Elisabetta, Managing Employment and Education from Inside the Emergency
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Elisabetta, Managing Employment and Education from Inside the Emergency

HOW DOES A CRISIS LIKE THIS AFFECT A PUBLIC INSTITUTION? BELLOCCHIO, ALUMNA OF A PROGRAM AFFILIATED WITH EMMAP2 AND MANAGER AT THE CENTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION SERVICES FOR THE PROVINCE OF LODI, EXPLAINS

Several of SDA Bocconi's Master in Management of Public Administration (EMMAP) alumni have been involved in managing the current crisis. Through her blog #valorepubblico on the SDA Bocconi Insight platform, Master faculty member Raffaella Saporito talked with alumna Elisabetta Bellocchio, Head of the Center for Employment and Education Services for the Province of Lodi

Elisabetta Bellocchio (who attended a program affiliated with the 2nd edition of EMMAP) works in the Province of Lodi, where she is in charge of the center offering employment and school planning, training and work services. She emailed me to say she wouldn't be attending the Master – just before all events were postponed for everyone – writing: "Unfortunately I am dealing with the emergency, a very interesting experience... I’ll have to put it on my CV." We spoke by phone over the following days. “We’re fine. As far as we can be considering the situation. I'm proud of this area's levelheaded reaction. The scenes of people assaulting supermarkets have not been seen here.” The Province of Lodi serves 61 municipalities, 10 of which are in what was the initial 'red zone,' corresponding to about a quarter of the inhabitants in the Lodi area.

How are you handling the emergency in the Province? 
“There are some local services that cannot be discontinued, such as provincial roads and infrastructure for example, in addition to the basic administrative operations (accounting, protocol). But of course we only have half of our staff: 30% are in the red zone, another 10% are in self-quarantine because they have come into contact with people exposed to the infection. In addition, the provinces were already structurally undersized in terms of staff, after the Del Rio reform. But we haven't gotten discouraged. Luckily we were already equipped with basic technology for smart working and we have employees who are working from home from the red zone: in my office alone there are 5 employees who have voluntarily asked to continue to make their contribution from the quarantine."

What about user services? 
“The service with the most numerous and differentiated user base in the province are the employment centers, my office. We were not overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the early hours, we had already closed counters open to the public on Friday morning (21 February). Now we want to reopen. My office alone has over 900 households that receive a citizen's income, after the signing of the employment pact." How will you manage? "Well, with controlled access numbers and trying to upgrade all the other channels. We are brainstorming ideas, trying to get in touch with the other provinces to coordinate with them. At this stage you have to figure things out yourself a little. But the employment pacts must be honored. Especially now."

What is this crisis teaching you about the life of a public institution? 
“I have the impression that many administrations are facing similar problems and that each one is finding their own solutions. We need more opportunities to connect and coordinate to be more methodical and also to exchange administrative tools, such as drafts of standard acts that then become recurrent. “We will have to remember that as soon as this storm passes." 

 



by Andrea Celauro
Translated by Jenna Walker


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