The Area Units for Employment, Local and Technological Development: A Model for Participative Research about Key Productive Sectors in Andalusia, Alberto PASCUAL NUNO, Aurora CASADO SEDA
The Area Units for Employment, Local and Technological Development: A Model for Participative Research about Key Productive Sectors in Andalusia Huelva 2007 Conferencia Anual Internacional de Inteligencia Territorial Alberto Pascual Nuño, Aurora Casado Seda Fundación Andaluza Fondo de Formación y Empleo CONSEJERÍA DE EMPLEO Carretera de la Esclusa, 11. Edificio Galia Puerto. Acceso A. 41011 Sevilla Tfno.: 954 385 550 Fax: 954 915 119
The Area Units for Employment, Local and Technological Development (UTEDLT, in Spanish) are created by the Andalusian Employment Service (SAE, in Spanish) in order to implement policies and activities designed to stimulate job creation and local development in the different Andalusian territories. This program is implemented through a network of UTEDLTs ( RAUTE: Red Andaluza de Unidades Territoriales de Empleo, Desarrollo Local y Tecnológico), structured around values such as commitment, co-responsibility, and co-participation of local governments and other socioeconomic actors. The UTEDLT program
The UTEDLTs engage in proactive interventions inside the various Andalusian territories, so that local development is encouraged and autochthonous resources strengthened. These dynamics will in turn generate synergistic trends that spawn jobs and wealth in the various municipalities. The basic tenet of this program is local intervention, that is, an intervention that occurs from “the bottom up”. This type of intervention is considered the most efficient kind. Intervention methodology
This presentation attempts to describe the research process and methodology that informed Sectores Productivos Clave en Andalucía. Series Monográficas UTEDLT ( Key Productive Sectors in Andalusia: Monographs on UTEDLTs), a March 2007 publication by the Fundación Andaluza Fondo de Formación y Empleo (Andalusian Foundation Education and Employment Fund; FAFFE, in Spanish). Sharing the experience and knowledge accumulated by the UTEDLTs is an attempt by these entities to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the areas where they work. Goal of this Presentation
Table of Contents 1 Territorialisation of Labour Policy 2. Applied Research within the Context of Territorial Governance 2.1 Key Productive Sectors: a Participative Methodology
1 Territorialisation of Labour Policy The adaptation of public policy to the diversity of the territories where it is implemented is must. It requires flexibility and dynamism, especially when it comes to meeting the demands of different contexts. Employment and economic development are both perfect examples of this variability.
The stringent socioeconomic differences –labour dynamics and unemployment rates, for example– that exist among the various territories require that the government acts in a flexible manner, if it is to be efficient. This entails the creation of spaces where decision-making and management is shared by different actors in the local milieu, who have the authority to adapt and contextualize the general policies in order to create more personalized ones.
Once the context is defined, the development of creative formulas that open discussion and decision-making spaces is crucial. This is the most difficult step to articulate functionally and organizationally, since it involves establishing relationships and creating policies and programs in which the different levels of government, social agents, and citizens in general participate in a responsible and coordinated manner. The need of creative formulas
Creating consortia of many different social actors is the way of accomplishing this articulation to which the UTEDLTs adhere. These coalitions make local corporations and local and regional governments share a space where all institutions become responsible for the development of the area, by co-developing and co-financing a wide variety of policies and actions. The Consortium Model
At a technical level, developing these innovative and efficient formulas require the design of tools and action protocols that allow decision makers to know the various intervention areas. Thus, it is also necessary to develop strategies to identify the most congruent tools with both the territorialisation of public policy and the cooperation among the different social actors. The management of such adaptive knowledge must allow later on for the design of optimal and proactive employment policies. At a technical level…
2 Applied Research within the Context of Territorial Governance One of these adaptive tools is undoubtedly applied field research . Due to the special economic, cultural and productive characteristics of each area, this research becomes a crucial pillar for developing programs, devises, and actions that stimulate job creation, in general and specific ways.
The key issue is the concept of territory on which it is built. From this perspective, a territory is not only the main actor of any activity, nor just a series of geographic, physical, cultural and socioeconomic variables, but most importantly a construction of the very actors who interact with it. From this vantage point, the integration of such actors in the research process becomes a must. Value of the UTEDLT research model
This type of research about the territories, or should we say with the territories, is a basic tool if the different areas are to be known and understood. Hence, it is also a crucial pillar for the development of holistic programs and policies for job creation. This is why the UTEDLTs, since their inception, have always engaged in research activities—some of which have informed this presentation. The research model “with” the territories
2.1 Key Productive Sectors: a Participative Methodology The research produced through this process provides details about the economic, labour and productive characteristics of the territories where the UTEDLTs operate. The goal is to define both the current situation and the possible evolution of the municipal production fabric. This is done through information exchanges within the UTEDLTs network and the participation and cooperation of all political, social and economic agents.
This participation and cooperation has been made possible thanks to the participative methodology used in this procedure, which integrates since the beginning of the process —which starts with methodological discussions— both the units that implement the work and the socioeconomic agents responsible for distributing information from the bottom up . NOTA: Both surveys and discussion groups where held among local companies, employers with seniority within the different productive sectors, town hall representatives, directors of the Labour Offices of SAE, offer managers, personnel from cooperatives, managers of entrepreneurial associations, representatives of different SAE programs, and labour union representatives.
RESEARCH PROCESS Secondary Sources Survey Dialogue with experts and socioeconomic agents of all production sectors Directory of Andalusian Companies (DIRCE) Economic ativity tax (IAE) General Accounting Office of the Social Security Administration <ul><li>- Company & production information </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel structure and history </li></ul><ul><li>Economic characteristics and history of the area </li></ul><ul><li>This information refers to : </li></ul><ul><li>- Economic & entreprenurial flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths, opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses, threats </li></ul><ul><li>New economic ventures </li></ul><ul><li>Prospects </li></ul>Secondary source analysis Quantitative analysis Cualitative analysis
Later on, the process refocuses on the operationalization of the consensus reached to assess the needs of the community. This stage is structured around techniques of social research, both quantitative and qualitative, that encourage the inclusion of all people responsible for the socioeconomic development of the municipalities. These actors also participate in both the analysis stage and the process of extracting conclusions.
Another crucial element of this research model is the systematization of work through a single, common and consensual methodology that attempts to solve the problems usually associated with these networks: the diversity and specificity of the network’s nodes make it very difficult to have common guidelines for organizing tasks and analyzing information. The systematization of work…
Consensus building plays a crucial role in channelling the relationships between the different agents of social and economic development, and organizing, homogenizing and systematizing information. As was mentioned earlier, this process is central when it is time to distribute for example adequate statistical data —at a local level— that allow for reliable conclusions to be reached whenever a consensual and homogenous analysis has been applied. The crucial nature of statistical data
<ul><li>Understanding territory as a dynamic construction by the actors who live in it. In this way, a territory is always in the making, and thus intervention is always possible through innovative formulas, such as applied-participative research. </li></ul><ul><li>b. Integrating all people responsible for the development of municipalities (entrepreneurs, citizens, local officials, labor unions, associations, etc.) into the research process. This allows for the development of consensual analyses that are congruent with local reality. </li></ul>The value of this study rests on…
c. Systematizing and homogenizing tasks, as well as developing and using local data that are common, reliable and uniform avoids the problems associated with information deficit, heterogeneity or unreliability. d. Integrating in the research process different perspectives, sources, designs, and analyses.