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InnoSI - Innovative Social Investment: Strengthening communities in Europe

16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions; Research Projects; 2015; 2016; 2017

There is growing consensus in Europe that an active set of approaches to welfare known as Social Investment will improve human capital, enable more people to participate in society, and reduce intergenerational deprivation, yet implementation  has been uneven across member states and much remains to be learned, especially with regard to regional and local realities of Social Investment. This proposal is for EURO-3-2014: European societies after the crisis. Within that call its focus is on ‘Innovative social investment approaches for the modernisation of social policies and services’. We will deploy multidisciplinary research on innovative ways of implementing and financing social welfare that promise lasting benefits. Our aims are threefold: -Identify and evaluate existing innovative and strategic approaches to social welfare reform at a regional and  local level; -Explore social and psychological impact of these innovations on individuals and communities; -Collate useful, practical learning from this new body of evidence and mobilise it to inform policy and practice across the EU.
We will deliver on our first two aims through: • Macro and micro-level research on social investment policies and initiatives; • Mixed method case studies in ten member states, taking account of local and regional networks, institutions and assets, as well as national and European policies;
• A distinct understanding of Social Investment utilizing ‘social innovation’ as a key concept; • A strong user voice, ensured throughout the project by recruiting and training ‘Community Reporters’ Approximately a third of the resource on this project is devoted to impact generation (Aim 3). Results from the research will be assimilated in a Foresight Analysis where we will work with policy makers, user-led organizations and social
entrepreneurs to consider options for innovative ways of implementing and financing social welfare systems in the future. 10 impact partners will assist us.

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