The INCLUSO concept

The incluso conceptThe INCLUSO concept is aiming at supporting inclusion of youth at risk by using social software tools. The tools by itself will not change anything. They will only support and what is already in place. Fostering social inclusion consists of a complex set of interactions and it would be unwise to expect that the introduction of social software will reshape this completely.

But if your organisation is working with youth at risk and you are interested in using social media to foster social inclusion, then the INCLUSO concept can support you.

As is clear from both our literature study, the issue of social exclusion is a complex and multidimensional one that should be tackled on a variety of different levels. Whereas national and regional governments put policies into place to take matters on from a macro point of view, it is the different welfare origanisations in the field that focus on the micro level : the individual at risk of exclusion. As the approach of these different organisations differs widely, depending on the specific target group you focus on and the exact nature of their exclusion, the choice of tools these organisations will use and how these will be implemented will vary as well. The INCLUSO concept consists of

This is represented in the INCLUSO poster that is available for download in two formats:

This poster can be used to initiate the INCLUSO concept.

The goals are

  • to encourage and support personal development
  • to encourage and support social participation

Going beyond the overarching goals, we go deeper into both of them and define ways through which the overarching goals can be met.

INLCLUSO Goals

  • Facilitate Digital Inlcusion entails making sure the youngster at risk of social exclusion is able to bridge the first, second and third digital divides, gaining proper and regular access to the internet, gaining the skills to make use of the internet and lastly being guided and stimulated to use the internet in such a way that it can benefit the youngster.
  • Improve Educational Attainment comprises assisting youngsters in such a way that it benefits their school work.
  • Increase Employability Skills entails actions that are focused on preparing the youngsters for an efficient transition into professional life.
  • Improve Communication Skills are those actions aimed at increasing the youngsters’ communication skills necessary to interact on an equal basis with peers, agencies and service providers and the wider community.
  • Foster Social Relations are those actions aimed at creating new and strengthening existing social ties between the youngsters and their peers, family and support staff working with them.
  • Increase Community Participation focuses on encouraging participation in community groups, clubs and cultural events, but also bringing together people from different social backgrounds. All of this focused on allowing the youngsters to transcend their current situation and gain the benefits from interacting with people that can offer different points of view, new information, insights and opportunities.
  • Promote Active Citizenship lastly, are those actions at encouraging a better understanding of the self and society and encouraging participation in local governance.

The members of the INCLUSO consortium jointly used this model to define specific actions to be taken in each pilot. Starting from the same model allowed us to make better comparisons between each pilot and their subsequent evaluation, all while leaving the pilot organisations sufficient freedom in adapting this model to the specific ways in which they approach promoting social inclusion of marginalised youngsters.
The model allowed us to test different kinds of social software against different actions towards alleviating social exclusion of marginalised youth and proved flexible enough to support the explorative nature of the INCLUSO project.

The tools

To work on these goals, INCLUSO suggests a number or tools that can be used:

 

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