The “trademark” of the researches of the Voluntary Service and Participation Foundation
Regardless of the individual work areas and the related and specific projects, it would be desirable that the research activities of the Foundation be founded on the basis of certain elements common to all projects. These elements would constitute the substantial “trademark” of the entire complex of the Foundation’s research activities (and by extension of all its activities).
Some initial indications of the “trademark” could be:
to. scientific nature: the Foundation develops research activities according to the criteria of objectivity and the corresponding survey methodologies and protocols recognized by the scientific community of the reference disciplines;
b. critical-constructive approach: in continuity with the tradition of the CNV, the approach of the research activities is critical, i.e. oriented to understanding – together with the interlocutors involved in the activities – both the values and potentials and the ambivalences and criticalities existing in the field of civil society. In the belief that volunteering can and must retain a ‘political’ role, that is a marked subjectivity to the extension and qualification of substantial democracy and universalism (see Article 2.2, letter fg of the Statute ) , the Foundation’s research they develop an approach to constructive criticism of the phenomena studied;
c. from practices to theory (and back): in continuity with the CNV tradition, the research activities prefer to develop according to a tendentially inductive method, proceeding – on the basis of existing conceptualizations – from the detail of the experiences carried out to arrive at an original contribution to theoretical reflection ;
d. useful for thought, useful for (innov) action: in the awareness that there is no conscious action without thought, the entire research activity of the Foundation will aim to develop knowledge useful for the concrete improvement of the operations of all those involved in activity through the accompaniment to the growth of their self-reflexivity. To broaden the usefulness and usability of the research activities, the results will also be socialized outside the specific sphere of the subjects directly involved, thus contributing to fueling the cultural and scientific debate (see Article 2.1 and Article 2.3 of the Statute ) . Moreover, this peculiarity of the research approach seems to constitute a useful driving force for innovation;
is. plurality of skills and methodologies: convinced that the social phenomena connected to the research fields of the Foundation are characterized by their high and fleeting complexity, the Foundation’s activities are characterized by the coexistence and integration of different skills and survey methodologies, useful to focus on the various components of the issues at stake;
f. tendency towards comparison: in line with the statutory aims (see Article 2.1 of the Statute ), the research activity of the Foundation, although individually focused on specific work objects, has the national and international level as its work horizon, assuming strategic objectives of analysis comparative.