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H2020

RE-InVEST Report Summary

Project ID: 649447
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RE-InVEST (Rebuilding an Inclusive, Value-based Europe of Solidarity and Trust through Social Investments)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-02-29

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In 2013, the Commission launched a major endeavour to rebalance economic and social progress with the Social Investment Package (SIP). Our ambition is to contribute to strengthen the philo-sophical as well as the institutional and empirical underpinnings of the SIP, based on social investment in human rights and (individual and collective) capabilities. Our consortium is embedded in the network ‘Alliances to fight poverty’. We will actively involve European citizens severely affected by the crisis in the co-construction of knowledge and the design of a more powerful and effective social investment agenda. This overall objective translates into the following specific objectives, each worked out in a dedicated work package (WP):
1. development of innovative methodological tools for participative research, involving mixed teams of researchers, workers from civil society organisations and trade unions, professionals and people from vulnerable groups in the co-construction of knowledge on social policy issues (WP2);
2. diagnosis of the social damage of the crisis in terms of (the erosion of) human rights, social (dis)investment, loss of (collective) capabilities, through participatory research (WP3);
3. analysis of the relationships between the rise of the precariat, poverty and social exclusion, the decline of social cohesion and trust, and the threats to democracy and solidarity in the EU (WP3);
4. development of a theoretical model of social investment, with a focus on the effective promotion of human rights and capabilities (WP4);
5. application of the social investment model in the field of active labour market policies and social protection: evaluation of recent policy reforms and ex-ante assessment of potential policy innovations through a combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses (WP5);
6. application of the social investment model to public intervention in five selected basic service markets: water provision, housing, early childhood education, health care and financial services, through a combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses (WP6);
7. analysis of the macro-level boundary conditions for successful implementation of the SIP (WP7);
8. capacity building in civil society organisations (including trade unions) for the promotion of the European social investment agenda, through networking, policy recommendations, and dissemination of the research findings (WP8).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

WP1 – General management

Milestones
4 consortium meetings (1 before the start of the project, and 3 since the start):
o Preparatory meeting: Brussels, 27-29/1/2015.
o Kick-off meeting: Brussels, 16-18/3/2015.
o MS1 Methodological workshop: Maynooth, 7-9/9/2015.
o MS4 Speed-up meeting: Lisbon, 4-6/2/2016.
The three latter meetings were combined with general assemblies and management board meetings

Meetings with the Commission:
o EC EURO3 Conference organised by DG Research and REA: Brussels, 19-20/11/2015.
o Horizon 2020 Coordinators' Day: Brussels, 24/02/2016.

Deliverables
• D1.1 Data Management Plan: submitted in September 2015.
• D1.4 Ethical clearance: submitted in May 2015.

WP2: Methodological support

Milestones
• MS1 Training workshop on participative methods (definitions, references, tailored methodological notes for different WPs (for internal use only) + joint sessions with other WPs (Maynooth, 7-9 September 2015).

Deliverables
• D2.1 Toolkit for participative methods (definitions, references, tailored methodological notes for different WPs (for internal use only): submitted in November 2015.
• D2.2 Working paper on suitable (combinations of) transnational datasets, statistical modelling for multilevel analyses in WP3-5-6: submitted in January 2016.

Other
• Research visit of SOFI researcher René Lehwess to HIVA‐KU Leuven for training on multilevel models and methodological framework for WP5 (16-20 November 2015).

WP3: Analysis of the social damage of the crisis

Milestones
• MS4 Joint workshop 1 between WP3 and WP4 partners at speed‐up meeting (Lisbon, 4-6/2/2016).

Deliverables
• No deliverables due during this reporting period; 13 national reports are being prepared (due in May 2016).

WP4: Theoretical foundations of social investment: human rights and capability approach

Milestones / deliverables: none.

The kick-off of WP4 took place during the workshop in Lisbon on 5th and 6th February 2016.

WP8: Capacity building, dissemination and policy dialogue

Milestones
• Kick-off workshop “Rebuilding an Inclusive Value based Europe of Solidarity and Trust”, Brussels, 16-18/03/2016.
• MS1 Training workshop on participative research methodologies, Maynooth, September 2015
• MS4 Speed-up meeting 1, Lisbon, February 2016

Deliverables
• D.8.1 Website (www.re-invest.eu) and Facebook group (Month 1): information on publications and activities is being disseminated, and exchanges are facilitated via specific Facebook and Twitter accounts since March 2015.
• D.8.2 Visual information tools: two PowerPoint presentations and a poster were produced so far to present the project**
• D.8.3 Policy briefs in each Semester: 3 PBs were published already
o 1. Rebuilding an inclusive, value based Europe of solidarity and trust through social investments (published April 2015)
o 2. ‘The Juncker Investment Plan: where are the social investments? (published April 2015)
o 3. ‘The AGS 2016: opening the door for social policy?’ (published March 2016)

Other
• Inputs into the annual seminar of the Alliances to Fight Poverty on May 7-8, 2015 in Madrid: “Human rights as stepping stones for a social and democratic Europe”.
• On December 1st, 2015, a launch event of RE-InVEST in the European Parliament for stakeholders with participation of European Commissioner for Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen and MEPs from different parties.
• During the RE-InVEST workshop in Lisbon, February 2016, a public event was organised where the RE-InVEST project was presented to Portuguese social organisations, NGOs, academics and politicians.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond state of the art
• The methodological approach of Re-InVEST is unique in ‘merging knowledge’ from academic research, lived experiences and action – and in empowering local groups of vulnerable people.
• On the theoretical front, the research aims to combine of social investment, human rights and capabilities approaches into a coherent theoretical framework. This is obviously still ‘work in progress’.

Expected impact
The ambition of the RE‐InVEST research project is to contribute to a more balanced economic and social development model for the EU. This ambition was translated into an impact‐plan. This impact‐plan is based on wide dissemination of the results of the RE‐InVEST‐project at European and national, academic and societal level. It will reformulate the economic and social development model based on human rights and capabilities, generate comparative knowledge on the main social investment policies, and encourage the implementation of this innovative model by bringing together a range of stakeholders, including people severely affected by the crisis, and policymakers with regard to policymaking. RE‐InVEST shall invest in the empowerment of participants through training and a deliberative participation methodology. It will improve understanding of the role of capabilities on individual and collective level, translated as resilience of society, in relation to the social investment policy as well as in relation to the empowerment of people severely affected by the crisis. So, RE‐InVEST shall create knowledge to reconcile the progress of the economic and social development model of EU and individual well‐being, and in this manner foster European integration.

Actions undertaken to generate impact
• Local groups of vulnerable people have participated actively in a participatory research based on the human rights and capabilities approach. The local groups are being encouraged to move beyond ‘testimonies’ or indeed analysis, and to use the results of WP3 for local action to improve their living conditions.
• 3 policy briefs were published and disseminated to ** email addresses of academics, NGOs, policy makers and other stakeholders as well as via the RE-InVEST website.
• Inputs into the annual seminar of the Alliances to Fight Poverty on May 7-8, 2015 in Madrid: “Human rights as stepping stones for a social and democratic Europe”.
• On December 1st, 2015, a launch event of RE-InVEST in the European Parliament for stakeholders with participation of European Commissioner for Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen and MEPs from different parties (80 participants).
• During the RE-InVEST workshop in Lisbon, February 2016, a public event was organised where the RE-InVEST project was presented to Portuguese social organisations, NGOs, academics and politicians. **

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