The dote system is the most recent and only way to finance and deliver services in the training and labour policy field in Lombardy (Italy), strengthening the regional quasi-market approach. The purpose of this paper is to analyse its logic and highlight the implications for the policy system.
Qualitative case-study including preliminary documentation, analysis of administrative data, in-depth interviews with stakeholders and practitioners.
The dote system is based on a strongly pre-structured and pure performance logic. It predefines forms, ways and steps towards people’s “autonomy”, further categorising the policy system and establishing a combination of individualisation without personalisation. The strict regulation makes it difficult to design accessible, high-quality and tailor-made interventions. Dote could represent an interesting innovation for high-profile measures, but as a universal equivalent it often fails to match the needs of people and the labour market.
The self-funded research is limited to a regional context, analysed against the background of European welfare transformations. Greater effort in qualitative research could improve the knowledge about the implications of NPM and quasi-markets.
Regional centralism is strengthened; local authorities and private bodies are excluded from planning; freedom of choice is limited. A marriage of convenience between providers and users increases the level of stress and the dispersion of resources.
Dote is a particular experiment in the panorama of activation. It works in a unique way, impacting on governance and activation modes. The paper is addressed to researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in gaining better understanding of the implications of quasi-markets and NPM.
Sabatinelli, S. and Villa, M. (2015), "Happy ever after in the quasi-market place? The dowry logic of active labour policy in the Lombardy Region", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 35 No. 11/12, pp. 812-827. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-11-2014-0114
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