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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 (Department of Human Sciences and Public Health, School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Ann Hemingway (Department of Medical Science and Public Health, School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Adele Ladkin (Department of People and Organisations, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)
Andrew Jones (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Amanda Burke (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Olaf Timmermans (Department of Health Science, University of Zeeland, Oskerpeller, The Netherlands)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 27 September 2022

Issue publication date: 17 October 2022

51

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank and acknowledge the contribution of all members of the research group involved in this study including L.A. Hendrikx, V. Quaglino and Y. Gounden.

Funding: This work was supported by the European Union Interreg 2 Seas Programme (2014–2020), co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund [Grant number 2S02-024].

Citation

Crossen-White, H.L., Hemingway, A., Ladkin, A., Jones, A., Burke, A. and Timmermans, O. (2022), "An international qualitative feasibility study to explore the process of using social innovation (co-production) strategies with older people: the SAIL project", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 129-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-02-2022-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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