An international qualitative feasibility study to explore the process of using social innovation (co-production) strategies with older people: the SAIL project

Holly Louise Crossen-White, Ann Hemingway, Adele Ladkin, Andrew Jones, Amanda Burke, Olaf Timmermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to present the feasibility study findings from a four-year project funded by the European Union Commission (the SAIL project, Staying Active and Independent for Longer). The funding stream was Interreg 2Seas which offers opportunities for coastal areas on both sides of the English Channel to work together on complex practical issues. The project focused on enabling older people to stay active and independent for longer using social innovation (co-production) approaches. Design/methodology/approach: Ten pilot projects were developed, and each of the pilots worked with an academic partner to undertake a feasibility study that included 10 pilots across the four countries involved, France, Belgium, Holland and England. Findings: This paper presents barriers and facilitators (using logic models) to the social innovation process with older people, which has wider relevance in terms of social innovation and its application. Research limitations/implications: The findings which inform this paper are extensive, and this is a longitudinal qualitative study with much of the data collection being done using an online wiki (complemented by interviews and documentary analysis) which is a relatively new method for data collection. However, the consistency of the findings when analysed by three researchers was clear and pragmatically this complex method was required to examine complexity in the process of implementing social innovation in practice. Practical implications: This project has enabled greater understanding of how social innovation can be applied and has highlighted contextual issues that can undermine or enable attempts to adopt the approach. Social implications: For the 10 pilot projects generated, there were obviously important cultural and geographical differences in terms of engagement and practical implementation of social innovation. Some of which, as mentioned in this paper, are very important for the successful implementation of social innovation in a particular setting and indeed may be a strength or a barrier in terms of engaging with local people and agencies. Originality/value: The development of logic models is a useful approach when the topic under study is complex and likely to produce a diverse set of process outcomes. The logic model focuses upon the relationships between the resources that are used to create the intervention and what is produced in terms of outcomes. Ultimately, this enables the identification of the factors that contribute to a successful intervention. Thus, in relation to this study, logic models have helped to provide an evidence-based framework that can support decision-making regarding the most effective use of limited resources to support successful social innovation processes in the future. The logic model for each area of the findings presented here can in the future be used to help implement social innovation; also, to consider how it can be improved in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-149
Number of pages21
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online date27 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Co-production
  • Feasibility study
  • International study
  • Older people
  • Social innovation
  • Staying active
  • Staying independent

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