Kick-off and study trip Oulu
3-6 February 2020 the kick-off seminar of the joint project “Nordic and Russian NGOs rendering high-quality social services” and the study trip were organized in Oulu (Finland) to gather the project partners and NGOs from Finland, Russia and Norway to discuss experience of NGOs’ rendering social services to population in 3 countries. The organizer of Oulu activities was Society “Finland-Russia” in Oulu.
The participants of the study trip visited several Finnish NGOs to get acquainted with their experience of work in the community, including assessment of needs, development of services, funding, evaluation of quality of services and etc. The program included visits to such NGOs as “Save the children”, “The friends of youth”, Cancer society of North Finland, Finnish Red cross, Vuolle Setlementti. Most of Finnish NGOs have got a long history of rendering miscellaneous social services to the population, supported by the municipality, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organizations (STEA) and other grant resources. The NGOs succeed in identification of local needs in services which are not covered by the state, develop requested services and raise funding to deliver them.
The municipal authorities prefer to outsource social and public health services and often choose NGOs as suppliers of services rather than commercial organizations because the latter – are interested in getting profit first of all.
During the seminar in Oulu the participants exchanged information on the systems of social services delivery in 3 countries (Russia, Finland and Norway) and discussed further project activities. The study trip to Oulu will be followed by round tables and seminars in 3 countries to present the experience gained to other NGOs.