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Work packages

The work of the CRESSI project is categorised into ten work packages (WP). Over the course of the project, deliverables will include reports, policy briefings, toolkits, case studies, a book, and academic papers and journals.

Work Package 1

Economics, Institutions and Social Innovation: Theory and Practice in Terms of the Vulnerable and Marginalised - aims to provide:

  • An analysis of the institutions, networks, and norms that underpin social innovation, particularly in terms of their impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized populations
  • An account of the power sources and system dynamics surrounding social innovation with respect to the vulnerable and marginalized
  • A comparative analysis of how the sociological accounts of social innovation developed in this WP deviate from and enhance neo-classical economic models of innovation
  • A comparison of the incentive structures in standard economic analyses of innovation and social innovation addressing the marginalized
  • A development of Resilience Theory in the context of the economic underpinnings of social innovation

Taken together, these tasks provide the conceptual basis for the project as a whole, as well as the analytic frameworks with which the empirical data collected in the project will be tested and evaluated. In turn, the results of the data analysis will be reflected back to enhance and extend theory development and to generate concrete policy recommendations across the EU.

Work Package 1 was finalised in spring 2015.

Publications from Work Package 1

Work Package 2

Integrated Case Studies (Qualitative) - aims to:

  • Take stock of examples of social innovations, including both historic and recent, as well as successful and not so successful ones.
  •  Prepare a common database of qualitative case studies, by creating comprehensive and comparative case studies following the same structure. These case studies were used for the other CrESSI work packages (especially WP4, WP5, and WP6).

The three comprehensive case studies covered the topics below.

  1. The history of social housing as a social innovation 
  2. Financial and monetary innovations for overcoming social exclusion 
  3. The history of freshwater supply as a social innovation 

The topics of the four individual case studies are:

  1. A way out of poverty? A social microcredit programme generating self-employment for the Roma in Hungary
  2. Social entrepreneur Michal Kravcik and the ‘New Water Paradigm’
  3. Community-based health research
  4. Entrepreneur capital


Case study

Freshwater supply as a social innovation




Work Package 2 is now complete.

Summary of the main findings of the Work Package 2 case studies: 

Work Package 3

Measurement Approaches to Capturing Social Innovation Impact - aims to:

  • Identify the relevant dimensions of social innovation processes for measurement techniques that can be used in evaluation and monitoring impact
  • Improve the toolbox of evaluation of social innovations, by adding focused measures of how social innovation can improve the economic and social inclusion of the marginalized and vulnerable
  • Compare different methodological approaches, taking stock of the state of the art of social innovation impact measurement and the established traditions within conventional economic measures of the impacts of technological innovation
  • Elaborate a conceptual and methodological framework for the construction of indicators that measure the impacts of social innovation and the effects on marginalized populations

The specific objectives for Work Package 3 were:

  • A Common Framework: To develop a common framework for comparing the different methodological approaches to measuring social innovation.
  • Evaluation Methods for Social Innovation: A Critical Framework (Deliverable D3.1)
  • Mapping of Social Impact Data Collection against the Critical Frameworks
  • Accounting Methods as Social Innovation in Finance (Deliverable D3.2) 
  • Detecting Existing Indicators (Deliverable D3.3) 
  •  A Methodology for Measuring Social Innovation from the Capability Approach (Deliverable 3.4, Deliverable 3.5, Deliverable 3.6)

Work Package 3 is now complete.

Publications from Work Package 3

Work Package 4

Social Versus Technical Innovation - aims to:

  • Learn from views on and developments in technological innovation

  • Embed social innovation in an account of the co-evolution of technology, economy, and society

  • Explore the contribution of social innovation to systemic change

The specific objectives for Work Package 4 are as follows:

  • Learning from Recent Work in Technological Innovation (Deliverable 4.1 and 4.2).
  • Embedding Social Innovation in an Account of the Co-evolution of Technology, Economy, and Society (Deliverable 4.1 and 4.2).
  • The Contribution of Social Innovation to Systemic Change (Deliverable 4.3 and Deliverable 4.4).

Work Package 4 is now complete.

Publications from Work Package 4

Work Package 5

Work Package 5 addresses the life cycles of social innovation and the types of actors that are relevant during the lifecycle of a social innovation. A comparative analysis of the case studies produced in Work Package 2 (deliverables D2.1 and D2.2) will help determine the general conditions that facilitate social innovation and prepare the foundation for policies supporting social innovation. This work package, therefore, aims to uncover the resources, actors, strategies, and barriers in different contexts and on different levels of social innovation. This also includes the development of the theoretical foundation of social innovation in finance. The findings are then applied to more recent social innovations and future scenarios are sketched out. Based on the results policy recommendations are formulated.

The main aims of Work Package 5 are:

  • To analyse the Ecosystems and Life cycles of Social Innovation Using the Social Grid Framework (Deliverable D5.1) - completed.
  • Theoretical Foundations of Social Innovation in Finance (Deliverable D5.2) - completed.
  • Comparative Case Analysis (Deliverable D5.3) - completed.
  • Policy Recommendations based on tasks 1-3 to synthesise key policy and practice recommendation in terms of building and developing ecosystems appropriate to different social innovation life cycles in various institutional contexts. (Deliverable D5.4) - completed.

Work Package 5 is now complete.

Publications from Work Package 5

Work Package 6

Public Policy, Social Innovation and Marginalisation - aims to:

  • Take stock of the past - successful and less successful – EU policy agendas supporting social innovation and identify their economic underpinnings
  • Identify the distinguishing features of EU social innovation policy
  • Identify what policy instruments at the EU and member state levels are best utilized to finance social innovation; build public-private partnerships; and build effective networks to support social innovation
  • Identify transferrable best practice and successful policy models for growing social innovation across the EU
  • Explore how social innovation policy agendas differ across individual member states
  • Explore by what processes individual member states develop distinctive policy agendas for social innovation
  • Understand how social innovation policy reflects wider social structures and power relations within member states and across states (top-down v bottom-up)
  • Identify where institutional dominance lies within and across member states in social innovation policy making

In May 2015, an EU level policy seminar (Deliverable 6.2) was held at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) in Central London, UK. This event offered an opportunity for invited academics, policymakers and stakeholders to engage with some of the most recent work of the CRESSI research programme. Read a report on the event

Based on progress made thus far, a series of CRESSI working papers (Deliverable 6.1) have been published that examine the current status and origins of EU-level and domestic policy agendas supporting social innovation. 

As a result, in 2016, a number of policy roundtable events and practitioner seminars have been co-organised by University of Oxford in the UK, University of Tampere Finland and CERS-HAS in Hungary to disseminate research findings and to facilitate the critical input of key stakeholders into the research process. Please find all event summaries at the Publications page (Deliverable 6.3 and 6.4).

To fulfill the research objectives of Work Package 6, a comparison of EU social innovation policy agendas examining the capacity of three distinctive policy instruments to foster social innovation across Finland, Hungary, and the UK. The report is now available (Deliverable 6.5). 

Drawing from this emerging evidence base, University of Oxford has joined forces with Social Innovation Community partner Nesta to lead a Policy seminar (Deliverable 6.6) on this issue. Comprising of a presentation by the  CrESSI team, a panel discussion, and a participatory workshop, the event brought together almost 80 participants from different sectors and areas of work - from civil servants and local government policy advisors to researchers and social innovators. Read more on the event.

EU Policy Recommendations and Guidelines Report [D6.7] is now being published and is available at the Publications page.  

Publications from Work Package 6

Work Package 7

Integrated Case Studies (Quantitative) - aims to:

  • Elaborate and implement a framework for the empirical analysis of how social innovation processes can affect individual well-being and inclusion

  • Develop a standardized questionnaire for the collection of data on social innovation which allows for adaptation to specific cases and comparative analysis of cases

  • Collect innovative and relevant data on social innovation with respect to the most vulnerable segments of society living in a target area

  • Test an advanced econometric tool for the analysis of the contextual effects of social innovation on the well-being of individuals living in a target area

  • Provide statistical details on social innovation and its role in mitigating adverse conditions of the most vulnerable

  • Develop data-based empirical evidence with which the findings of other, more conceptual Work Packages, can be tested and enhanced

The specific objectives for Work Package 7 are:

  • Develop Questionnaires for Case-Study Data Collection 
  • Data Collection strategy 
  • Statistical Analysis of four case studies (Deliverable 7.2) 
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis: advancement of statistical investigations on the collected data
  • A Special issue of the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship gathering all WP7 findings (Deliverable 7.3 Journal Special Issue) 

Work Package 7 is now complete.

Publications from Work Package 7

Work Package 8

Synthesis - aims to:

  • Reassess the social grid conceptual framework in the light of the empirical work in WP2 and WP7 and to draw final conclusions regarding the creation of a fair economic space for social innovation
  • Make policy recommendations for promoting a fair economic space for social innovation

The specific objectives for Work Package 8 are:

Work package 8 is now complete. 

Work Package 9

Management - aims to:

  •  Ensure the smooth running and timely delivery of this programme of research

Work Package 10

Dissemination - aims to:

  • Disseminate the ongoing and final research results of the individual Work Packages and the project as a whole to key stakeholders
  • Achieve long-term dissemination by integrating the project’s theoretical and practical findings into key scientific communities
  • Outreach to the wider public with innovative dissemination methods

The specific objectives for Work Package 10 are:

  • Inclusion of all key stakeholders.
  • Long-term impact via the wider research community. This is an on-going task that will continue throughout the project. It includes presenting research questions and findings for peer-review and dissemination in a range of scientific research communities, including the Human Development and Capability Association, HDCA. To learn more on activities organised within the thematic HDCA group.

  • To widen the dissemination of the overall project findings by ensuring outreach to the wider public. It includes the development of a social innovation toolkit for young people (Deliverable D10.4); a documentary 'Air beneath their wings' on social innovation and the marginalised (Deliverable D10.5); and a series of financial literacy seminars organised by TU Delft and UHEI in Folkestone and Heidelberg (Deliverable D10.6 and D10.7). 

As part of the work on this Work Package, CrESSI is collaborating with the Big Jump Challenge - the youth campaign of the European River Swimming Day/Big Jump. This aims to reclaim rivers and lakes with creative swimming actions that collectively generate a wave of attention for water conservation. More information on the Big Jump Challenge

Work package 10 is now complete.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613261.

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