Monitoring Research Outcomes
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
MPHASIS - Mutual Progress on Homelessness through Advancing and Strengthening Information Systems
The MPHASIS project evolved as a follow-up to a one year "Measurement of Homelessness at European Union Level" study carried out for the European Commission in 2007. MPHASIS aimed to explore how the recommendations of this study on the development of national homelessness information strategies and on data collection could be implemented in practice and what obstacles needed to be overcome.
EU Peer Reviews
Peer Reviews are a key instrument of the Social ’Open Method of Coordination’ (OMC). They enable an open discussion on social protection and social inclusion policies in the different EU Member States and facilitate the mutual learning process among them.
Each Peer Review is hosted by one country. The host country can present a selected “good practice” – a new programme, a policy reform or an institutional arrangement mentioned in its National Strategy Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion – to experts from the European Commission, other countries (peer countries) and relevant stakeholder organisations.
The aim is to evaluate the policy, to see if it is effective in a national context, to establish how it contributes to EU objectives, to uncover any flaws – notably by learning from "good practices" in other countries – and to determine whether it could be effectively transferred to other Member States.
The host country can also use the Peer Review meetings to gather expert advice from other countries in order to inform the process of preparation of a major policy reform in the field of social protection and social inclusion (or new programme or institutional arrangement). The aim would be to take advantage of "good practices" existing in other EU countries to improve the efficiency of their reforms.
"Counting the Homeless – Improving the Basis for Planning Assistance". In the City of Vienna, where reintegrating the homeless through housing programmes has been a priority for the past 20 years, the need to gather empirical data on homelessness has been singled out as a cornerstone for introducing efficient, needs-oriented measures to assist those affected. The availability of both quantitative and qualitative data on homelessness would enable the City to adapt and improve local social planning in line with needs and, ultimately, to better integrate the homeless into the regular housing market. A European Peer Review aimed to facilitate this by examining and sharing instruments for data collection, and strategies to counter homelessness across Europe.
"The Finnish National Programme to reduce long-term homelessness". In February 2008, the Finnish Government adopted a programme that aimed to halve long-term homelessness by 2011. Based on the “housing first” principle, which considers that appropriate accommodation is a prerequisite for solving other social and health problems, the programme included an ambitious goal to convert all traditional short-term shelters into supported housing units that facilitate independent living. The Peer Review sought to assess the programme’s success and to exchange experiences with countries that are implementing or preparing similar national programmes or strategies to reduce long-term homelessness.
"Building a comprehensive and participative strategy on homelessness". Portugal’s homelessness strategy, launched in March 2009, was designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated by a large group of public and private stakeholders. The strategy is based on a strict definition of homelessness, but local networks were encouraged to develop their own homelessness diagnoses and action plans within a broad framework that includes prevention, intervention and follow-up measures. The Peer Review enabled participants to share their experiences and learn from the good governance and stakeholder involvement and commitment present in the Portuguese homelessness strategy.