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Community of Practice: Social Innovation

The Community of Practice on Social Innovation aims to strengthen Member States’ capacity to programme and deliver on social innovation under the ESF+.
The activities aim to:

  • Facilitate the sharing of options and models for programming the social innovation priority under ESF+ Programmes.
  • Encourage networking between projects building national competence centres for social innovation, ESF bodies and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Build capacity in social innovation ecosystem mapping, design, functions and governance of national competence centres for social innovation.
  • Develop thematic notes on key issues, such as scaling-up and community-led local development (CLLD).

Members of this community of practice work on four projects which have been outlined below.

Peer pioneers: social innovation kick starters

The project involved managing authority officials and ESF stakeholders who worked on social innovation under the programming period 2014-2020 and those who were amongst the front runners in drafting ESF+ Programmes. Through virtual peer-to-peer support and mutual learning, members draw on lessons from top-performing managing authorities on social innovation to consider how they could use those plans and indicators as inspiration and apply them to their context, challenges and opportunities. 

Community-led local development (CLLD) with a focus on practices with an innovative component

This project focuses on providing evidence on the successful use of CLLD as an approach that captures social innovation at a local level. The study developed in cooperation with members reflects on how to programme CLLD under the ESF+ (i.e., mistakes to be avoided, challenges identified by managing authorities, capacity building needs) building on the experience of ESF in the current programming period as well as other EU programmes.

Project publications: 

Beyond innovation: scaling-up/replicating/scaling across

The project aims to develop a more systematic evidence-based approach in planning, implementing and assessing social innovation. By revising existing ESF social innovation projects, members of this community will identify approaches and key elements to facilitate the scaling-up and transferability of promising social invocation projects

Project publications: 

Competence centres for social innovation

This project aims to facilitate exchanges on the core tasks of six consortia setting up national competence centres for social innovation. The mutual learning exchanges focus on the following themes: social innovation ecosystem mapping; scaling-up process by the competence centre projects; mutual learning to facilitate connections between the projects, managing authorities and competence centres stakeholders; and, design and governance of the competence centres.


Find out what activities have taken place as part of this community of practice. Use the menu below to see each activity. 

Please note: Activities are being updated on an ongoing basis.

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