Dossier n. 180/2009 [Abstract] Experimenting civic audit in Emilia-Romagna: considerations and perspectives


The volume presents the results of the experimentation within the Civic audit project developed in two phases in 11 Health Trusts of Emilia-Romagna between April 2005 and the end of 2007. The first cycle started in 2005 and focused on the local experiences at the Local Health Trusts of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara, Rimini and Cesena and at the Hospital-University Trust of Ferrara; the second cycle started in 2006 and focused on the local experiences at the Local Health Trusts of Ravenna and Forlì and the Hospital Trust of Reggio Emilia.

Civic audit represents a method developed by the non-profit organization Cittadinanzattiva to evaluate services quality from citizens’ point of view.

Sociological and psychosocial research in health context has underlined the importance of patient’s/citizen’s point of view as a variable that can explain health behaviours, healthcare outcomes and decisions concerning these outcomes.

As citizens’ point of view is a fundamental element in the building process of health actions, health organizations need to implement listening strategies of citizens that represent a learning chance for the organization itself, a path “to learn to think the organization”.

In this perspective, the tool of civic audit was chosen and a plan to follow the building process of a local group was emphasized, as fundamental basis for a participative course where not only tools but mainly their use in practice can guarantee participation.

The volume is divided in three parts.

The first section (Chapter 1) deals with the analysis of the path: description of the project, its organizational framework, participants’ characteristics, places where the project was developed, plan to accompany the path, research.

The second section (Chapters 2, 3 and 4) is more focused on methodology: reasons for the civic audit, goals, main principles, theoretical and methodological references, evaluation structure of civic audit. Moreover, the general results of the benchmarking implemented in the involved Health Trusts and some considerations are presented.

In the third section (Chapters 5 and 6), the focus is on protagonists telling their experience in the different phases:

  • start up;
  • training;
  • survey;
  • results return and spreading;
  • conclusion of the project and effects from the experience.

The final Chapter is dedicated to some main themes emerging from the adoption of civic audit in local contexts.


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