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In the last years in the Region of Veneto, Italy, specific local laws, national strategies and European Community Programs have spurred many participatory processes in different social policy areas. The results of these interventions were significantly heterogeneous with respect to the effects on the participants and the local communities. In this context this paper provides a comparative analysis of what was experienced by a third sector organisation, Cooperative Il Sestante of Treviso, in welfare policies addressed to families. Within diverse relational environments, this subject has conducted participatory processes according to largely homogeneous approaches, which are identifiable in the community work paradigm and in the methodology of Action-Research, aiming to empower individuals, groups, and communities.

In relation to the experimentation of local policies that try participatory processes this paper aims at analysing these different participatory projects investigating if and how they were able to build innovative relations between citizens and institutions within the communities and at trying to review the logic behind the models of intervention and the patterns of managing the social policies.

Andrea Conficoni
Marco Emilio
Nicola Vendramin

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