How can public services be made transparent in terms of their ability to address the needs of society? Social responsibility reports can provide an initial answer to this question. And their value is even greater when they concern a sector of the public administration of such great (and constitutional) importance as justice. When institutions are able to account for their actions, citizens and businesses can trust them more, and this is vital.
SDA Bocconi has been working on behalf of an innovative, effective and transparent Public Administration for many years, and its collaboration with the Courts of Justice in Milan in designing and implementing their social responsibility reports deserves a special mention. The 2019-2020 edition of the reports, presented at Palazzo di Giustizia in Milan on 29 November 2021, pinpointed the unprecedented challenges of the past two years. First of all, critical social needs have become even more urgent during the Covid-19 emergency, from the protection of women from domestic violence during lockdown, to the protection of the rights of food delivery workers, and the management of prisons, to name but a few.
The reports account for the work of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ordinary Court and the Court of Appeal in Milan during 2019 and 2020, and highlight both the emerging issues and the ability to be resilient and seize the opportunities for change that come with any crisis. Social responsibility reports thus become an opportunity for an open dialogue between the courts and society, “a report which is built with society, for society”, as shown by the support that Assolombarda has been providing to the project for some years now.
Staying on the subject of social reporting, in recent months SDA Bocconi has also supported a research project by Milan’s Juvenile Court, with the contribution of the Cariplo Foundation, on the local child protection network. In addition to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Juvenile Court, the study has involved a number of other entities, including the Municipality of Milan, the Authority for Children and Adolescents in Lombardy, the Milan Bar Association as well as third-sector organizations working for the protection of children and adolescents in situations of social fragility. The research aimed at rebuilding the network of services for the protection of minors from an inter-institutional governance perspective, i.e. integrating the contributions of individual administrations to create public value for the end user.
The results of this research are contained in a book entitled “La tutela dei minori a Milano. Una prospettiva di sistema (Child Protection in Milan. A System Perspective), published by Egea, Marta Barbieri and Giorgio Giacomelli editors. In the foreword to the book, Marco Rasconi, coordinator of the Personal Services Commission of the Cariplo Foundation, states: “Keeping children and young people within a virtuous circle, even when the families or contexts they come from are clearly problematic, should be the goal for everyone. In order to do this, you need to know the problems; for this reason, it is important to support social research, which is the foundation you can build on to come up with solutions.”
SDA Bocconi School of Management