A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Partnerships Between the State and Society to Provide Social Guarantees
6 June 2019
There is a request in the society for meeting social needs

There is a request from the society. According to sociologists, over 90% of corporate employees in Russia believe that the social impact of company activities is way more important than the economic one — Ilya Torosov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

I would like to focus on the fact that things are more active than the state is ready for. That is why we need to expand the list of executive and socially useful services, as well as the scope of activities, as today we do have such a request — Natalia Komarova, Governor of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area–Yugra.

Today major federal structures cannot function without some social mission: it is requested by employees, by citizens, by the youth. Of course, when defining the purpose of an organization, we state it not only as making money and ensuring a dividend yield for our shareholders, but also as performing some social function, social mission; it is a challenge of our time — Anatoly Pechatnikov, Deputy President – Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.

The share of private sector in the Russian social sphere is growing

Those who say that we do not have private sector in this sphere exaggerate. In education, 3.5% of financing services are already provided by non-state, non-profit and even profit organizations. In healthcare this figure reaches 6.4%, and it is beyond compulsory health insurance. In social services it is 40% — Alexey Lavrov, Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation.

We are in the top six regions with the most developed public-private partnership. For example, in the social sphere we are implementing over thirty concession agreements. We also use other types of public-private and municipal-private partnership — Natalia Komarova, Governor of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area–Yugra.

Challenges of assessing the efficacy of expenditure in the social sphere

The main problem that we are facing is the target use of budget funds; making sure that they are spent in a right way — Ilya Torosov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Our experience shows that we can manipulate the results, demonstrate certain results based on which funds are allocated; but in reality the situation can be quite different — Andras Horvai, Country Director, Resident Representative for the Russian Federation, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank Group.

Underdevelopment of social investing mechanisms

This is a new thing even on the global level. First such projects were launched in 2010. <…> There are only 130–140 projects worth USD 450 million in the world — Ilya Torosov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The mechanism is brand new. It is not yet developed even on the global level. Technologies are just starting to emerge — Grigory Berezkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, ESN Group .

The first and the main impediment is that it is uncustomary. We are now surveying different businesses on their potential involvement in impact investing. The most important thing is the lack of experience. <…> Now we are at the early stages. It is still seen as something exotic — Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Refining technologies of public-private partnership in the social sphere

Yakutia will become the first region where the Social Impact Bond (SIB) project is actually implemented [social impact bond is a financial instrument that allows to attract private capital into the non-profit sector and ties the income to achievements in solving social problems, – Ed.]. <…> We have chosen a pilot district with 25 schools and 5,000 students. Over the course of the next three years together with our colleagues from the Higher School of Economics we are going to test all best practices and technologies and try to find the practices that were born here, in our soil, and let them grow. For this purpose, the Far East Development Fund is allocating funds for the period of three years, and in case there is social impact we, as a region, are willing to fully reimburse all expenses — Vladimir Solodov, Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The key element of SIB is that we transfer the risk of project implementation from the state to the business: we use private investments rather than budget funds, and we focus on the result that we are achieving. If the goal is achieved, the state compensates expenses and remunerations to investors — Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board – Member of the Management Board, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

There are social impact projects, those SIBs, that catalyse investments and participation in social projects — Ewa Konczal, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Manager, The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA).

I think that the future lies in SIBs, as well as direct and individual impact investing. <…> It is impossible to efficiently change the situation in the country exclusively with charity or business. What is going on now is one of the most important steps towards a new system of solving social problems — Evgenia Telitsyna, Executive Director, Reach for Change Foundation Supporting Social Initiatives for Children .

Creation of instruments for assessment of social projects effectiveness

The next thing is the assessment process. We need data and information in order to control the course of our actions. <…> The method of monitoring is another important thing — Andras Horvai, Country Director, Resident Representative for the Russian Federation, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank Group.

We should definitely create a toolkit for a more comprehensive research of the social impact. Not only the financial and quantitative method that now is the most transparent, easily applied and is convenient even for the regions — Natalia Pochinok, Rector, Russian State Social University.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS