Building Better Future Scenarios: From Fragmentation to Strategic Collaboration in the Elderly Care Policy at Local Level

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Ana ESGAIO, CAPP/ ISCSP-University of Lisbon, Portugal, School of Social and Political Sciences (University of Lisbon), Portugal
Fernando SERRA, University of Lisbon - School of Social and Political Sciences, Portugal, ISCSP University of Lisbon VAT# 600019152, Lisbon, Portugal
Carla PINTO, ISCSP-University of Lisbon VAT # 600019152, Portugal, School of Social and Political Sciences (University of Lisbon), Portugal
Given the challenges that it presents to contemporary societies, demographic ageing can be considered a wicked problem. In the context of an ongoing austerity and low government financial transfers to local authorities, the ability to anticipate demographic and sociological aging trends and allocate adequate resources appears to be critical competencies, and must necessarily translate into a strategic collaborative orientation towards the future. Drawing on a case study conducted in a municipality in the Lisbon Region related to local aging welfare policy this paper aims to examine the processes of inter-organizational collaboration and networking and explore the future scenarios (the “policy possibilities” model) opened up to local mixed welfare arrangements facing severe demographic aging and poverty in the region.

The preliminary analysis of the data, collected through a set of policy planning documents, semi-directive interviews to local policy-decision makers and a participatory methodology applied to a panel of different stakeholders revealed some tension between fragmentation and strategic reorientation to sustainability along four axes: (1) basic care, subsistence and life support; (2) inclusion in the community; (3) socioeconomic and civic participation, lifelong learning and cultural life fruition; and (4) organizational qualification and social responsibility.

Applying the future scenarios model - still in progress – we demonstrate that the intensification of the collaboration and networking processes, involving actively all the stakeholders (local government, state agencies, NGO´s, corporations and older people representatives) are necessary conditions to ensure a more balanced and sustainable welfare-mix model at local level.