The Centre for Social Policy Herman Deleeck (CSB) at the University of Antwerp has been studying social inequality, poverty and the welfare state for over 30 years and has conducted the first representative surveys on poverty and inequality in Flanders and Belgium. The Centre is at the forefront of inequality and poverty research in Europe and is widely acknowledged as a leading research unit. The CSB played a key role in several large-scale international projects on inequality and poverty involving institutions and researchers generally acknowledged to be at the top of their field, including the EU funded Network of Excellence EQUALSOC, and Net-SILC 2, and the EU Framework Programmes projects LoWER, AIMAP, GINI and ImPRovE, the latter two in coordinating capacities. The CSB has ample experience with survey research, microsimulation modelling and applications; the CSB is part of the EUROMOD research community at the EU-level.
The Panel Démographie Familiale is a research laboratory at the ULG dedicated to studies on poverty and exclusion, ageing and family, under the direction of Frédéric Schoenaers (also president of the Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales and director of CRIS (Centre de Recherche et d’Intervention Sociologiques), both at the University of Liège). Our recent research on the field of exclusion was focused on activation of clients of CPAS, minimum budget (definition, experiment of a dedicated software…), poverty experts in
administrations, poverty in rural area, etc. Currently, we’re working on networks of associations combatting child poverty. Most of these studies are conducted for public institutions, such as federal or regional administrations, or sometimes for non-profit associations. Most of these projects focus on the evaluation of social programs and lead to recommendations.
Depending on the projects, methods are qualitative (interviews, focus groups, observations) or quantitative (surveys and data analysis), varying from small scale (research on children living in prisons, on synergies between associations in FWB, etc.) to larger scale (mistreatment of elderly people in 2010). In particular, since 2004 we are responsible for organising the SHARE survey in Brussels and Wallonia. SHARE led us to
develop skills on the management of the fieldwork of a survey (management of databases, interviewers), but also on the creation of a global questionnaire (i.e. for the study on mistreatment of elderly people).
The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is a public agency who makes studies and projections on economic, social and environmental policy issues. For that purpose, the FPB collects and analyses data, explores plausible evolutions, identifies alternatives, evaluates the impact of policy measures and formulates proposals. Government, parliament, social partners and national and international institutions appeal to the FPB’s scientific expertise. The FPB provides a large diffusion of its activities. The public is informed of the results of its research activities, which contributes to the democratic debate.
The Federal Public Service Social Security (FPS SS) is a Belgian public administration. The mission of the FPS SS is to act as a catalyst for the authorities, the representatives of employers and workers as well as public institutions of social security to ensure the sustainability of social security. It must ensure that an effective social protection remains available, that everyone benefits from the proper implementation of their social rights and that everyone is convinced of the need to contribute correctly to social security.
The FPS SS covers in its daily activities several subjects studied in this proposal, e.g.:
- Analyzing the various income concepts in the legislation for which the Federal government is responsible, with a view to steering future reforms into the direction of more coherence in the use of income concepts over the various legislative fields. This activity is work in progress and coordinated by the FPS SS’s legal department.
- Maintaining the microsimulation model MIMOSIS that runs on a large sample of administrative data and covers, among other things, the most important means tested benefits, child benefits and unemployment and invalidity benefits.
- Participating in projects that aim to open up administrative data for both research and policy support.
The involvement and cooperation of the Federal Public Service Social Security and the relevant Belgian public social security institutions (in first order the Federal Pension Office, the FPS Socal Integration and the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance) is crucial to ensure that, on the one hand, the project fully capitalizes on the existing knowledge with regard to non take-up that is present in the different institutions and on the other hand, that the research results are used to shape future policy aimed at reducing non take-up.