Addressing fragmented social services
What’s the problem?
In the city of Turin, Italy a group of vulnerable people is at risk of eviction. Several public offices (housing, employment and social care) try to help them by offering their department’s specific services. This solution was created to re-design the current way social services are offered in Turin. Integrating different sectors should make these more effective in supporting citizens at risk of eviction and overcome internal resistance and barriers within the organisational structure of Turin social services. The Municipality needs to re-think policies and policymaking. By assuming a user-centred perspective, it takes into account not only what different actors, sectors and measures can do to improve the lives of citizens, but primarily what they can do together, in order to provide users with more integrated services.
What’s the solution?
A new holistic service, co-created by three different departments which provide complementary services to a common group of vulnerable people and had very little experience in working together. The key feature of the new service consists of the integration and coordination of measures and abilities of the social, labour, health, housing and education system. The service is based on the collaboration between relevant department offices and the involvement of external stakeholders regarding housing poverty and employment.
- Public services
- Redesign of user interfaces
- Internal and external bureaucratic processes
- Training for personnel
- Labour & employment
- Social services
- Service operators
- The local health authority (ASL)
- The employment centre (ICP)
- The social residential buildings (ATC)
- The educational service
- Turin districts presidents
- Social Cooperatives, volunteers, property owners and secondary social networks
- Develop a new service able to effectively answer to citizens who are in a housing emergency situation due to lack of income or employment, integrating the services currently offered by different internal and external actors following a “one stop shop” logic
- Integrate a “user-centred” approach in the services development process, which must comply first with the needs of citizens, while taking into account all the constraints imposed by the organisation which has to manage them
How is the solution innovative within the local context?
The re-design process represents a concrete opportunity for public services to reshape the ways in which they are conceived and delivered. Turin public services are currently designed with a self-referential attitude to respond to the needs of the organisations that deliver them more than with a focus on the users. Introducing participatory service design methodologies in the public sector can generate a virtuous connection between social and public sector innovation.
The design and experimentation of the new service will be financed through funds coming from the central government. The service must then respond to technical specifications and make use of resources according to financial specifications. The city of Turin is developing this project through the use funds from the NOP (National Operational Program) Metropolitan Cities adopted with Decision C (2015) 4998 of the European Commission. The city presented its strategy and actions for the urban development to the Ministry of Economic Development in November 2015. For now, the city is not planning to find other sources of funding, but is committed to activating the service, define teams and identify users.
Stage of development
- Development of implementation plan
- Next steps: activating the service, defining teams and identifying users (the solution will be rolled out before 2021)
This innovation was developed during a co-creation process facilitated by the Municipality of Turin and supported by the Social Innovation Community.