Project details

Project name

Path Of Deinstitutionalisation – Urgent Moves (PODIUM)

Total EU fund

293 256 €

Project implementation period

from 01-09-2015 till 30-04-2018 (32 months)

The partner organizations implementing the project

  • Central Denmark Region (Denmark)
  • Asociația Alternativa Brincovenești (Romania)
  • CUDV Draga (Slovenia)
  • Mental Disability Rights Initiative Serbia (Serbia)
  • Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary)
  • FSZK Nonprofit Kft. (project coordinator from Hungary)


The background of the project is the Europe-wide highlighted deinstitutionalisation (DI) process. In several Western-European countries there is a considerable development in this field, but East-Central Europe is just about to start the process, with the involvement of EU funds. During the DI process resources were mainly used for the renovation of the environment and for the establishment of the housing services. It was in the last three years that the need for development aroused both from the professional and the human resource sides, strongly demanding a real change in the attitude and also a higher professional level. In order to reach this goal, as for the first step, the leaders and managers of the DI process should be made committed to the process.

PODIUM project’s aim is to support the realization of the DI process in an effective and long-term sustainable way.
The aim of DI is to reform social services, to terminate large (long-term) residential institutions and to switch to community-based services. As this process is a revolutionarily new approach in the institutional environment; the governing and executive persons in the process need to be qualified high, to have strong leader skills and to be fully committed to DI. In our project we search the highly qualified local experts and train them at a high level to become DI-managers who will be responsible for the implementation of DI process at a local level.

During the project a 5 country – international partnership will create a so called DI manager’s course (Deinstutitalisation-managers’ training) for the key professionals in the Deinstitutionalisation process.
DI managers are the persons, whose activity, either at local or at regional level will generate the DI process, inducing powerful changes both in the life of the organization and in the closely or loosely connected community. These professionals must have and apply skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and leadership, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurial skills at a high level. They also must have proficiency in accessing and analyzing information.

With the implementation of our project we are connecting to a European-levelled horizontal process by the development of Deinstutitalisation-managers’ training.

The development planned in this project is realized on the basis of the training concept for DI managers created by Czech-Hungarian (and English) participation –  Managing de-institutionalisation – new aim for VET in social services (LEONARDO programme). Its training concept will serve as a frame: a shorter training programme, which is not seem to be sufficient considering the pace of the development of the partner country in the DI process.
During the PODIUM Project a cooperation with five partner organizations we transform the structure into a core training program. On completion of this, based on the development rate of each participating country (Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia), the training program is adapted to each country’s characteristics. During this adaptation period, the Danish partner develops the “train the trainers” course, trains 6 trainers from each partner (30 trainers altogether) except the Danish partner. The train the trainer course will be held in Croatia.

Following the trainings’ development and the adaptation period, in each country (except in Denmark) a “pilot training” of 20 DI managers will be carried out (altogether 80 persons) in the form of an accredited adult training. A pilot-training for university students will also be carried out by (ELTE University, Hungary) in the form of a 30 hour university course.

During the trainings we will continuously evaluate the level of quality and content of the training programmes (involving the trainers and the participants).
The results of the project will be disseminated in each partner country, and the trained DI managers start their activity in the institutions participating in the DI process and responsible for maintenance and implementation.


The main questions with which the project is dealing with is the DI. This is an universal challenge in most of the project partner countries as the windup of the large social institutions is a highly priority objective in the EU.

In Hungary the reform of the big institutions has been started as a reaction to the recommendations of the EU, without the adequate preparation. It is vital to change the way of thinking of those managing the process and to train the operative leaders (managers) who are responsible for the transformation of the institutions concerned, for the establishment of the new structure and for the launch of its operation. In the course of this concept an idea has occurred that we should train managers specialized in DI, experts well trained in this field and able to manage the process from the planning phase to the implementation. Experiences gained in some East-Central European countries (Czech Republic and Hungary) show that it is necessary to appoint and train responsible experts. In the absence of the concentrated knowledge the leader of the process is not able to create an appropriate team and to realize all the goals during the DI process. Experts participated in DI process at the moment are lack of skills (like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and leadership, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurial skills at a high level).

In the project’s partner countries a large scale institutionalisation is still present, and we can find very few services facilitating supported housing and independent living.
Experiences have mainly being gained from the civil sector, but the large institutions are state-operated, so the needs of the operational level will be met by the results of this project.

In point of project partner countries (Serbia, Romania, Slovenia) we have gathered information about the actual situation of DI from the report of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in 2013.

According to the Mental Disability Rights Initiative Serbia (MDRI-S) Serbia is one of the countries that have started DI process. At this moment, there is an on-going project supporting the DI process in Serbia, run by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ministry of Health and funded by the EC. Grants are available for institutions and service providers to develop alternatives to institutional care. Such situation requires education of those running the process on multiple levels.

Although Romania is often praised for the progress it has made in de-institutionalizing children since the beginning of the 1990s, serious concerns remain about the situation of adult people with disabilities in institutional care. The Institute for Public Policy, a Romanian NGO which monitors the use of Structural Funds in the social sector, noted in one of its regular reports that approximately 24 million EUR from the ERDF were used to rehabilitate or modernize (including extend) large institutions for persons with disabilities, contrary to the CRPD (ratified by Romania in 2010) and the Law No. 448 on the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. At the same time, from the same Operational Programme (on Regional Development) it was not possible to fund community-based services (such as protected housing) because of the restrictive eligibility criteria.

Slovenia has in the field of social welfare several large organizations that are organized as „Umbrella Organizations”. Recently, both the country and key experts devoted a lot of attention to the process of DI. There are discussions, conferences and workshops running on the methods of DI, about what and how should be done and how would it be feasible. The result is a rapid growth of small residential units/homes/communities, established by governmental and non-governmental organizations. During the past few years, there has been a significant paradigm shift, expansion of the social model based on person-centred planning and active support. Situation and conditions in Slovenia in the field of care for the vulnerable target groups are different from other European countries. CUDV Draga together with professionals follow the trend and it strives to provide the individual’s needs on a personal level as well as find and provide an appropriate setting for vulnerable group.


The broad objective of the project is to strengthen the commitment for the DI process in the partner countries. The direct aim of the project is to work out a training programme that can be adapted in the field of DI considering the partner countries’ specialities (except Denmark) deliberately for the members of the management who can influence the DI process. However before adaptation and pilot trainings it is essential to organize a so-called train the trainers’ trainee course. This work will be realized by our  Danish partner (Central Denmark Region) which has great experiences in similar training programmes. They will prepare 30 trainers from the 5 partner organizations. After working out and adaptation of the training programme (core) in the 4 countries at least 20 persons (FSZK Nonprofit Kft., CUDV Draga, MDRI-Serbia, Asociația Alternativa Brincovenești) will be trained. Besides the other Hungarian partner, the ELTE will provide this DI-manager training programme as an optional subject for 30 students in one of the future semesters during the project period.

Expected results

The results of the project will be the following:

  • standard training concept in the project partner countries;
  • train the trainer’s programme;
  • trainers who are equally prepared in the topic;
  • trainings’ evaluation document;
  • final conference.

Target groups

Indirect target groups

The training programmes that will be developed during the project concerns directly the colleagues and experts of the partners: they will hold the train the trainers’ programme, will graduate the train the trainers’ programme and on the pilot training they will be working as a trainer. Their involvement will be realized directly through partner organisations and through their responsibility.

Direct target groups

The colleagues of the partner organisations that is all together 60 people (at least 10 people per partner organisation) who will be informed of the project results through dissemination events.

The participants of the pilot trainings (by the partner organizations) and the future DI managers (4×20 persons + 30 persons) that is all together 110 persons. They are the administrative, professional and economic leaders responsible for the realization of DI at a local level.

The colleagues and residents/clients of the institutions reached by the graduated DI managers  are all together approximately 800 persons. They are being affected by the effect of the project through the involvement into DI process by the DI managers. Their involvement can be the start of preparation for DI process or start a concrete realization.

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