A meeting with founder and director of the Center for Social Development at the University of Washington, Professor Michael Sherraden, who visited our country at the invitation of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA), was held at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Vice-rector of ADA University Fariz Ismayilzadealso attended the meeting.
M. Sherraden is one of the well-known scientists in the world with his efficient scientific research on social development, as well as testing innovations and their impact on public policy. He is a leading scholar in asset building, with books including "Assets and the Poor", "Inclusion in the American Dream", Can the Poor Save? (with Mark Schreiner), and Asset Building and Low-Income Families. He is also engaged in research on civic service and engagement, with books including National Service, The Moral Equivalent of War, Productive Aging, and Civic Service Worldwide. M.Sherraden has advised heads of state and policy leaders in the United States and many other countries. In 2010, Time Magazine named him among the 100 most influential people in the world. He is also a professor of George Warren Brown University.
At the meeting, the minister of labour and social protection of population Salim Muslumov emphasized that the civic factor stands at the center of successful socio-economic policy of the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev, economic development processes in our country are accompanied by a strong social policy. The minister informed M. Sherraden about the complex measures carried out in the republic towards improvement of social wellbeing, strengthening of social protection of the population, development of human capital, implemented social programs, reforms conducted in the system of labour and social protection.
S.Muslumov noted that the factor of employment is in the foreground in Azerbaijan, by giving special attention to active measures in the policy of social protection. The minister said that the main goal is to enable low-income families to move from poverty to small family business. In our country, a self-employment program, which is being implemented at the state level, provides support for low-income families to create their own businesses in the form of assets. In the current year, 1232 low-income families have set up their small family business within this program, and their initial experience in this field is positive. About 40 percent of the financial resources generated by the unemployment insurance system to be launched next year will be directed to the expansion of this program and it is expected to involve low-income families in the self-employment program about five times more than in the current year. As a result, not only the low income families will be relieved of social assistance, but will also be able to become active tax and social payers in the future.
S.Muslumov noted that the meeting was also held with the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Mohammad Yunus, who visited our country last year, and noted that the exchange of views and consultations during such meetings was important in improving the social policy based on scientific approaches and expressed satisfaction with the organization of the meeting with M. Sherraden at the ministry.
M.Sherraden noted that the development processes he witnessed in Azerbaijan, the hospitality, high moral qualities of our people created a good impression on him. He noted that our country has a targeted social and economic development pace, a successful reform program, and highly appreciated the development of social protection policies in favor of active measures.
The meeting continued with the exchange of views on the reforms carried out in the fields of labour, employment and social protection in the country, the work carried out in the fields of increasing the employment opportunities of labour resources, the development of the inclusive labour market, supporting self-employment and access to business for vulnerable families, perspective development trends in these areas.