• 10 January 2019

The Centre for Social Studies in collaboration with the other partners of the Atlantic Social Lab concluded and presented a multi-level analysis on social needs in the Atlantic Area

Social innovation is the central theme of the Atlantic Social Lab (ASL) project in which the Centre for Social Studies participates. During the last year the project was surveying and analysing social needs in Atlantic Area regions. In this way, it was possible to understand what are the most urgent social needs, as well as possible pilot actions for social innovation that could meet these needs.

The study analysed social needs of the population of the partner regions as a consequence of the renewed social preferences and structural change of society. In this context, a multi-level mapping, which is available on the official website of the project, focused social challenges and needs and possible processes of social innovation in an integrated and systemic way. It was necessary to look carefully at the key indicators that could influence the emergence of social needs, as well as the effective generation of social innovation. The analytical model was designed to consider three levels of analysis: Macro, Meso and Micro. Each level was analysed separately; however, they were subsequently correlated in order to obtain a joint matrix of needs in the Atlantic Area. The macro level allowed to understand the characteristics of the territories. This level of analysis arose from the collection of official secondary data based on a selected set of variables and indicators identified in the literature. The Meso Level analysis was based on focus groups carried out by the remaining ASL partners, contributing to understand the individual and collective perceptions of local organizations (governance, social entities, private sector, among others) in order to assess the needs considered most urgent in their specific region. Finally, the Micro level took into account interviews carried out by the ASL partners to those who were directly involved in solving social problems. This level of analysis allowed identifying actors, projects and initiatives that directly respond to the social needs of the regions, identifying what needs and types of responses each initiative develops taking into account the vicissitudes of each region. The key idea was to identify crucial aspects to facilitate learning and co-production of new social innovation in the following steps of the project.

The Atlantic Social Lab, led by the Municipality of Avilés (Spain), is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Cooperation Program, under the reference EAPA_246 / 2016.