Informations and abstract
The article deals with the main problems in the production of quantitative information as a tool for the policy making process concerning the social inclusion of immigrants. In this field an increasing demand for knowledge goes together with a lack of shared classifications of policies and beneficiaries. These uncertain definitions are linked to the problem of choosing the correct objects for measurements more than to that of their reliability. The production of data becomes, in this situation, a social and political problem, as numbers can influence policies, while the latter plays an important role in determining classifications. The analysis of different measurements, carried out in the first part of the article, shows the huge variety of possible definitions, and brings to two different conclusions. The first is the need of a critical approach to the meaning of data in order to avoid the risks due to a superficial attitude in their use. The second is that a growing and not structured production of numbers can be useless for the policy makers. This trend, however, seems to be legitimated by the political aspects of the decision making process even more than by the technical one.