Dossier n. 235/2013 [Abstract] Social and social-healthcare research: the public actors involved in Emilia-Romagna


This is the third volume of the Dossier series, which develops the relevant issue of social and social-healthcare researches carried out in Emilia-Romagna Region by Local Authorities and Regional Departments.

Since 2009 the Social Innovation Area of the Regional Agency for Health and Social Care has been involved in activities to steer research and to make it visible, shared and effective in planning. Two regional surveys of researches carried out by Emilia-Romagna Local Authorities in the 2005-2009 period and by Regional Departments in the 2005-2011 period allowed to collect, classify and analyse a large amount of products, that are now available on the web and represent an important knowledge patrimony.

Following this path, the Working group for social research with representatives from the Region, Local Authorities and Health Trusts, focused not only on the production itself (type and social themes identified), but mainly on some relevant features of the institutions that produced or promoted social research: organization, human resources involved in the activity, professional skills, training methods. The adopted tool is an online questionnaire administrated to 205 centres, structures, public Observatories, selected according to the assigned duty of carrying out research for social and social-healthcare policies.

The purpose of this paper is to foster the process of carrying out research by analysing a further aspect.

The result of the survey is a very diversified map on the status of research at regional level, and on attitudes and problems encountered when producing and developing it. Also the organizational context of the different centres involved in social research is particularly complex.

The Introduction sums up the actions promoted by the Regional Agency for Health and Social Care before the present survey, already documented and published in two other Dossier volumes or discussed in regional workshops and seminars.

The first Chapter describes the survey objectives and the long term aims, such as the development of a community or a research agenda. Also the steps and ways of realisation of the survey are specified.

The methodology (Chapter 2) presents the online questionnaire structure, the way of questionnaire administration and the categories of public actors selected to participate in the survey.

The larger part of the paper (Chapters 3 and 4) deals with the survey results, grouped for each item of the questionnaire sections, and with their evaluation through comments and underlying some relevant aspects for continuing research work. In particular, the description of the centres sample (Chapter 3) points out the differences in answers, comments and reactions among categories emerged during the survey.

Conclusions (Chapter 5) sum up the emerging frame of social research in the selected public actors, and difficulties for organisation and role identification pointed out by many actors who deal with local research and planning. The final Chapter also presents some working perspectives risen from the realized mapping.

The Appendixes present:

  • the online questionnaire which consists of five sections and, as a whole, of forty-five questions;
  • the table with the list of the sixty-eight research products received in pdf format, with some relevant details.


Virgilio G
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