when it is Wednesday, so every day when they meet Olgica or Ivan in the hallway they ask if “today is choir practice”. However, the moment the first rhythms of percussion sound and Olgica waves her hand to mark the beginning, it is as if a melodious magic overwhelms all the choir members.

Nobody can remain indifferent to their performance of the “Rum, dum, dum” song, the evergreen tune of “As the Palms Wave their Fronds”, the extremely difficult Second Garland by Mokranjac, or spiritual songs like “I Sing for Thee”. (…)

Professionals may have objections to the harmony, note the occasional mistake in tonality, or disagree with the fact that the members of the choir are not positioned on stage according to the pitch of their voice.

– They stand so that they are happy with their friends by their side. We approach every performance the same, whether singing here, in the hall of the Home, or before a real audience. They also feel that we sing from our hearths, that the voices and tone are not just a product of our voices, but our emotions first and foremost. (...)

The text in its entirety can be read here.

More success stories can be found at socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs
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Government of the Republic of Serbia
Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit
Vlajkovićeva 10,11070 Beograd, Srbija

E-mail sipru@gov.rs
Phone +381 11 311 4605, +381 11 311 4798, +381 11 213 7915