Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning

The Department
Social Cohesion Development and Research  
Social Security
Access to Social Rights
Social Policy for Families and Children


Dialogue platform on ethical and solidarity-based initiatives for combating poverty and social exclusion
Awareness raising seminars
Methodological tool to develop co-responsibility for social cohesion
Annual Forums
Series Trends in social cohesion
Methodological Guides
Social Cohesion Indicators

Method of implementation of the Guide employed by the French city of Mulhouse

The French city of Mulhouse is the first place where the Methodological Guide has been implemented to elaborate concerted social cohesion indicators at local level. Conclusions to be drawn are many and varied, relating to the feasibility and validity of the approach proposed in the Guide.

The result is a base of dialogue between public authorities, associations and citizens, who will keep on working together to measure present and past social cohesion degree, through a range of indicators they created themselves.

Some fifteen representatives of the main sectors present in the territory - the municipality, the social services, voluntary associations, etc. - set up a co-ordinating group for devising the management of the whole process.

The collective reflection was conducted with some 150 residents from different origins. They were organised first in small �single-profile� groups of eight to ten persons with the same socio-professional characteristics. These groups were then combined into "multi-profile" groups with one representative of each of the "single profile" groups with an eye to inclusively consolidating all the different criteria expressed.
Elements of citizen weel-being
 Equity and non-discrimination
 Autonomy and personal development
Dignity and recognition
Participation and commitment
Discussions were based right from the outset on defining the citizen well-being objective to avoid any approach limited at verifying the relevance and quality of existing services, instead of carrying on a substantive reflection on the expectations of citizens themselves. This phase highlighted a wide range of well-being criteria (more than 120 were counted), other than the economic well-being and enabled a successful test of the four elements of citizen well-being proposed in the Guide.

It was possible to set qualitative indicators which are comprehensible to all, while remaining objective, thanks to the introduction of a number of rules on measuring indicators. Qualitative indicators represent an assessment scale expressed by citizens themselves: participants specified the conditions under which a situation can be deemed good or bad. This could be followed immediately by the very phase of measuring past and present situations (and therefore trends) to arrive at an assessment of well-being in the territory in question.. Local people were involved in measuring indicators: they were invited to voice their own views within "focus groups" organised on the basis of the "multi-profile groups". The results were supplemented with the available statistics.

Provided with a well-being indicators' grid and with a citizen assessment, the City of Mulhouse and the co-ordinating group may now invite territory actors to analyse how they can together respond to this demand and avoid any form of social exclusion. The City of Mulhouse is therefore naturally moving towards a concept of Territory Responsible for Social Cohesion, to which the Italian Province of Trento and the French region of Paris are already committed.