DevInfo Profiles Web Portal, which will be updated by the SORS twice a year, is an interactive tool available in Serbian and in English that enables insight and analysis of multiple and significant disparities. Data for each municipality/city are also presented in the form of municipal profiles: documents containing tables and graphs showing data on population, economy, employment, education, health care and social welfare, justice administration, traffic, and infrastructure.
“The database contains information that will allow us to monitor the progress of our municipality – economic development, progress in the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized children, relevance of actions undertaken for poverty reduction…” says Mr Dejan Simic, Head of the Office for Local Economic Development in the municipality of Medvedja. “It is very easy for use and access. We have already begun to use the indicators and data for the revision of the municipality’s strategy on sustainable development.”
The indicators in the municipal database have been selected through a consultative process that enabled representatives of municipalities/cities, line ministries, data producers, and users to come up to a consensus on what are the most needed data at the local level.
Ms. Ankica Zegarac Milenkovic of the municipal government in the south Serbian municipality of Surdulica says: “This database is extremely useful for all municipal governments. It enables us to compare the level of our municipality’s development with the other ones in the country. This will help us see which areas are lagging behind compared to others.”
Two staff members from the SORS and one from UNICEF visited 12 municipalities in South Serbia to demonstrate the municipal database and profiles, thereby training relevant individuals (workers from the municipal administration and public services, people responsible for local budgets, planning, economic and social development, representatives of NGOs…) on how to access and use them. According to Aleksandra Jovic, Social Policy Specialist at UNICEF Serbia, people are “particularly happy about the profiles’ user-friendliness and the fact that the database will be regularly updated without efforts from their side.”
Local media have also started using the database to underline local issues, such as number of juvenile offenders. In addition to this, information on the database and profiles was shared at the Annual Assembly of the National Association of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia in December and plans have been made for its further promotion as of January 2013.
A user manual in English explaining features of the profiles is available for download here. A list of national socio-economic databases for Serbia can also be accessed online.
Data making a difference.
For additional information, please contact Aleksandra Jovic, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Serbia, at email@example.com or SORS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org