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Exploratory Study ICT-enabled innovation in social services in the EU

Funding body

Brunel University London

Investigator(s)

Principal investigator: Vishanth Weerakkody
Co-investigator: Zahir Irani
Co-investigator: Ramzi El-Haddadeh
 

Project description

The objective of this study is to conduct research to review the state of the art in the domain of ICT-enabled innovation in Social Services in the EU, reviewing relevant literature and theoretical approaches, as well as collecting and documenting good practices across the EU, and studying in depth how ICT-based social innovation is being implemented in different welfare systems. A specific focus of the study will be to link the analysis to relevant policy objectives set out in the Social investment Package (SIP), and in particular activities aiming at the following seven specific objectives:

  • integrating approaches to services provision ensuring better coordination among relevant stakeholders
  • increasing cost-effectiveness of social services
  • promoting better access and quality of social services
  • simplifying delivery of social services through public sector reform and modernization of governance structures and innovating delivery models
  • ensuring return on investment and identifying a typology of areas of impacts of services provided
  • enabling a better match with evolving job profiles and related skills required within the social service delivery including opportunities for new jobs and skills needed
  • analysing the role of policy in social service reform

In addressing the above, a specific emphasis of the study will be on the role played by various stakeholders and social service intermediaries, from the public, private and third sectors, so to better understand the nature of ICT-enabled innovation in support of social policies, its drivers and barriers, determinants, and diffusion paths. Moreover, it will be important to identify methodological approaches used to measure the direct and indirect socio-economic effects so to provide evidence of return on investment and typology of areas of impacts in support of policy formulation and implementation.

To achieve the above, the study will map and identify promising cases of applications of ICT-enabled innovation in Social Services in a selected number of EU countries representating different welfare systems, and will select and analyse a number of in depth good practice cases. The analysis of case studies will be undertaken in order to contribute to deepen the knowledge of how different ICT-enabled innovation in social services works and which are the main drivers and barriers, as well as evaluating lessons learned and gathering evidence on impacts from their implementation. The results of the study will also be designed to enable conclusions on the policy implications at EU level of ICT-enabled innovation for social service reform to be prepared.