Published: 000 February 2022Last change: 16 February 2022
The evaluation of the Instapeconomie pilot in The Hague Southwest shows that social participation of people on social assistance benefits has developed positively in various ways. habitats. Among other things, in the field of language level, physical and mental health. In addition, the pilot focuses on improving the quality of life and social cohesion in the neighbourhood. There is also a positive effect here. “This approach is a good example of how we can offer people perspective again, give them a sense of self-esteem and livelihood security so that they can participate in society in The Hague again,” says Arjen Kapteijns, alderman for Social Affairs and Employment.
The pilot is part of the Work Offensive program +500 of the Municipality of The Hague and the Regional Deal The Hague Southwest. From conversations that the municipality has had with the 16. it appears that for some of them the distance to the regular labor market is (almost) unbridgeable. The current range of facilities often offers no prospects. The pilot focuses on this group of people. Participants benefit financially, because they receive a volunteer allowance on top of their allowance. The municipality is experimenting with this within the limits of the Participation Act.
Work with social valueThe pilot is being carried out at Stichting Werk van Waarde, part of the neighborhood company Allekanten. The 16 participants perform low-threshold activities with social value for the neighbourhood. This concerns activities that are not being carried out now, because they are not profitable to take up from regular work. For example, they make fresh soup and bring it to vulnerable and/or lonely neighborhood residents. Or they are committed to keeping the neighborhood clean and safe. In addition to performing tasks in the neighbourhood, the participants also work on their own personal and professional development.
Good for participants and the neighborhood Research into the effects on participants late on the previously envisaged impact areas show a positive development. It concerns the impact areas language level, social network, meaning, daily life & home situation, mental, physical and financial health. With regard to the effect on the neighbourhood, participants notice a clear effect, the local residents involved a slight effect on quality of life, safety and social cohesion. Most participants indicate in interviews that they look more positively at the future. They have ambitions, dreams and ideals that they want to fulfill. On a professional level, a number of participants also have very concrete ambitions, which they partially work on during their entry-level work.
Many people in Southwest have dreams, ambitions and ideals that they want to fulfill. With this pilot we help with the future prospects of these people, and of Southwest, and that is a great development to see and maintain, says Martijn Balster, Alderman for Housing, Neighborhoods and Welfare. 2022Mariela comes back among the peopleMariela participates in the pilot. She has been suffering from street anxiety for about nine years. She went from someone who liked to go outside with her children into a house sparrow. Fear and panic have defined her life all this time. She came into contact with the Werk van Waarde foundation through someone else. Here she now organizes activities for young girls from the neighbourhood.
Work helps me to overcome my fears. I even went to watch my daughter’s soccer game, Mariela says. He was super proud of me! Mariela uses the allowance for small extras for her children.
Revision of the Participation Act and the basic jobThe municipality would like to experiment outside the boundaries of the Participation Act, what that does for people. In a letter to the House, the Municipality of The Hague also indicated that it has to deal with a number of provisions of the Participation Act on a daily basis that it no longer considers appropriate at this time.
It is high time to fundamentally revise the principles of the Participation Act so that the human dimension returns and the government again approaches people from trust and not out of mistrust, says alderman Kapteijns. The G4 has made a number of recommendations in this letter.
The core of those recommendations and approach for the fundamental revision of the safety net is a less strict and less hard law, in which there is room for the human dimension and livelihood is the starting point. For new initiatives, such as low-regulation social assistance (basic income) or the continued development of the basic job in the form of the Hague Entry-level economy, an expansion of the scope for experimentation in the Articulation Act is necessary. Only then can we explore what works and what doesn’t, says alderman Kapteijns. †