EU Science Hub

Landscaping Digital Social Innovation in the EU: structuring the evidence and nurturing the science and policy debate towards a renewed agenda for social change

Abstract: 

This paper discusses the results of analysis of mapping ICT-enabled social innovation initiatives promoting social investment across the European Union. The key goal of the research is to provide a deeper understanding of how EU Member States can make better use of ICT-enabled social innovation to implement the actions suggested in the EU Social Investment Package (SIP). The findings of the analysis shed light on the main characteristics and patterns of the initiatives assessed according to an original conceptual framework, and taking into account the characteristics of different welfare systems and service models. Building on the analysis, the paper draws conclusions in terms of the contribution made by ICT-enabled social innovation to the implementation of social investment policies. It also provides recommendations for future research, and outlines implications and possible directions for policy. The conclusions are set to help policymakers and practitioners to use ICT-enabled social innovation to modernise EU welfare systems, providing better and more efficient social services and increasing the wellbeing of citizens. At the same time, the documented research design, its proposed terminology, theoretical framework and empirical findings contribute to the growing scientific interest and debate about ICT-enabled innovation in the field of social services and social policy redesign within the scope of the emerging discussion on the renewed agenda for Social Innovation being shaped as part of the debate on the future of Europe.