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  • Author: Wayne Vroman, Vera Brusentsev
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Nearly twenty years have passed since the transition from a centrally-planned towards a market-oriented economy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (CEE-FSU). This paper documents the differing patterns of unemployment during the period 1990 to 2006 in the 28 countries that constitute the CEE-FS U group and outlines how unemployment protection programs developed in response. We also suggest some tentative explanations for the observed trends in unemployment and unemployment compensation. Our approach is novel in that we compare the performance of the CEE-FSU group to the worldwide average and to other major economies. In addition, we demonstrate important contrasts across the CEE-FSU sub-regions.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, L. Jerome Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A hallmark of the administration of social assistance under the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR was the universal nature of eligibility for benefits, either to all citizens or to categories of deserving citizens, e.g., the physically handicapped. During the transition period since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has taken limited steps to improve the targeting of benefits. The challenge to improvement is acute because the administration of the great majority of programs rests with agencies of local government. The question addressed here is how amenable local program administration is to improved targeting and more progressive program administration in general. Presented is an analysis of the results of assessments of two pilot programs implemented in two Russian cities in 2000–2001. The “school lunch pilot” introduced means testing in the school lunch program on a citywide basis; eligible families receive cash payments and all children pay the same price for their lunches in cash. The “jobs pilot” is a new, local means-tested program that provides cash support to families while unemployed workers search for work; continued receipt of funds is conditional on a minimum job search effort. We find that both programs were successfully implemented and that there was little resistance to the sharper targeting. On the other hand, a variety of problems with program administration were identified—problems that need to be addressed if program integrity and credibility are to be maintained.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Kirill Chagin
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: In the Russian Federation the delivery of social services to deserving population groups is mostly the responsibility of municipalities and other local governments. Services are delivered by municipal agencies. One way to inject competition into the delivery system is for local government to hold competitions to contract for social service delivery. The competitions can be open to nonprofit organizations (NPOs), some of which have been providing assistance in recent years to needy individuals and families similar to those that would be contracted.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Alison Evans Cuellar, Jane Tilly, Joshua M. Wiener
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A major innovation in long-term care for elderly persons in the United States and Europe is the development of consumer-directed home care. These governmental programs give consumers, rather than home care agencies, control over who provides services and how these services are delivered. Typically, consumer-directed programs allow the consumer to hire, train, supervise, and fire the home care worker. In some programs, beneficiaries receive cash payments enabling them to purchase the services they want. In contrast, traditional home care programs rely on public or private agencies to supply and supervise the workers who serve program beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Burton Richman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Competent administration is fundamental to successful reform of social assistance programs in transition economies. Only with such administration is there assurance that benefits are being delivered as intended in enabling legislation. Moreover, the perceived efficiency and fairness of administration influences the public's views of the new programs. In the Russian Federation local governments have primary responsibility for the administration of social assistance programs enacted by all levels of government
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Raymond Struyk, Sharon Cooley
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Small cities and towns are rapidly being recognized as key actors on the road to sustained economic development in the countries of Eastern Europe. Whether they are able to execute this central role will depend on their being able to undertake essential investments—which in turn requires the availability of finance and the strengthening of local administrative capacity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe