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Giving Aid To The Needy: A comparative study of Red Cross' role in two different Emergency scenarios (Bologna/Italy and Chicago/Illinois)

Raffaele Pettazzoni - Università degli Studi di Bologna - [2006]
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  • Tesi completa: 172 pagine
  • Abstract
    FOCUS: two similar organizations working in two very different socio-political contexts have been compared in their history, objective, development and prospected future. To perform this appraisal correctly, I analysed both the Red Cross’ organizations and the related First Aid/Rescue/Relief system, namely the 118 system for the Italian case and the 911 for the American one. The direction of the analysis focused on these organizations function in the primary health care, and particularly on what concerns the regular ambulance and rescue giving service. In my opinion primary health care, and more specifically the ambulance and rescue service, is on the very bottom line of Welfare and sufferings relieving.
    The heart of the matter has been a in-depth study of the Italian Red Cross, particularly focusing on its contributions to the integrated health assistance and relief system, in the perspective of a “surface level” appraisal of the Italian and European welfare state system.
    The differences between Italian and American Red Cross, primarily concerning the methodology of action and linkages with the overall health system, eventually led me to a broad evaluation of the different “systems of welfare” and, furthermore, of the “social philosophies”, pillar characteristics of the respective cultures.

    METHOD: the comparative methodology has been based on the “Most Different Systems” perspective. In this context the extensive historical introduction on the different socio-political background was intended as a platform for the enhancement of the subsequent in-depth analysis. The assessment of the two organizations was based on comparable points of reference, clarifying the individual weaknesses and strengths. My final purpose was to assess how and to what extent the Red Cross’ National Societies that I discussed support the basic principle of “giving aid to the needy” through the results of their endeavour in their respective social frameworks. Concurrent with this, a further key point of this thesis was to verify and compare the degree and extensiveness of the Red Cross’ role in Bologna’s and Chicago’s Areas, particularly regarding the organization, the formation, and the participation in any form to regular ambulance service or, when unfeasible, the level of community service offered in the Emergency Medical Service and First Aid fields.

    • I preliminarily examined the two organizations through the respective historical path, juridical development and status, organizational framework, mission, governance, budget transparency and financial accountability.
    A parallel history and evolution of the two Red Cross Societies is the most fundamental point of convergence, and accordingly there is a common characteristic of basic consistency with the Fundamental Principles of ICRC, and with all their subsequent amendments.

    • A second core point of this study has been the development of a parallel investigation on the importance and operative functioning of the volunteers within the organization.

    • A transversal research topic has been the attention to paid/unpaid primary health services in each studied system, and the distinctive peculiarities of the respective “cultural and institutional matrixes”.
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