Evaluation of the Social Inclusion Policy Aimed at Reducing Long-Term Unemployment

Project’s description:

The project addresses the issue of unemployment in Slovakia with a special focus on long-term unemployment, exploring its ethnic aspects and regional disparities. Besides, the project evaluates the effectiveness of the recently implemented reform of the social assistance system and active labour market policies aimed at reducing (long-term) unemployment and increasing employability. The project has an ambition to contribute to development of policy analysis by providing a comprehensive analysis based on data on long-term unemployment as well as qualitative research and analysis of the labour market in Slovakia. Last but not least, the project outlines new measures and suggests adjustments to currently implemented measures in order to increase effectiveness of the process of including disadvantaged population groups into the labour market.

In spite of general decrease of unemployment rate, in some regions of Slovakia it remains unchanged, which is a reason why the process of restructuring the system of social assistance deserves a more detailed analysis and discussion – with a special emphasis on ethnic and regional aspects. The project aims to examine the basic idea of restructuring the system of social assistance and active labour market policies, mostly because Slovakia continues to lack a similar reflection and evaluation.

Data on unemployment in
Slovakia in 2005:

  • Registered unemployment rate (as of December 31, 2005) – 12,9 %
  • Unemployment rate by labour force survey – 16,6 %
  • Share of long-term unemployed – 51,2 %
  • Vast regional disparities in general unemployment as well as in share of long term unemployed - the highest concentration of long-term unemployed can be found in the Košice region (58 % of all unemployed), Banská Bystrica region (57 %) and Prešov region (56 %)
  • Recent trend: declining overall unemployment rate with an increasing share of long-term unemployed

Aims and objectives:

The project’s basic purpose is to evaluate the impact of labour market policies aimed at increasing employability and reducing (long-term) unemployment in Slovakia. Its specific objectives examine the following issues:

  • What are the main tools of the active labour market policy?
  • How have they been implemented?
  • Are there any correlations between positive or negative developments in this area and the recently carried out reform of the system of social assistance and labour market policy?
  • Judging from the collected data, have the adopted measures initiated a process of including long-term unemployed individuals (particularly the Roma minority) into the labour market?
  • What are the good and bad practices and what factors count?


Within the project we applied two methodological approaches:

  1. analysis of available statistical data, key policy documents and legislation, as well as secondary analysis of sociological surveys with focus on social situation, social exclusion, poverty and alike.
  2. qualitative in-depth interviews in the regions of Slovakia with 4 groups of respondents:

A/ representatives of Labour Offices (ÚPSVaR)
B/ representatives of local self-governments (town or community level) and local schools
C/ nongovernmental organizations and community centers
D/ target group – unemployed (participating or not participating in the active labor market policies).

Fieldwork was conducted in selected districts (okresy), resp. broader districts:

1.Humenné (+Snina)
2. Spišská Nová Ves (+Gelnica)
3. Detva
4. Rimavská Sobota
5. Námestovo
6. Nové mesto n/Váhom.

In districts selection we applied following criteria:

1. Regional differentiations of unemployment, long-term unemployment and its trends,
2. concentration of Roma population in regions of Slovakia (according to the Atlas of Roma communities in Slovakia, 2004)
3. typology of Slovak districts according to the project Podoby regionálnych odlišností na Slovensku (Features of Regional Differences in Slovakia), SAV, 2005 (three districts in our sample represent regional types of the Slovak nation wide typology).

In addition to the districts´ main towns the survey was carried out in several communities/villages. In selection we take into consideration – contrast examples (different case studies) from the perspective of unemployment, share of Roma population(segregated communities), factors like – investments, activities of the mayor, size and position of the village in the local context, ESF project etc. 

All in all 148 semi-structured interviews were conducted during June – August 2006.

Activities and outputs:

  • A secondary analysis of available data on unemployment, examining the phenomenon of unemployment, its aspects and breakdown by regions, districts, municipalities, age-groups, qualification and so on.
  • A comprehensive survey applying qualitative and quantitative approach carried out in six selected districts of Slovakia – namely Detva, Humenné, Námestovo, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Rimavská Sobota and Spišská Nová Ves – includes in-depth interviews with a great variety of actors like representatives of Labour Offices (UPSVaR), social workers, community centres workers, local authorities, and the representatives of target groups.
  • Identifying and analyzing the determinants and limitations of good and bad practices in the field of social policy and tools aimed at reducing long-term unemployment with special focus on regional disparities.
  • Disseminating conference introducing the results to the experts, politicians, practitioners, NGOs community, the media and the general public and initiating a public debate on social inclusion. 
  • Final report that will sum up the basic findings in the broader context of social inclusion and outline the policy recommendations.

The project team:

PhDr. Oľga Gyarfášová, Ph.D., Project Coordinator
Institute for Public Affairs, Bratislava

Mgr. Gizela Brutovská
University of Prešov, Prešov

Mgr. Jarmila Filadelfiová
Institute for Public Affairs, Bratislava

Mgr. Martina Sekulová
Institute for Public Affairs, Bratislava

Foreign Consultants

Dr. Róbert Gál
TÁRKI - The Social Research Center, Budapest

Prof. Tomáš Sirovátka
Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno

further information, please contact:

Institute for Public Affairs
Baštová 5
811 03 Bratislava

Tel.:  +421 2 54 43 40 30
Fax.: +421 2 54 43 40 41
e-mail: ipa@ivo.sk

The Evaluation project has received funding from the Community Action Programme to Combat Social Exclusion 2002-2006 of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities - European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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