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Large European comparative research project into social innovation in the public sector

The department of Public Administration of the Erasmus University will be the coordinator of a large international comparative research project into the drivers and barriers behind social innovation practices in the public sector.  The project is funded by 7th Framework Program of the European Commission involving 2,5 Million euros. The research will be conducted in eleven European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom). To achieve this a consortium of universities and research institutes in these countries has been formed. The project will start February, the 1st  2013 and will last for 3,5 years. The project will be coordinated by professor Victor Bekkers, professor of public administration and dr. Lars Tummers, assistant professor of public administration.

The project is called LIPSE: Learning from Innovation in Public Sector Environments (www.lipse.org). Besides analyzing what drivers and barriers influence the development and implementation of social innovation practices, attention is also being paid to the actual outcomes of these innovations.  Social innovation is being considered by the European Commission and many EU-member states as an important step in the modernization of 21st century government. Two considerations seem to be particularly important. First, social innovation tries to redesign existing public services and public services processes, as well as, develop and implement new service models in order to improve the cliented-orientedness of public services. It is important to produce societal relevant outcomes in order to enhance the responsiveness and legitimacy of government.  In order to do so governments are setting up new collaborative arrangements with citizens, non-governmental organizations and companies. The emphasis lies on co-creation and coproduction. Secondly, social innovation offers the chance to reconsider existing practices, in which more freedom is being created for local bottom-up initiatives. In doing so, social innovation offers a strategic perspective on a new role for government. In particular the fiscal and budgetary crisis in the public sector, which is dominant in many EU countries, creates a fundamental degree of austerity challenging the traditional role of government.

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For more information please contact professor Victor Bekkers (bekkers@remove-this.fsw.eur.nl) or dr. Lars Tummers (tummers@remove-this.fsw.eur.nl).

You can also visit the website of the LIPSE project: www.lipse.org. On the website you will find ways to follow the project, through the Facebook LIPSE Community, LinkedIn LIPSE Group and Twitter (@EULIPSE).

Publication date: 28 January 2013

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