The first analyses of the Leo Andringa Observatory of Poverty (OPLA), one year after its launch
by Licia Paglione
The Economy of Communion was born as a response of an international community (including entrepreneurs, scholars, consumers, young people and the poor) to the dissatisfaction with an economic system deemed not sufficiently inclusive or just: in its 26 years of life it has given rise to initiatives to fight poverty and economic and social inequalities in various parts of the world.
Hence the meaning of the word "communion", understood both as communion of goods and riches, and also with a deeper meaning. If it is transposed beyond the material level, communion, in fact, touches upon the dimension of human relationships (relationships between those who give help and those who receive it, relations that everyone lives and builds...), "colouring" them in fraternal tones, in which people are on a level of equal dignity.
In the first three research works carried out by the OPLA - "Leo Andringa” Observatory of Poverty, attention was paid to the relational significance of "communion", the point of convergence of the EoC project made manifest by the value conferred on relationships, in particular on fraternal and "family" relationships. Communion can be considered the 'figure' of the form of combating poverty implemented in the Economy of Communion.
The reports appear first of all as one of the constitutive dimensions of EoC’s idea of human flourishing, as evidenced by the work done in Brazil, in collaboration with ANPECOM, whose objective was to understand the idea of development present in the cultural vision of the EoC and its composing dimensions, from the perspective of the people who are involved in managing the EoC funds within the project named SUPERA - Superação da vulneribilidade economica (“Overcoming economic vulnerability”).
The evaluation of the reports also emerges as a specific element of the strategy to fight poverty implemented in the Philippines, as shown in the second study whose objective was to describe "how" in that country an "action to combat poverty according to communion" is carried out.
And the relationships, their quantitative and qualitative increase, and their qualification as "goods in themselves", appear as one of the significant outcomes generated in the lives of the people involved in the projects against poverty in Portugal, as evidenced by the analysis of the Raise project, carried out in collaboration with AMU.
From these first three works it is clear, therefore, that communion is an explicitly sought outcome in the commitment of the EoC against poverty, but also a style of the adopted process, highlighting the effort of coherence between the means and ends of the actions against poverty which lends this experience its original character.
In its second year of life, too, OPLA intends to continue the analysis of EoC’s other actions taken in the field against poverty, pursuing this path and enriching the first qualitative evidence gathered, to determine whether the actions carried out in various parts of the world are effective and in reference to what dimensions, in view of the wider objective of the EoC that remains that of creating a more just and fraternal society.
For further information:
(Please note that all downloadable articles are in Italian – the below titles are translated to English for your information – the tr.):
From Brazil: What are the Economy of Communion’s developments? Download file
From the Philippines: What are the Communion type of helping strategies? Download file
From Portugal: What are the relational effects in a project fighting poverty in the Economy of Communion environment? Download file