Social Board a model to contrast social exclusion, the case of Prato

Title Social Board a new tool to contrast social exclusion

Location Prato

Duration September 2018 – November 2019

Framework SIA / REI “Social Board” of the Prato Territorial Area

Funding FSE – PON Inclusion: Interventions in favour of social inclusion



On the 1° January 2018, the city of Prato adopted the Inclusion Income (REI). REI is a national measure to contrast universal poverty divided in two parts: a economic benefit and a tailored project for social and working inclusion. While INPS, National Institute for Social Security, manages the payment of the economic benefit, Social Services of the Municipality of Prato are in charge of preparing the tailored project for social inclusion.

In Prato, economic dynamism, multiculturalism and innovation coexist with high levels of social exclusion, housing distress, scholastic dispersion and risk of marginalization. Despite the fact that in almost all families there is at least one working  component, there are many people who live in conditions of indebtedness and suffer the high cost of living.

The application of the REI income in Prato, therefore, has been shaped on this recent transformation and has allowed to activate an innovative mode of intervention focused on the “Social Board”. Social Board is a particular intervention model for the activation of tailored projects, characterized by: teamwork, user participation, integrated and personalized planning.

General Objective

The main aim of Social Board is to provide an integrated, flexible and personalized response to disadvantaged people so that they can break poverty perpetuation mechanisms.

ARCO Researchers have carried out a research analysis to understand to what extent the Social Board model has led to an effective improvement in taking care of persons at risk of marginalization and whether this procedure is an effective tool for combating social exclusion.

Our contribution

The research was carried out in 14 months and was articulated in four different phases. The tools used come out of mixed methodology, ie qualitative tools – such as interviews with key informants and focus groups – and quantitative tools, such as the administration of questionnaires.

The first phase’s aim was to understand the application of REI in Prato, the functioning of the Social Board Model, the actors involved in the project and how the latter fits into the Prato context. During th second phase  REI users were profiled with the help of a questionnaire. The third phase assessed the effectiveness of tailored projects development. The fourth and final phase assessed the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of the entire Social Board project.

To know more:

Read more on our Inclusive Development Unit