The planning of social services in Bulgaria is carried out in a complex normative and institutional environment, which is constantly changing. Reform of the process of planning social services in the direction of their decentralization is underway, but for many reasons the reform is slowing down. This complicates the process of identifying social problems and finding solutions to overcome them, especially at regional and local level.
The institutional analysis of the social services system clarifies the main (formal and informal) participants in the process of planning and implementation of social services and their motives and possibilities for coordination. The analysis makes it possible to understand how the social services sector functions, what incentives it creates and how individual institutions influence people's behavior and, consequently, the wealth of society.
The aim of the paper is to clarify the planning environment of social services in Bulgaria and to outline the institutional framework of planning and the internal interrelationships. The study is based on the methodological individualism approach, which seeks explanations in social knowledge based on individuals and their properties, motives, goals and beliefs. The object of analysis are the desires (plans) of the economic agents, which at a certain moment are coordinated and thus transactions are carried out. Some incentives have been clarified, which motivate them to act in a certain way under conditions of limited access to resources (material, human and financial). Special emphasis is placed on transaction costs, which slow down the operation of the system and make it difficult to achieve its goals.
Aspects of cooperation in the development of a map of social services and in the coordination of social service providers are discussed. Informal relations, such as customs, culture and attitudes of local communities, remain outside the model. The institutional analysis approach can be used in both research and training of public sector employees in clarifying the objectives, principles and scope of various aspects of the social services system.