Implementation and perception of national projects concerning social matters: “So that people can feel taken care of”

The participants in the discussion “Priority social projects in Russia: how to make them more effective and positively perceived by the population” at the XI Gaidar Forum discussed the implementation of national projects in the social sphere, their impact on public opinion and possible development vectors.

The session was opened by Kirill Rodin, Director for Government Relations, Russian Public Opinion Research Center, presenting the results of a survey conducted by the center. According to the words of Kirill Rodin, only one third of Russians know what national projects are and why they are needed. The most well-known projects are projects in the field of education and healthcare.

Confirming that “all priority national projects are social,” Sofya Malyavina, Director General, National Priorities ANO, spoke about the implementation of a number of federal programs, including those aimed at vocational guidance for people of pre-retirement age who, thanks to these programs, were able to get a new profession.

Mikhail Alashkevich, Senior Vice-President, VEB.RF, presented a report on the implementation of social impact projects with the participation of the State Development Corporation. Social impact projects are funded from the private sector until their full implementation, “and at the end the state decides whether to buy the achieved social effect or not,” the expert recalled. “Do we need to ensure that people feel that many trillions of rubles have been spent, or that they are being taken care of? The trick is not to confuse these two focuses and learn to speak the same language with people,” Mikhail Alashkevich summarized his speech.

The problems of financing of priority social projects in the regions were voiced by Natalia Akindinova, Director of the Development Center of National Research University Higher School of Economics. “A part of transfers is not distributed transparently enough, it is distributed not on the basis of calculated formulas, but on the basis of applications and agreements with regions. Most often, this is the matter of subjective decisions, in particular, capital investments in the framework of the Healthcare project. We do not have a unified approach on how to properly distribute money, taking into account the needs of the region and to achieve the necessary effects,” said Natalia Akindinova.

Leonid Grigoryev, Chief Adviser to the Head, Analytical Center of Government of the Russian Federation, linked the low interest of the population in national projects with the society’s tiredness from the number of reforms. He added that “national projects must resolve issues that are not resolved at the regulatory level.”

“The best advertisement of national projects is a “success story” that can be seen, touched and felt. Such stories need to be accumulated as they cultivate an image of national projects. We have a contradiction between “supply” and “demand”, said Boris Makarenko, President, Center for Political Technologies. The supplyhas a modernist-technocratic nature and the demand is pragmatic and basic. “In society, there is still a strong inertia of archaic attitudes about what an ideal school, hospital, and clinic should be like.” According to the expert, the best executors of national projects related to education and healthcare should be teachers and doctors: “You can make them your allies by relieving them from multi-ton reporting.”

The 11th Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade” is being held at the Presidential Academy on January 15 and 16, 2020. The forum is focused on the goals of national and global development and the search for practical answers to the most pressing challenges of our time. The forum is attended by ministers of the Government of the Russian Federation, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, prominent international experts, and representatives of foreign states.

The organizers of the 11th Gaidar Forum are the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia.

The title partners of the Gaidar Forum are PJSC Gazprom and JSC Gazprombank. The strategic partners are Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group of companies, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis group of companies, MSD, AKIG group of companies, EF Education First. Partners are Prosveshchenie group of companies, EY, Huawei, RVC JSC, Russian Agricultural Bank JSC.

The title information partners of the Gaidar Forum are the Russia-24 TV channel, TASS, RBC, Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest Foresight magazine, Federal Press Agency. The main information partners are, Gazeta.Ru, Lenta.Ru,, Profile. International partners are RT, ThomsonReuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency. Information partners are Snob media project, AEI PRIME, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta,, Ekho Moskvy radio station, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU information and analytical agency, Davydov.Index, Strategiya magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.