OUR PROJECT
08 dicembre 2011

Percorsi di secondo welfare, the Observatory on "second welfare" in Italy

Percorsi di secondo welfare is a research project started in April 2011.
It is structured as a partnership, led by Dr. Franca Maino as director and Prof. Maurizio Ferrera as scientific supervisor, both academics at the University of Milan, and hosted by the research centre Centro Luigi Einaudi in Turin. The venture has been funded and actively supported by important partners: Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione CON IL SUD, Fondazione Cariparo, Fondazione CRC, Fondazione Bracco, ANIA- Forum consumatori, Cisl Lombardia, Cisl Piemonte, City of Turin, Edenred and Luxottica. Corriere della Sera, in the person of Dario Di Vico, also deserves to be mentioned for its active support and for the paternity, together with Maurizio Ferrera, of the whole idea behind our study.


The concept of second welfare

Percorsi di secondo welfare is committed to enhancing the common understanding of what has recently come to be known as “second welfare”. The term, initially coined by Dario di Vico and Maurizio Ferrera by means of their contributions on the Corriere della Sera, refers to “a mix of social protection and social investment programs which are not funded by the state, but provided instead by a wide range of economic and social actors, linked to territories and local communities, but open to trans-local partnerships and collaborations (including the EU)” (Ferrera and Maino, 2011).


Targets of the project

Through the collection and evaluation of new initiatives and best practices, the study seeks to promote a “virtuous nesting” between first and second welfare, that will ultimately be able to tackle the challenges posed by future demographic trends and the emergence of new social needs, and worsened by the present financial situation. Our research encompasses several areas of the social provision, with a specific focus on the non-public actors that increasingly play a role in the welfare arena, and the dynamics that determine their growing involvement. These players are private companies, trade unions, insurance companies, foundations, grant-making associations and the “Third Sector”, professional associations, and the local governments and public institutions that build partnerships together with those private actors. Occupational welfare, venture philanthropy, industrial relations and impact investment are, among others, fields of interest of the project.


Website

The website www.secondowelfare.it collects the most significant “second welfare” experiences at mostly national but to some extent international levels, and attempts to spread them for purposes of evaluation and, hopefully, emulation. Our research also seeks to build a comprehensive database of what already exists in terms of “second welfare” practices, and to build a strong conceptual framework for future reference.


Research Reports

In 2013 the project published its first research report, "Primo Rapporto sul secondo welfare in Italia 2013” (in Italian). Here can be downloaded the Executive Summary in English.
After the release of the first report, Percorsi di secondo welfare was financed for an additional two-year period. Since then, the team expanded significantly and the research activity has been consistently widening, also thanks to the contribution of new partners who decided to join the project. Among them, trade unions Cisl Lombardia and Cisl Piemonte, the Municipality of Turin, Fondazione Bracco and Edenred.  The year 2015 witnessed the release of the latest research product, the "Secondo Rapporto sul secondo welfare in Italia 2015". The report, fully available for download on the website, gathered interest and enthusiasm up to the point that the project has been further financed for the years 2016-2017.


English Section

Percorsi di secondo welfare recently launched the new English section in order to provide articles translated and new international contributions as well as to promote the debate on second welfare and the exchange of best practices.