Advocacy & Policy Timeline
UAFA has achieved successful collaboration and partnership with the Government of Azerbaijan because of the strength of our programs, and the depth of our experience and knowledge.
UAFA has been advising on legislation and policy reforms since 2001. Achievements include the following:
2014 – successfully advocated for the approval of community-based pre-school model by the Ministry of Education; this is currently running in 17 villages and we expect to expand to more than 50 villages in 2015 in partnership with the Ministry of Education
May 2013 –Produced policy paper entitled ‘Education Reform & Prevention of Vulnerability’ at Ministry of Education supported conference. Subsequently directly advised Minister of Education on necessary reforms needed to improve progress of State Programme on De-Institutionalization and Alternative Care Services.
2011 – 2014: initiating new reforms at request of Ministry of Finance and subsequent advisory support to Ministry of Labour & Social Protection to introduce social contracting of NGO service providers, including the development of:
- Service Specifications
- Licensing standards
- Standards for Community-Based Rehabilitation Services
- Performance Evaluation mechanisms through Peer Group Review, clinical audit, external evaluation
- Minimum Standards of Residential Care for Children with Disabilities
- Definitions of social worker/social assistant as part of World Bank Social Protection project
This reform has led to the development of a number of alternative services to institutionalization of children, including community-based rehabilitation centres, day-care centres and other individual services for children.
2011 – January 2013 – initiator and member of local team which has developed first Clinical Protocols for Detection of Children with Disabilities, approved and distributed nationwide by Ministry of Health.
These protocols are the first step in developing Early Intervention services for children with disabilities and developmental delays. Gwen Burchell and UAFA staff have since been liaising with the Public Health Reforms Department and Ministry of Health in their subsequent development of Early Intervention strategy, convened by UNICEF.
Since 2001, Gwen Burchell and UAFA staff have worked closely with the Social Policy Commission of the Parliament of Azerbaijan to support modernization of legislation. Gwen Burchell became the first NGO representative to talk at a full Parliamentary session, and later at the special Parliamentary meeting on Child Protection , in 2012.
- Law on Education of Children with Disabilities (2001)
- Family Code (governing all child & family legislation) (2007 onwards)
- Law on Special Social Services (2012)
- Law on Disability (current)