Community-led development in practice: humanising institutions for children and older people in Russia

This article focuses on the personal, social, and psychological hazards that children and the elderly face in Russian state-run institutions. The paper challenges two assumptions: that Russia's problems are purely economic, and that the state is solely responsible for the solutions. We argue that Russia's problems are basically social, and that the community can take the lead in solving them. We introduce low-cost, practical, humane, and community-driven initiatives as an alternative to rigid institutionalisation. The model is applicable elsewhere, and can be customised by the community itself.