My work for ActionAid has had three main phases: the launch and management of the territorial development area in Piedmont (2011-2018), the national advocacy on measures to combat poverty (2017-2020) and the fight against educational inequalities (2018 – present).
Area of territorial development in Piedmont
The territorial development area of ActionAid in Piedmont was launched in 2011 when the organization started operating in Italy (the other areas started were: Bari, Bologna, Naples, Padua-Treviso, Ancona, Florence, L’Aquila and Milan).
Each area has developed its own specificity, based on local needs and opportunities. In Piedmont, the focus was socioeconomic empowerment of people in poverty and advocacy in the field of social policies.
At the date of its closure (2019), the area had more than 15 assets between projects and actions carried out [see here for a reasoned list], within the framework of a strategic plan and with a solid network of institutional relationships. Some project models created here have been carried out elsewhere, such as the Teamwork and Identity at Work (job placement of young people, including NEETs and working poor women); others were specific to the area, such as financial education projects.
The advocacy line has developed in particular in the local analysis of the first experiments of measures to combat poverty, in close connection with the financial education work, to reach a frontier experiment, the training laboratory on the implementation of measures of minimum income with the Ambiti Sociali Territoriali [Territorial Social Areas] of the region.
Policy analysis measures to combat poverty
Subsequently, I was commissioned to participate in advocacy work at the national level, in relation to the activities of the Alliance against poverty. In this context, I participated in the creation of the two national reports for monitoring and evaluating the national policy to combat poverty and lobbying activities on the occasion of the conversion of the Reddito di Cittadinanza into law.
Educational projects and policies
More or less in the same years, I was entrusted with the general coordination of the largest project then run by ActionAid, OpenSpace, selected by the Impresa Sociale Con i Bambini, aimed at contrasting inequalities and educational poverty., which operated from 2018 to 2022 in four cities (Bari, Milan, Palermo and Reggio Calabria). The commitment to this project has involved an increasingly intense work of policy analysis in the field of educational policies, specializing in particular in the relationship between educational policies and other policies, in particular social ones.
Inequalities and participation
In continuity with the approach I have always adopted, two transversal focuses on all my work in Italy were:
- integral attention to inequalities, primarily socio-economic, which meant not only defining actions that contrast them but also taking into account in every moment of the project cycle the particular limitations caused by being in a condition of socio-economic difficulty;
- the promotion of the protagonism and participation of the participants, aimed at a structural and lasting change in the balance of power.