S&T Montenegro has successfully implemented the Social Welfare Information System (SWIS) in Montenegro. SWIS project is a backbone of the social welfare reform process as it enforces the social welfare reform by development of a more efficient, effective and just system of social protection and quality service for the poor and vulnerable.
The decision for the implementation of this solution was a natural evolutionary step on the path of modernization of the social welfare system in Montenegro. For the implementation partner S&T is selected, as a regional company whose team of consultants was able to answer all the complex requirements of creating and implementing such a system. Thanks to good project management, implementation of this project was successful, realized on time and within a budget. The project was supported by the Government of Montenegro and UNDP, its value was over one million euros, and a system maintains interoperability with 9 national institutions - all of which are indicators of its scope and importance.
The system “went live” in pilot centers in July 2014. By the end of December 2014 it was implemented in all centers for social work in Montenegro as well as in The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare of Montenegro. During the implementation of the system, a review of all active solutions for certain payments (about 40,000 cases) was conducted by using SWIS system.
Information system covers the entire business processes in the centers: case management, social transfers/application for benefits, processing, approval, monitoring and audit (approx. 70 million euro annually only for benefits), calculations, payments, new record-keeping system, improved supervision and management, reporting and -last but not least- the system produces real time data for evidence based policymaking. Further, through interoperability module social welfare center becomes ‘one-stop shop’ where all documents for social benefits eligibility determination are made available and the system generates so called e-social cards (property, social, work status) of individual/family social profiles. The system will have interoperability with 8 national institutions: The Pension Fund, Employment Office, Real Estate Agency, Revenue Office, Ministry of Interior (central registry of population and motor vehicles registry), Ministry of Education and the Veterinary Agency.
The system provides better insight into who are the beneficiaries, it filters out ineligible ones (reducing exclusion and inclusion errors), reduces the number of recipients of multiple benefits and it saves on administrative costs. These savings could provide fiscal room for extending the welfare coverage to a greater number of the truly needy. The beneficiaries and applicants for benefits will no longer experience time consuming difficulties and be exposed to expenses associated with collection of all the required documentation. On the other hand, social workers will be significantly relieved from the administrative burden and they will be able to dedicate more time to the ones in need for ‘soft’ measures.
The system also generates data about people found ineligible (and the reasons for ineligibility), as well as the patterns in incomes, social situation, geographical location and other socio-demographic characteristics of the applicants’ pool and beneficiaries caseload. These real time and evidence based data could provide highly valuable information for policy formulation, for monitoring implementation, and for assessing the social impact.