Improvement of the Provision of Social Services in Rural Regions

Rimantas Dapkus


Purpose. The main purpose of the paper is to describe performed research on the governmental institutions’ efforts to improve the provision of social services in the rural regions. Big challenge is necessary in order to provide required quality public services for the various groups of rural population in rapidly changing society with very limited financial, human and infrastructural resources. With means of good governance there could be used cooperation between nongovernmental institutions and private initiatives, as well implemented good practices of self-services. EU aid programs should be as a stimulating instruments for the best practices implementation and infrastructure building for the social services better provision in rural regions in order to achieve cohesion of rural and urban territories along all over the country.

Methodology. The research of scientific issues on good governance and public-private initiatives has been performed. The indicators for the evaluation of social services has been described. Methodology for the questioning of the target group has been created and survey performed.

Results. Performed research showed, that in many rural regions there is increasing problem not only for aging society, but even worse – many villages become unpopulated. To maintain old-fashion social service infrastructure with very limited financial and human resources for the local municipalities becomes great challenge requiring task. Ordinary activities does not satisfies neither service providers, neither recipients. In many cases usage of EU structural funds does not improved situation in rural regions and difference between various groups of society has increased in all the country, especially between population in rural and urban territories. On the disclosed some problematic issues there were made some suggestions for the 2014-2020 financial period EU programs better implementation and upgrading of public service.


The theoretical contribution. Presented in the paper theoretical aspects could be valuable for the good governance and society development evaluation issues both for the governmental institutions and practical planners, as well as scientists working on society services management.

Practical implications (if applicable). Some ideas for the practical implementation via EU funded projects there are presented as the result of the performed research and could be implemented in various rural municipalities in Lithuania and other post-soviet countries.

Keywords: Social services, regional development, rural territories.

Paper type: Research paper.


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