More than 80 state programs are implemented in the sphere of social protection in Armenia, and there are many social services. Important information about them have been summed up in one unified online space, Esocial.am.
The longer and official name of Esocial is Integrated Social Services online information system. Here, citizens can choose to get information about factors which are applicable to them, or get acquainted with the social services available for them to use.
According to Arman Sargsyan, Director of the National Institute of Labor and Social Research at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the main goal of the system is to provide citizens with the most accurate and appropriate information about services.
“Talking about public legislative acts is no longer enough,” he says.
The system is also designed for visually impaired people. Using voice recognition, the visitor is able to freely search for information which interests them.
In addition to informational materials, innovation tools have also been introduced in the system. An example is a calculators, with which one can calculate, for example, their cumulative pension amount.
There are also tools which allow citizens to evaluate the complex of social services according to regional service centers, service providers etc.
A visitor, selecting their province and city, can see on a map the closest Community Center for Social Services to their place of residence and get acquainted with other information.
Visitors can also contact an online consultant.
Arman Sargsyan says that they have not promoted this system to the public yet, as it is in its pilot stage and is still incomplete.
The director of the institute attaches importance to the establishment of a social support network system, where network members can communicate. However, in order to create a network, it is crucial to map non-governmental organizations which provide social services.
“The government clearly realizes that it cannot work alone. There are about 1,300 NGOs, however there is no information about them collected in one place together,” says Armen Sargsyan.
After mapping, the visitor, in entering the system and adding some information about themselves, will be able to receive more specific information about paid and free of charge services available to them.
Esocial.am has become a reality thanks to the 3rd project of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). And improvements made to this online system, according to Armen Sargsyan, will probably be included in the 4th program of the OGP.