Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The aim of the research was to explore 'workfare' in six European countries and to consider whether workfare programmes have the potential for furthering social integration. The three objectives of the research were: To develop a common analytical framework thereby defining the margins of workfare; To evaluate programmes in operation, building on the analytical framework; To develop recommendations for programme evolution and priorities for additional research.
Proposals for improving the evaluation of the impacts of programmes include: In order to produce more robust evidence on the outcome of workfare programmes, randomised controlled trials (RCT) should be encouraged. This is necessary in order to further the objective of evidence based policies in this area. It was documented that compared to the US, the European nations exhibit a poor record of producing solid evidence of effects. Traditional effect evaluations tend to focus on easily measurable outcomes, most frequently transitions to work. More attention needs to be given to outcomes such as social participation in important arenas of contact, improvement in self-esteem, a more structured life and reduced use of drugs and alcohol. If these wider aspects of social exclusion and inclusion are to be reflected in research, qualitative research methodologies are required. More research is required on programme drop-outs.

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