Disabled People in Remote Areas

Võrumaa county is the less populated area of Estonia with 34.000 inhabitants having mostly remote village areas. Running traditional social services seemed to be hardly sustainable in the region due to the law level of social expenditures in Estonia and lack of efficient resources. New methods are needed to mobilize community resources strengthening the participation of citizens.

Organizing three social hackathon events in Võrumaa county of Estonia in order to pilot an innovative method for co-creation of social services. The method of hackathon as a development event is well know from the IT sector, in Estonia we try to extend this multidisciplinary innovation approach to the welfare system, too.

Three social hackathon events: first one in October 2018, second one in April 2019 and third one in October 2019. Including the preparation and follow up phases the pilot will last 18 months.

Geographic area and target groups:
Our target group is vulnerable people (people with disabilities, mental health problems and elderly people) but our approach embraces problems at the level of local communities instead of clinical or welfare categories. We work with small communities and their initiatives targeting vulnerable people in an integrated way.

The core element of the method of social hackathons is about the involvement of different stakeholders. We identify core problems in the region connected to people’s life, and all stakeholders are invited to participate with their ideas or resources to find solutions. Typica stakeholders are local governments, social service providers, user groups but also entrepreneurs, community leaders and fellow citizens.

Pilot actions:
The social hackathon event is an intense 48 hours development event where idea-holders are pitching their ideas and the gathered stakeholders, experts and other participants join the most promising ideas to develop it further to a prototype or a to a to-be-implemented concept. Mentors are supporting teams and best ideas will be awarded. All ideas will be followed up and supported to scale up to a sustainable level.

Expected results:
Minimum one idea survives and manages to be implemented after each hackathon event.
Ideas contribute to social inclusion of vulnerable people in the region on the level of local communities.
The method of social hackathon will be mainstreamed in the region.

CoSIE partners involved:
Tallinn University
Association of Municipalities of Võru County

Contact: Zsolt Bugarszki, zsolt.bugarszki@tlu.ee