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Social innovations for social cohesion. What welfare politics can learn from them. Findings from a transnational study
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Social innovations for social cohesion. What welfare politics can learn from them. Findings from a transnational study

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Presentation to Social Frontiers by Adalbert Evers and Benjamin Ewert …

Presentation to Social Frontiers by Adalbert Evers and Benjamin Ewert

Published in News & Politics , Technology
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  • 1. Social innovations for social cohesion. What welfare politics can learn from them. Findings from a transnational study Adalbert Evers and Benjamin Ewert Social Frontiers Conference, London, November 14
  • 2. The two points our contribution deals with What are recurrent patterns of approaches and instruments in social innovations, that public welfare policies could learn from? Minding the gap between welfare reform discourses and the social innovation talk 12/12/2013 2
  • 3. Background: the WILCO research project the project has looked at contributions by social innovations to local welfare systems coping with challenges of social cohesion The project has been given a double task (a) finding across Europe models and trends of local social innovations in support of social cohesion (b) looking at the difference, local contexts and welfare systems make for upgrading and impact of such innovations Empirical basis: About 75 cases of social innovations in 10 countries and 20 cities 12/12/2013 3
  • 4. Concepts and methods Defining social innovations As approaches and projects that are seen as “promising” by experts and relevant stakeholders in the field An international project Not for comparing national “regimes” but for creating a wider basis of evidence for studying transnational trends Compared to what? The difference innovations make against historical givens: industrial and managerial welfare and service patterns Looking at recurrent approaches and instruments “Read” the common traits and messages of the many case studies 12/12/2013 4
  • 5. Point 1 Recurrent patterns of approaches and instruments in social innovations, that public welfare policies could learn from (more specifically: policy makers in local welfare systems) With respect to: social services regulations and rights ways of governance modes of working and financing the entity of (local) welfare systems 12/12/2013 5
  • 6. Service innovations Investing in capabilities Strengthening people‟s competences and self-esteem rather than spotting deficits Open approaches Avoiding targeting with stigmatizing effects through less directive forms of addressing people Bridging gaps Reconciling professional services and people„s life worlds Bundles of personalized support Connecting service offers in order to meet users‟ complex needs 6
  • 7. Innovations in regulations and rights ad hoc support Offering time-limited loans, individually tailored combinations of services and benefits to curb new social risks “social contracts” Relating access to welfare support to people‟s commitment - to work for themselves and the community 12/12/2013 7
  • 8. Innovations in governance Networking Fostering units and types of organization that operate in more embedded ways Giving groups a voice Involving new risks to be faced, new groups and their concerns in the public domain Issue related coalitions Building partnerships among plural stakeholders that work on „hot‟ items 12/12/2013 8
  • 9. Innovations in modes of working and financing Flexicurity Working in projects − less institutionalized and below traditional standards of social security but in more self-determined ways Mixed and extended working collectives Establishing forms of multi-professional teamwork that include volunteers and the civic commitment of supporters New professionalism Combining formerly fragmented knowledge through dialogue with and involvement of users Creative funding Mixing resources from stakeholders across sectors 12/12/2013 9
  • 10. Innovations concerning the entity of (local) welfare systems Welfare mixes Reaching out to all sectors of local welfare systems Diversity Aiming at less standardized, more diverse and localized welfare arrangements Rebalancing welfare systems Upgrading the community component in mixed welfare systems Integration Bridging economic and social logics as well as welfare and urban politics 12/12/2013 10
  • 11. Point 2 Mind the gap - reform discourses and the social innovation talk social innovations may be supported just as applications and complements …but may be seen as well as blueprints whose approaches may be worth mainstreaming 12/12/2013 11
  • 12. Mind the gap! Learning about the history of welfare as a history of mainstreaming social innovations From cooperatives and mutuals to social security and services – over and again social innovations have prepared state based welfare Rethinking the balance between equality and diversity Time to think about the ambivalence of standardized and hierarchical systems – innovations need to respect rooms for diversity From policies that impose reforms to programs and pilot schemes that prepare them Prepare reform not only by debate but as well by trying out new devices by programs that put innovative ideas to test in practice 12/12/2013 12
  • 13. Thanks for your attention! Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tripletsisters/6932000465/ 12/12/2013 13