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Written by Municipality of Bologna   
The challenge of reconcilation in local developmnent The investigation promoted by Briefcase project on reconciliation between work and family has involved all the partner municipalities in a process, coordinated by Agenzia Millennia, which is meant to integrate the knowledge on the different local contexts in a comparative and European perspective. The dialogue promoted amongst the municipalities from the project itself sets up a space to exchange cultural patterns and local development policies which contribute at a European integration. The general aims of the research are the understanding of the needs and strategies of working mothers and fathers, to reconciliate their responsabilities, their burdens of domestic work, schedules and even the different behaviours which are displayed, on one side, at home and with the people beloved, on the other side, at work, in the professional sphere, in the career and in the public life. The unit analysis of the research limited this study to mothers and fathers of children 0-14 years old, focusing the attention on the social opportunities offered from the welfare, from the childcare and pre-adolescent market, and from the laws and factories supporting parenthood and gender equality in the labour market. The topic areas we focused our attention on are the following: 1) needs of reconciliation for fathers and mothers and practices of sharing care and educative burdens within the family; 2) professional careers of mothers and fathers, their opportunities, and, viceversa, gender discriminations in the labour market; 3) the real accessibility of childcare services, not only schools, and the practices of use of the different opportunities available (formal and informal, public and private) for the parents in the different local contexts. The research process started with a framework of the European strategies on reconciliation policies between work and life made by Agenzia Millennia and of national and local strategies by the municipalities involved, to allow a comparison amongst the different political and legal frameworks, and to develop a ?common language?. The context analysis of the different municipalities was realised through a collection of statistic data and a map of public and private services for childhood and pre-adolescence available in each municipality. A set of indicators, validated with all the partners, made our ?toolbox? richer. We used it to elaborate the design of the research and the development of the main tool useful for gathering the information we needed. A multi-centric research A structured standard questionnaire (translated in all the partners? languages) was developed according to the validated indicators. It is divided in five parts ? personal data, family, changings after the birth of children, work, childcare services ? and made up of 36 questions. The sample, casually chosen, consisted of 150 interviewed people for each municipality, according to the following variables: 1) city areas, according to social and economical condition: high, middle, low; 2) the parental role: mothers and fathers; 3) childcare services and schools of different degrees: nurseries, kindergartens, primary and middle schools The results expected from the research activity will be studied following different levels and topic points. The analysis of local contexts, treated as ?case studies? will be completed with the transnational and comparative analysis. The added value of the European dimension is not only linked to a better comprehension and description of the investigated phenomena on the light of different cultural traditions, but also to a confrontation amongst different social actors, especially women, on the ideas of development and sustainability, and on the strategies adopted in the different contexts.

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