The crisis has had a major impact on social services and presents an additional challenge for management. As part of our response to the social consequences of the crisis, ESN has been working on resource and workforce planning and management, social innovation and the role of leadership and performance.


ESN’s work on service management in times of crisis began with a workshop in December 2009 which led to the paper, 'Managing social services in times of crisis'. It continued with the Barcelona 2010 conference and its key messages for policy makers on responding to the crisis. ESN's seminar 'Innovative responses for challenging times' in May 2011 in Budapest highlighted examples of social innovation and investment. In 2012 and 2013, ESN’s working group on 'Leadership, Performance and Innovation' looked in greater depth at key management challenges in light of the crisis. In 2014, ESN launched four papers addressing ways of responding to the crisis, evidence and innovation, cross-sector partnerships and leadership and management approaches. In 2014, ESN published an assessment of the new EU public procurement directives and their impact on local public services.


The Europe 2020 strategy for “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” includes coordination on social inclusion and the social impact of the crisis. The EU and the Euro zone have taken additional initiatives on economic governance in light of the sovereign debt crisis. Specific programmes on social innovation and social policy experimentation complement these efforts. There are also regular reports on developments in social services, with a special emphasis on EU single market rules.


ESN Resources

ESN's 'Contemporary issues in the public management of social services in Europe' series:

External resources

For more information on our work on Managing Social Services please contact ESN policy team