Social Marketing for Social Inclusion: the SIM project

This successful partnership between academia, public organisations, and ESMA focused on using social marketing to help mid-stream professionals improve social inclusion of people with disabilities.

SIM was financed by the European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme (grant ID 2019-1-PT01-KA204-060716) with the aim of supporting Member State’s commitments and efforts to promote Social Inclusion and extending and developing the competences of professionals.

Project partners came from four European countries, plus members of the ESMA:

  • Bulgaria: NARHU, National Association of Professionals Working with People with Disabilities
  • Portugal: APCC, Associação De Paralisia Cerebral De Coimbra, that promotes social inclusion of disadvantaged people, specifically people with disabilities;
  • Spain: Universitat de València, (UV) – Marketing and Market Research Department;
  • Switzerland: Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) – Institute of Communication and Public Policy – BeCHANGE group, specialized in Social Marketing; and
  • The European Social Marketing Association

Starting with a needs assessment of social workers in the disability sector, partners worked together to integrate social marketing with social inclusion indicators and concepts. A new integrated model was developed, adapted to social workers’ needs (the AddElast model) and a handbook created that provides a practical guide for applying social marketing in the disability sector. Based on this material, training was conducted with social worker practitioners, during which they proposed real problems they face in their organizations (e.g., finding volunteers, absenteeism in the workplace, lack of motivation among workers…). Practitioners and academics then worked together to co-create innovative solutions, using social marketing. Social workers were coached in the implementation of these innovative solutions in their organisations, and the results of these case studies are reported in a Pedagogical Strategy handbook. A short course (MOOC) is available online that integrates all the learning materials produced by the project.

The project resulted in the production of the following resources, all freely available online, and aimed at helping to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities:

1. SIM Training Needs Assessment: a study of the training needs of professionals on social marketing.

SIM HANDBOOK: A practical guide for applying social marketing in the disability sector.

SIM Pedagogical strategy: A teaching tool, using case studies, to help professionals and students learn about using social marketing for social inclusion.

SIM MOOC: A short course available online that integrates the learning materials produced by the project.