Experimenting to tackle poverty and social exclusion in deprived communities in Barcelona.
The Young Foundation is partnering with Barcelona City Council on a radical and socially innovative place-based initiative – B-MINCOME – to tackle poverty and social exclusion in 10 of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the city. Between 2008 and 2015 unemployment in the city rose from 40,000 to 100,000, the income of the poorest 10% fell by 27% while the income of the richest 10% rose by 11%, and there are now around 75,000 food bank users each week. These trends have emerged against a backdrop of increasing political tensions and uncertainties.
To address these challenges B-MINCOME, named after an experiment of minimum income in Canada in the 1970s, will test and analyse the extent to which different forms of minimum income can reduce poverty and improve people’s wellbeing. As well as being given a minimum income, participating families will gain access to a range of non-financial support related to housing, education, social enterprise and community engagement.
As a key part of this initiative, The Young Foundation are leading ethnographic research to gain a deep understanding of citizen viewpoints on poverty in the city, both from those who experience it and from the point of view of others. This will provide a vital platform for participants to tell their own stories about poverty and why it exists as well as challenge it. We will also be exploring people’s experiences of B-MINCOME, the narratives that develop around it, and its effects on people’s everyday lives. This project will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the potential of place-based financial and non-financial interventions to tackle poverty and social exclusion in deprived urban areas.
To develop this project, Barcelona City Council has established an alliance of four specialist organisations, made up of The Young Foundation, IGOP (Institute of Government and Public Policy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona), UPC (Polytechnic University of Catalonia), the Catalan Institution for Evaluation of Public Policies (IVALUA), and the International Institute for Non-Violent Action (NOVACT). The project is being funded by Barcelona City Council and a grant provided by the European Commission programme Urban Innovative Action for a three year period (2017-2020).
 Information provided by Barcelona City Council