• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  

     

  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.

     

  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today

     

Calendar Friday, July 25, 2014
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Other social policies

The EU budget, including the European Social Fund

Eurodiaconia works with partners to ensure a strong social agenda and therefore a strong budget for social issues. In this work Eurodiaconia is specifically working to facilitate access of not-for-profit social service providers to the European Social Fund and to broaden the Fund's scope to address social exclusion and poverty, by proposing changes to the programme.

Measuring growth and well-being
Eurodiaconia has produced a briefing on the discussions about how to move "beyond GDP" indicators to measure societal progress. Eurodiaconia is in contact with ecumenical partners to examine how to promote indicators that take into account more than just economic output.

Measuring Social Value
Eurodiaconia has published a briefing for members on tools to measure the added social value and economic impact of an organisation’s activities. Knowing the social value an organisation creates through its services can help justify funding as well as support advocacy for investing in social services.

Community Engagement and Development
Eurodiaconia co-organised a project, managed by interdiac, on examining methods and theories of community development, engagement and orgainising in diaconia. More information about the on-going work can be found in the articles below.

Social Economy
Eurodiaconia wrote a briefing looking at how the social economy is defined by different actors, and looks at different types of social economy activities. It includes a section on Work Integrating Social Enterprises. Eurodiaconia held a workshop at its 2011 AGM and conducted research among its members to understand how the social economy is seen in diaconia and how it can be supported as the European Commission discusses promoting the social economy, particularly in the light of the Social Business Initiative. This led to a discussion document for members which invited feedback and will link to Eurodiaconia's meeting on the Social Economy in June 2012.

Social Innovation
Innovation is currently one of the EU's buzz words. Within this the European Commission is promoting social innovation, in terms of supporting and facilitating the mainstreaming of innovative ways of meeting social needs. Eurodiaconia is taking part in the discussions at EU level with partner organanisations to ensure that actions publicised are carefully evaluated and really are examples of social innovation, as well as that tools for evaluation and scaling up of innovations are promoted.

NEWS



New policy briefs available on investing in children

22 July 2014

Eurodiaconia is a partner of the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) established by the European Commission. They have produced a number of new policy papers which may be of interest with good practices which you can find below.  

The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) is an evidence-based online platform which was launched in 2013. EPIC is managed by the European Commission and aims to provide information about policies, practices and programmes that can help children and their families face up to the challenges that exist in the current economic climate in Europe.

New Briefs
•    Policy brief 1: Social protection during the crisis (link)
•    Policy brief 2: Extending early childhood education and care to encourage labour market participation (link)
•    Policy brief 3: Early childhood education and care and its link to social mobility (link)

In addition, please find more information on the briefs produced in previous years below:
o    Brief on support for Children with Special Educational Needs (link)
o    Brief on parenting support (link)
o    Brief on demography & Inequality - How Europe's changing population will impact on income inequality (link)

Finally, EPIC will also be producing three new briefs this year, which will likely cover topics such as the quality of childcare and the relation between EU funds and childcare support.

 
Eurodiaconia makes recommendations on youth inclusion to Italian Presidency

1 July 2014

As Italy takes over the 6-month rotating presidency of the EU, Eurodiaconia has written a letter highlighting the issue of youth exclusion. We make recommendations to the EU to ensure a social investment approach, including the promotion of adequate social protection is mainstreamed into all EU-level processes, ensuring the sustainability of essential social protection systems and social and health services, and in particular to invest in youth work and youth services for the successful social and professional integration of young people. In the letter we also highlight the important role of social enterprises which enable people, including young people, to integrate or reintegrate into society, to access and retain employment and offer a route out of poverty and exclusion, reinforcing the socio-economic independence of service users.  Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) are also highlighted, in particular their key role in integrating young people facing difficulties and discrimination.

Italy has held the presidency 11 times in the history of the Union and from 1 July to 31 December 2014, Italy is in charge of the presidency of the Council of the European Union again.

Download the full letter here (ENGLISH) (ITALIAN)

Visit the Italian Presidency official website here

 
Meeting report from seminar on innovation and development in social services now online

19 June 2014

The report from the Eurodiaconia seminar on supporting the development of social services and new approaches to meeting needs is now online and can be downloaded here.

From the 12-13 May Eurodiaconia members gathered at Diakonie Österreich’s offices in Vienna to exchange experiences on innovation and development in social services, from gathering information on needs of the community or service users, supporting an idea to become reality through to scaling up a project. Participants also discussed the concept of innovation, and the recommendations and principles of innovation found in the Social Platform paper on "meaningful" social innovation.

The group visited the AmberMed service (celebrating its tenth year in 2014); an integrated health centre for those without insurance run by Diakonie Österreich and the Austrian Red Cross. They heard how volunteer doctors, assistants and interpreters assist thousands of people a year through medical advice but also through health promotion and prevention activities.

Members heard about the outcomes of the Innoserv project and of research in Germany into innovation processes in the not-for-profit sector. The final sessions sought to get to the root of challenges and barriers to innovation both in the external environment, and internally; how to create an organisational culture where service improvement is promoted and innovation can flourish.

A toolkit for members on service development and innovation will be developed based on the discussions and information gathered during the seminar. For more information please contact Theresa Schlage.

 

 
Social policy innovation conference held 19 - 20 May in Brussels

21 May 2014

Social policy innovation was the title of a high-level conference organised by the European Commission this week from 19 - 20 May in Brussels. The objective of the conference was it to contribute to a new focus and a better understanding among public authorities and stakeholders on how social policy innovation catalyses structual reforms. It also looked specifically at the role of evidence-based research and knowledge-sharing for implementing innovative social policy reforms.

László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Social emphasised in his opening remarks that policy innovation needs to be embedded in policy-making and linked to social policy priorities. He also stated that social policy innovation can only play its role if we further invest in capacity building of policy makers and stakeholders involved. This remark was picked up throughout the conference, making capacity building of all stakeholders involved in policy shaping one of the most important criteria for social policy innovation. Frank Vandenbroucke, professor of Social Economic Analysis at the University of Antwerp, made the case for a European Social Union that supports national welfare states on a systemic level. He suggested to promote unifying policy concepts that guide all member states in the same direction in order to tackle poverty and social exclusion in the EU. Another interesting point he made was that there is a correlation between the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results of a country and its unemployment rate. Therefore, it is important to invest in innovative preventive measures, for example in the field of education. Other speakers supported this argument saying that investment in education is as important as investment in jobs.

Lieve Fransen, who is Director for Social Policies and Europe 2020 in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, said that the financial crisis is deeper and longer than expected.  In order to overcome the social implications of the crisis there is a need to focus on change at the systemic level and therefore innovation should test systems approaches of social policy reforms.

A number of speakers focused their intervention on the distinction between outcomes and impact. Thus, social innovation and social investment cannot be measured on a short- or medium term basis but need to be looked at on a long-term basis. Also, the impact is something that will be visible only in a few years’ time.

Furthermore, participants agreed that social policy innovation needs to be based on partnerships bringing together public sector, civil society organisations, social entrepreneurs and other private actors. Ariane Rodert from the European Economic and Social Committee stated that new ways of working in multi-disciplinary teams at multi-ministerial level have to develop in order to innovate social policies. Furthermore, there was a remark that stakeholders should engage in partnerships in order to develop as well as improve social policies and to improve knowledge. Here, it could be the role of the European Commission to facilitate contacts between different stakeholders.

In his final remarks Michel Servoz, the Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, highlighted that the European Commission is giving guidelines to Member States through the European Semester process to help them on the way to social innovation. The 20% of the European Social Fund earmarked for social inclusion measures is a tool that can be used to develop social innovation. Moreover, the European Commission announced the first call for proposals under the new EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation. The call for proposals can be accessed here.

 

 
Eurodiaconia members examine service development and innovation in Vienna

15 May 2014

From the 12-13 May Eurodiaconia members gathered at Diakonie Österreich’s offices in Vienna to exchange experiences on how to support the development of services and of new approaches to meeting needs.

Members presented their methods for developing services or new approaches throughout the lifecycle, from gathering information on needs of the community or service users, supporting an idea to become reality through to scaling up a project. Participants also discussed the concept of innovation, and the recommendations and principles of innovation found in the Social Platform paper on "meaningful" social innovation.

The group visited the AmberMed service (celebrating its tenth year in 2014); an integrated health centre for those without insurance run by Diakonie Österreich and the Austrian Red Cross. They heard how volunteer doctors, assistants and interpreters assist thousands of people a year through medical advice but also through health promotion and prevention activities.

Members heard about the outcomes of the Innoserv project and of research in Germany into innovation processes in the not-for-profit sector. The final sessions sought to get to the root of challenges and barriers to innovation both in the external environment, and internally; how to create an organisational culture where service improvement is promoted and innovation can flourish.

A toolkit for members on service development and innovation will be developed based on the discussions and information gathered during the seminar. A meeting report and the presentations will also be available online soon.

 
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