The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office monitored the Strategy of Overcoming Consequences of Aging, and Social Protection of the Elderly, and its Action Plan for 2017-2021 approved by the RA Government’s protocol decision N 20 of 18 May 2017. Below we present the monitoring results. This is the second assessment of implementation of the policy related to ensuring the rights of the elderly.
Concept documents are essential in terms of ensuring the rights of the elderly, however, it is important to take into account that no matter how important and necessary they are as a component of policies, they cannot be effectively implemented without guaranteeing continuity of the adopted tactics.
The goal of the Strategy was “to create a favorable and healthy environment for the elderly, ensuring their dignified aging”. The Action Plan established 24 activities, their implementation terms, those responsible, funding sources, expected results.
With the purpose of making the assessment, we collected the relevant information from open sources, as well as information inquiries addressed to those in charge of carrying out the activities.
Our study results show that 21% of the Action Plan was implemented over 5 years.
The inconsistent approach of the state towards this sector is worrisome. For example, combining this Strategy and the Action Plan with the Programme for Improving Care Services provided to the elderly and Introducing and Developing Community Services and its Action Plan for 2021-2023, we can state that the need for changing approaches to the issue of the elderly persists. The new programme does not contain an analysis of the previous concept documents, assessment of their implementation, which is an important element of the policy success.
Issues were also identified with respect to proper cooperation between the agencies, proper collection of information, monitoring, as well as lack of accountability.
The activities taken over recent years by the main agency in charge of the sector, i.e., the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, to ensure the rights of the elderly and introduce community services were more spontaneous or related to the projects of non-governmental organizations or international organizations functioning in the community.
While one of the targets in the improvement of the sphere is the response to discriminatory attitude towards the elderly, initiatives deepening the discrimination continue to be brought onto the agenda.
Introduction of services in communities and their funding is also problematic.
Such initiatives do not stem from international standards of ensuring the rights of the elderly and become more of an ultimate goal instead of an activity aimed at improving the situation of the elderly.
Ensure continuity of the policy aimed at improving the rights and situation of the elderly, and consistency in implementing this policy;
Ensure cooperation between the relevant agencies of the sector;
Ensure proper collection and transfer of the data related to the sector;
Ensure proper oversight of the implementation of the activities and policies, i.e., their monitoring, periodic assessment, and raising public awareness about the results;
When developing policy documents related to the sphere, take into account international standards, strategic directions, and studies conducted by international organizations;
Better address the issue of ensuring access to health services, prevention of possible health problems;
Ensure equal opportunities for the elderly, taking into account the needs and demands of each of them;
Ensure modern mechanisms of long-term care in line with international standards;
Use sensitive, stigma-free lexicon․
Click here to read the full report. (in Armenian)