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Mind the gap between the budget lines and the programs of the National strategy for poverty reduction

Petreski, Blagica and Petreska, Despina and Kostadinov, Aleksandar (2014): Mind the gap between the budget lines and the programs of the National strategy for poverty reduction.

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The objective of this study is to investigate the weak links in the processes for poverty reduction in Macedonia. We investigate the weak links between the budget lines and the poverty-reduction programs, involvement of vulnerable categories of people and researchers in the processes for poverty reduction. 27.1% of the Macedonian population lived below the poverty line in 2011. In order to reduce poverty, the National Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Social Exclusion has been introduced by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. The budget lines for passive measures account around 45% of the total Budget spending in contrast to active measures which took only 0.13% of all spending in 2013. We have used three different approaches: an analysis of the current strategic documents for poverty reduction, an interview with the people at social risk and a survey among the civil society and academic researchers in the country. The main result is that vulnerable categories of people face with lack of information about measures for poverty reduction, especially those with at most primary education. The citizens are not involved in the process of identifying potential problems of the vulnerable group and the process of construction measures for addressing the problems. Also, the Macedonian social system faces with absent process of monitoring of the spending of the funds and the effects of the used measure. Only 24% of the respondents were monitored regularly. At the same time, only 18% of the researchers were involved in the process of creating some strategic document for poverty reduction and only 9% made a social change or their recommendations have potential to be accepted by the policymakers and cause change.

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