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Comparing local welfare networks – experience abroad, messages for Québec

This research project analyzes local services network (LSN) operations to gain an understanding of the extent to which problems in inter-organizational collaboration stem from existing policies or the interactional dynamics inherent to networks. A comparison is made between regulatory frameworks in Québec, Germany, and Norway, and collaboration practices in two areas of intervention in the same three jurisdictions: youth in difficulty and seniors with diminishing autonomy. More specifically, the research involves three interconnected components: 1)  a map of the institutional configurations of local services networks and their underlying regulatory frameworks; 2) a secondary analysis of available data on inter-organizational collaboration problems previously documented in the scientific literature; and 3)  the development of an investigative methodology based on clinical vignettes, involving members of local services networks in three urban areas: Hamburg, Trondheim and Montréal. 
The project also received funding from the Regionale Norges Forskningsråd (Norway) and the Chair of Social Policy, Organization and Society (Germany).


  • Provide a comparative overview of problems encountered by LSNs in different jurisdictions, focusing on the role of regulatory factors and taking practical issues into account
  • Support local and regional actors in upgrading and improving LSNs
  • Develop and test clinical vignettes for potential use in future research


Lead researcher : 
Oscar Firbank, École de service social, Université de Montréal
Collaborators :
Ingo Bode, Université Universität Kassel (Allemagne)
Johans Sandvin, Département de sciences sociales, Bodø University College (Norvège)
Janne Paulsen-Breimo, Département de sciences sociales, Bodø University College (Norvège)
Alex Battaglini, CISSS de Laval