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Reform Support

Strengthening the Disability System in Bulgaria

Funding Programme
Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP)
Year
2020
EU

Supporting reforms to strengthen labour markets, social protection systems and migration management

Through this project, the European Commission supported the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in enhancing its disability system, namely through:

  1. strengthening the individual comprehensive assessment of functioning and related administrative processes, and thus enhancing the lived experience of individuals with disabilities;
  2. developing a proposed institutional and governance structure for the new State Disability Agency.  

Context

Bulgaria is aiming to revise its disability system, in line with the provisions of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its “Persons with Disabilities Act” and “Personal Assistance Act”. The two acts foresee a number of measures that would improve the lives of people experiencing disabilities, including (i) a new model for individual needs assessment based on a comprehensive assessment of functioning and (ii) the establishment of a State Disability Agency.  The development of a holistic disability assessment system will maximise the wellbeing of persons experiencing disability and enhance their participation in the labour market. 

Support delivered

The project started in June 2020 and will end in December 2022. As provider for the project, the World Bank has concluded all project activities in November 2022. The outcomes of the project have been: 

  • Situational analysis of the methods and instruments currently in use for the assessment of the functioning and needs of people with disabilities; 
  • Pilot aimed at strengthening the assessment of functioning and needs of persons with disabilities; 
  • Recommendations for improving the disability assessment system based on the empirical evidence gathered through the pilot; 
  • Analysis of the governance structure and administrative processes of the current disability assessment framework. 
  • Development of the organisational and governance set-up for the establishment of a State Disability Agency. 

Results achieved

The project produced a well-preforming comprehensive assessment of functioning and needs of persons with disabilities. It carried out the implementation of a pilot programme based on which relevant data has been conducted on how to further reform the disability assessment system so that it maximises the wellbeing of persons experiencing disability. Finally, it put the basis for the organisational and governance set-up for a State Disability Agency that effectively coordinates and monitors disability policy in Bulgaria, which is now in place.

More about the project

You can find the final reports here: