Can transnational exchange in EU projects really lead to change? A differentiated analysis from an action research perspective

Simon Guentner, Jamie Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the last decades, a phase of experimental social policy has emerged in the EU in the wake of various generations of funding programmes and projects that actively encouraged transnational exchange and mutual learning. Underlying these programmes are a number of assumptions: that transnational exchange will lead to individual learning, that individual learning will lead to organisational learning and that the result of organisational learning will be changes to policy and practice. These assumptions were tested using an EU-funded project named ‘Local Strategies for the Active Inclusion of Young People facing multiple disadvantages—Com.In’. This project was carried out by local authorities, NGOs and research organisations in four European cities from 2011 to 2013. The results demonstrate a number of barriers to moving from transnational exchange to changes to policy and practice. However, it also identified inter- and intra-agency relationships as a key area where positive change could come about and the conditions that made such change possible. The role of ‘institutional entrepreneurs’ is shown to be crucial to exploiting the exceptional setting created by the exchange and initiating a change process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-524
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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