This paper presents the results of surveying nine offices charged with administering social assistance programs in four Russian municipalities. The accent is on the basics of program administration and management. Topics studied include client flow, eligibility verification procedures, the presence of a procedures manual for in-take workers, quality control procedures, and training. The findings are sobering and emphasize the need for the Russian government to assist municipalities to strengthen their administrative capacity through a combination of exhortation and leadership, provision of written guidance materials--on good administrative practices and program-specific regulations and procedures--and a national program of seminars for supervisors of various programs.
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