1. Why aren’t there enough organizations providing services for persons with disabilities?
It is necessary to increase the number of the service providers including:
- Support for development of the network through the appearance of new service providers in the small towns and other build-up areas;
- Lobby and attract more participants in the network.
2. Do service providers for persons with disabilities have enough resources for quality work in Bulgaria?
It is needed to provide more material and human resources to the service providers through:
- Lobbying before the state and local authorities to ensure opportunities through local funding
- Lobbying before the state and local authorities to improve the level of salaries and labor conditions in this field
- Development of projects to provide material and technical conditions
- Realization of complementary actions by the providers themselves in terms to generate own income
3. How is the national network going to support service providers for persons with disabilities?
- Through trainings
- By creating a helpdesk
- By providing information and consultancy
- By providing logistic support, possibilities for European and national partnerships and exchange of good practices.
4. What would the input of the national and international partnership of the network be?
- It will create work mechanism between state and local authorities and service providers:
- Development of working national standards for funding and ensuring different services
- Increasing and ensuring sustainability in state funding in state funding of social services
- Popularization of existing experience and strong expansion of the local funding for social services
- To ensure equal treatment of all kinds of service providers
- To create mechanisms for public-private partnerships
- Implementing a model for public quality control of the services
- To ensure partnership with the organizations of persons with disabilities:
- To realize studies and researches for defining the needs of persons with disabilities
- To develop methodologies in order to define the individual needs and plans for individual work
- Development of quality standards of the services
- Partnership with public institutions, organizations, corporations and employers
- Te realize common projects and activities in terms of engaging wide range of public subjects for ensuring conditions and support for persons with disabilities
- Motivating empathy and involving socially significant engagements for subjects out of the social filed
- Implementation of national campaign for a change in the positive development of the public attitude:
- To realize partnership with national and local media
- Partnership with educational and cultural institutions
- Realization of partnership with other public organizations
5. What is NASO?
The National Alliance for Social Responsibility /NASO/ is a non-profit legal entity realizing public benefit activities and it is registered as a voluntary, independent and nongovernmental organization under the Non-Profit Legal Entities Act.
The establishment of the organization was preceded and conditioned by 10 years of highly successful and beneficial experience of the founders gained from the implementation of significant and innovative projects in the field of social services, social entrepreneurship, socially responsible business, employment, and culture, as well as through their active involvement in the activities of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities /EASPD/, and fruitful partnership with regional and state authorities.
The National Alliance for Social Responsibility represents the National Network of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities which is part of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities.
6. When NASO was created?
Before the creation of NASO there was 3 years informal existence and actions for the development of capacity of the service providers for people with disabilities in Bulgaria of the National network of service providers for persons with disabilities. During that time were organized the first three forums of the service providers for persons with disabilities.
The creation of the informal network has been finished in 2007 on the First forum. The official creation of NASO has happened in June 2009.
7. What is the mission of NASO?
The mission of the organization is to combine, motivate and support the possibilities and efforts of profit and non-profit legal entities, municipalities, municipal and regional bodies and organizations by providing national and international partnership and participation in the establishment and implementation of socially responsible behavior, policies and activities in support of different social communities for a better quality of life and accelerated social development of Bulgaria.
8. What are the main aims of NASO?
- Providing conditions for support and development of service providers and employers of people with disabilities and other social groups and increasing their contribution to improving social inclusion and the quality of life of the population.
- Improving the conditions for operating a successful business and support for development of socially responsible corporations to increase their contribution to the social development of Bulgaria in accordance with the ethical, legal and social expectations of society through fair policy regarding payment, insurance, education, improving working conditions for employees and realizing support through donations, sponsorships, and other partnerships.
- Motivating and encouraging municipalities, municipal and regional bodies and other institutions to create a socially responsible environment and policies on implementation of local and regional socially responsible initiatives and activities for social support and justice, social partnership and positive social development to improve living conditions.
- Inclusion of organizations and institutions working in the field of arts and culture for implementation of socially significant activities, initiatives and projects forming adequate social attitudes, activities, positiveness and socially responsible behavior contributing to the social development of society.
9. Is there an accepted plan for the development of NASO?
- Expanding the organization’s membership, capacity and influence on state and regional policies on partnerships with service providers and socially responsible entities for providing quality services for persons with disabilities and ensuring their independent living.
- Providing information and expertise, and promoting and stimulating the development of innovative experiences and practices from home and abroad.
- Providing conditions for national and international partnership.
- Support and development of cultural, spiritual and socially responsible activities.
- Increasing social involvement of the municipalities in Bulgaria aiming at changing mentality and lifestyle.
- Developing a network of regional offices with the support of the members of the organization.
- Implementing annual, thematic and regional forums.
- Implementing national, regional and local projects.
- International activity for adoption of foreign experience, formation of European policies and development of partnerships in the Black Sea and Balkan regions.
- Participation and active influence on the process of establishing a market for social services in Bulgaria.
- Involvement in the process of decentralization and deinstitutionalization of services.
- Involvement in the formation and implementation of new local and national disability policies.
- Expanding the number and scope of socially involved actors in Bulgaria and development of corporate social responsibility.
- Participation in national, consultative, expert and professional councils, organizations, and others.
10. Who can be member of NASO?
Members of the Alliance could be Bulgarian and foreign profit and non-profit legal entities, municipalities, regional and municipal institutions which accept the Statutes and cooperate in the implementation of the organization’s objectives and activities:
- To be a national umbrella organization of disability sector organizations and other social groups and to work in national partnership with disabled people's organizations, the government and municipalities.
- To involve a maximum number of corporations which are willing and able to assume social engagements for their employees, their city and society as a whole, and make them sympathetic to striving for a better quality of life for everyone.
- To combine and support the efforts and possibilities of municipalities and other entities in fulfillment of one of their main missions to create favorable conditions for business, job openings, implementing social engagements and services and achieving a better quality of life in various communities.
11. What are the advantages of the membership in NASO?
- Participation in the activities of a leading national organization;
- National and European partnerships;
- Lobbying opportunities at European, national and local level;
- Information and partnerships for implementation of projects and activities;
- Support and popularization of activities;
- Membership and participation in the organizations of which NASO is a member:
- The European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities /EASPD/
- The European Coalition for Community Living /ECCL/
- The National Council for Integration of Persons with Disabilities
12. What are the needed documents for membership in NASO?
Every legal entity that wants to be a member applies with the Board of Managers by submitting the following documents:
- A membership form
- A copy of the certificate of actual status of the legal body
- A short presentation on the organization’s activity.
The documents shall be reviewed by the board and it dicedes if the membership is approved.
13. How many are the members of NASO?
In December 2010, NASO has 383 members from all parts of Bulgaria.
14. What is the structure of NASO?
NASO organizes its activities by its own members located throughout the country:
- Organizations of service providers for people with disabilities and other social groups.
- Socially responsible corporations observing and contributing to the principles, standards and requirements for development of the corporate social responsibility.
- Municipalities and entities involved in an active implementation of innovative social practices and solutions in support of different social groups and improvement in living conditions in municipalities and regions.
- Art and culture organizations delivering positive and socially significant messages, activities, projects and products.
15. How to change public attitudes towards people with disabilities?
This is a fundamental issue for effective work in the sector, which requires much time, resources and effort. NASO directs its efforts mainly to support capacity development of service providers so services could be realized with the participation of disabled people themselves and their organizations by encouraging and promoting opportunities for people with disabilities to develop and make significant their achievements. A milestone in the work of the NASO is striving to be involved in this process local authorities and the corporate sector, forming policies and creating resources that can be very useful in the developing sector.
NASO has been committed to participate in various national advisory units and to formulate proposals to the state and national authorities to make and modify policies, to create new services for development of different types of employment integration of disabled people in society.
16. How can best practices in Bulgaria be preserved from destroying after finishing a successful project?
It is very important after finishing a successful project the best outcomes to be promoted and used in further work on service for people with disabilities. A national organization as NASO incorporating all stakeholders is the right tool for the collection, preservation and dissemination of good national and European practices and products of successful projects. NASO takes up the challenge to be the leading organization in Bulgaria that brings together stakeholders and provides the necessary support, information, knowledge and experience to spread good European and national practices.
18. What is the percentage of services that are implemented by NGOs in Bulgaria?
The development of this process varies in different municipalities; it depends entirely on the attitude of local authorities to the matter. At an average rate for the realization of services in Europe over 90%. In Bulgaria there is no precise statistics, but the average rate is about 15-20%. Most funds for implementation of services from the local municipal budget are allocated by the Metropolitan Municipality, and Municipality of Varna has the highest percentage of funds, about 90%, assigned for implementation of services in NGOs sector. Because of this, these two municipalities were given NASO’s prestigious awards in 2010.
19. Are measures being planned to launch supported employment?
This question was asked by participants in the Fourth and Fifth National Forum of service providers for people with disabilities held in April in Sofia, and in June in Varna. Representatives of national authorities in the face of Ministry of Labour and Social Policy confirmed that serious measures are planned for the launch of supported employment in the country.
20. NGOs do not have their own resources; they have resources only for additional financing of projects from EU funds. Can the advance payment be increased, which currently is 20%?
The possibility of increasing the advance payment is discussed. Currently there is a fund created only for municipalities. Possibility is sought for organizations to pour funds from a project to another one. With regard to the funding rules it is need for the cost to be planned very accurately and according to the requirements. They are determined by the EC.
21. WORKING COMMITTEES
COMMITTEE FOR POLITICAL INFLUENCE
- Responsible: Georgi Georgiev, President of NASO Board
- Key Functions: Partnership with European, state and local authorities and structures.
COMMITTEE FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Responsible: Georgi Filipov
- Key Functions: Development of corporate social responsibility.
COMMITTEE FOR EMPLOYMENT
- Responsible: Elka Todorova
- Key Functions: Development of employment for persons with disabilities.
COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
- Responsible: Svetla Grigorova
- Key Functions: Development of social services.
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND WORKING WITH CHILDREN
- Responsible: Nadezhda Yulzari
- Key Functions: Development of child services.
COMMITTEE ON QUALITY OF SERVICE
- Responsible: Ivanka Kazakova
- Key Functions: Working with the users, development of systems and standarts for quality and control.
COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL STAFF SUPPORT
- Responsible: Ivanka Kazakova
- Key Functions: Qualification and staff development. Development of standarts and norms for professional work.
24. What happens to those who wish to live alone?
This is under discussion in Belgium. Psychiatrists and doctors are trying to help. There is a difference between what they can do and what they are able to do. Most importantly for a person with mental disabilities living in a protected home is to know when he/she needs help and where he/she could find it.
25. Which is preferable - the client (user) to pay 100% of a service or the government to fund 100% of a service?
A balanced approach is needed - if the funding is from the government it has to be tied to certain conditions.
A key issue is to enable disabled people to work in order to ensure funding of the activities of service providers.
26. How is the provision of services for adults who are not disabled but are in need of services organized?
There are centres for home care and other options depending on a person's needs. For example, rental housing, which is similar to services and housing, so-called service apartments.
Payment is depending on services that benefit. It is possible to encourage the elderly to be in a family environment.
27. At what age do people retire?
65 years. If a person has worked 40 years, he/she has access to a full pension. Currently the possibility is being discussed to retire at 67 years, but depending on service.
28. What is updating of the credit limit?
Currently it is being discussed, but there are many criteria, depending on how many hours a day person needs help, depending on his/her health and others.
29. Who controls the provision of personal budgets?
The government does, and if they are not used as intended, users must reimburse the funds. Regarding the integration addition, it includes 5 levels, and it is in favor of people with physical disabilities, but not for people with mental disabilities.