Increasing population complexity, heterogeneity and pace of change under globalisation has provoked a need to rethink welfare design, alongside issues of engagement, approachability and effectiveness. The Welfare Bricolage project (UPWEB) will reconceptualise welfare theory through responding to the question of how all residents living in superdiverse neighbourhoods using wide ranging resources to construct healthcare packages to meet their health needs.
Using innovative techniques including street-mapping and community research alongside a neighbourhood survey, this project will create a new mobile phone "app" to both chart and then further explore the multiple approaches that residents living in superdiverse neighbourhoods use to meet their health needs, encompassing the perspectives of service users and providers.
The project will generate new theoretical and practical insights through the development of models of welfare bricolage: the practice by which individuals combine formal, informal and virtual health services across public, private and third sectors in an attempt to meet need. We use a comparative/sequential approach to interrogate local welfare states across eight deprived and upwardly mobile superdiverse neighbourhoods in four different national welfare states (UK, Portugal, Germany and Sweden) each with different welfare, health and migration regimes.
By focussing on key features of superdiverse neighbourhoods where residents are differentiated according to length of residence, faith, income, socio-economic position, age, gender and migration status, we bring new insights with societal, practical and policy relevance. The study will illuminate inequalities and diversity in respect of individuals’ relationship with healthcare, different modes of provision, and responsibilities for welfare allocation. The new knowledge gathered will be of interests to academics, policymakers, practitioners and communities and has the potential to influence the ways in which public health engages with diverse communities.