Introduction: Policies of Care

(This is the former topic “About the Policies of Care category”.)

What is the new role that the Public Administration is called to have on care? What does “open” mean in policy making?

Challenge launched by the Municipality of Milan, partner of Opencare.

Milan’s Smart City Office intends to nurture not only the digital and technological component of our city, but also to promote economic development, social inclusion, innovation and training, research and participation as key elements of a “smart” city.

  • There are 40.000 elderly people in Milan who are not self-sufficient, but only 25 % receive formal care provided by Municipality
  • 52% of households in Milan are one-person households. Traditional welfare responses were designed on a household typology which does not exist anymore
  • 68% women are at work in Milan (45% is the national average): a virtuous trend, but we have to put effort on work life balance ignored until now

Moreover we see a non coordination among different resources: Municipality, Government, Local Public Health Agencies, INPS (National Insurance Contributions).

It’s been long time that is clear that the Welfare System answers less and less, and in non suitable way to the new Citizens’ demands for Care, because of a strong decrease of resources but also because the traditional services are organized on standardized services that cannot fit in properly the new needs of citizens.

On the other hand we are seeing both in Milan and, at a broader level, thanks to Edgeryders community, the development of many experiences of care that arise from the community, involving new actors and new approaches.

For example in the project OpenCare the City is facing the makers addressing the issue of care with a different and original approach, proposing a direct engagement of citizens, persons in need in order to design and prototype solutions to some specific Care problems. (see the first prototype, INPE’)

In this new context, the public administration becomes increasingly only ONE of the actors and not the only actor providing care services.

But what is the new role that the PA is called to have? We would like to understand better how to support the common good in the new networks of Care, how to share responsibilities in this new scenario.

In particular we would like to start a fertile dialogue around the definition of a policy-making process that is open to the contributions of relevant local actors:

  1. How are you / your organisation / project working on care problems replacing or offering services not realized by the City?
  2. How are you working with new actors and with a different approach on care?
  3. Do you have examples where the public administration’s role was crucial both positively (enabling, encouraging, nurturing innovative projects) and negatively?

Opening a dialogue on this issue is certainly important for us, the City of Milan, but it can also encourage your local government to reflect on its policies and share experiences and knowledge!