AlpSib Newsletter Nr.1
November 2016-june 2017

Dear reader,

 

recent decade has brought numerous challenges for the European Union. And the Alpine Space was no exception. Economic crisis walked hand in hand with the social crisis, seen in ageing population, high youth unemployment rate and increased demand for health and social services.

 

The AlpSib project addresses the issues of the elderly and NEETs (young people not in education, employment or training) and analyses the potential of social impact investments (SII) and social impact bonds (SIB) as financial instruments to complement public services in addressing the rising challenges of the two groups. 

 

The concept of SII and SIB is not completely new in the Alpine Space area, since there are a few pilot projects already launched. However, there is a big lack of information, knowledge and examples of good practices in order to better understand the instrument and assess its suitability for the Alpine Space area. Therefore, the project's objective is to inform and educate people. For that purpose an AlpSib web platform will be created, containing information, e-learning modules and examples of already performed SIB pilot projects. 

 

14 project partners from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia collaborate in the project, which started in November 2016 and will conclude in April 2019.

 

The newsletter you are reading is just the first of four. It gives you the insight into the SIB projects already carried out in the Alpine Space area and acquaints you with the partners’ activities performed till date. 

 

The AlpSib crew wishes you a pleasant reading! 

Examples of Alpine Space SIB good practices - SIB in Austria

First Social Impact Bond in Austria: Economic and Social Empowerment for Women affected by violence

In the working programme 2013-2018 The Austrian government pledged to promote innovative approaches within social policy to address the social challenges. The pilot project was initiated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection together with Juvat (a non-profit subsidiary of Benckiser foundation), which already had experience with the SIB. The project addressed the economic and social dependency of women affected by violence in Upper Austria. Its objective was to help women affected by violence to become financially independent through helping them to find a long-term job. The project started in September 2015 and will end in August 2018.  

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The Eleven Augsburg Project

The Eleven Augsburg project was launched in September 2013, becoming the first SIB project in Germany and even the first in the Continental Europe. The project was initiated by the Bavarian State Ministry of Labour, Social and Family Affairs and Integration together with Juvat gemeinnützige GmbH, a non-profit subsidiary of Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft. The pilot project targeted the disadvantaged, unemployed adolescents, who lacked vocational support as well as youth welfare services. Its objective was to place a definite number of adolescents in apprenticeships or gainful employment, which would last at least 9 months. The project ended in December 2015. 

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SIB in France

France has traditionally been public oriented in dealing with the social issues. Those have been managed at a public-central level. It is believed that that is the reason that the SIB developed relatively late in France, accompanied with the hesitation from some public stakeholders and the public opinion. However, the SIB is gaining its popularity also because the Government has been facing enormous public expenses in social area and SIB can be an instrument for their compensation.

The French Government launched a call for proposal for financing SIB on 16th March 2016 and was opened till 31th March 2017. 13 projects were selected and other 47 will be re-evaluated in the second phase.  

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AlpSib activities - Kick-off meeting

AlpSib was officially kicked-off with the 2-day meeting held in Pordenone. The meeting was hosted by the lead partner, the Municipality of Pordenone, on 14-15th December 2016. Project partners had the opportunity to get to know each other, to draft initial activities and to discuss overall project expectations. 

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AlpSib Engaging events

Social impact investments (SII) and social impact bonds (SIB) are quite a new approach in the Alpine Space area. Taking this into account, the first activity project partners undertook was the organisation of the engaging events, where the approaches were presented to the interested stakeholders. Till date the engaging events were organised in Nice, Augsburg, Turin, Pordenone and Dornbirn. They gathered people coming from the public, private and third sector. Each event introduced the international situation in this area but also also took into account the local peculiarities. The objective of the events - to inform people about SII and SIB – was reached, moreover, participants expressed the wish to receive further information about the project. 

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Co-creative lab in Augsburg

Between 4th and 5th May the Eckert School hosted partners meeting and the 1st co-creative lab on NEETs and seniors. The Augsburg co-creative lab was the first of four co-labs, which will be organised with the aim to discuss possible solutions, outcomes and finances to satisfy the NEETs and seniors' needs in the Alpine Space area.

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What is next?

Many AlpSib activities are foreseen for the next 6 months. Engaging events in Slovenia and Germany will take place as well as co-creative labs hosted by Dornbirn and Ljubljana. Nice will host an AlpSib Forum in September. Moreover, the AlpSib web platform, which will have the informational and educational purpose, will be published. 

Stay tuned!

You are warmly invited to follow AlpSib activities. You can visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  

   
Contact:
AlpSib Communication Office
The Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region
E-mail: petra.pavsic@ljubljana.si
 
European Regional Development Fund