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31st January 2013 1pm, University of Southampton 58/1009
Asghar Zaidi, Centre for Research on Ageing / CPC, University of Southampton
A joint Centre for Research on Ageing (CRA), CPC and Care Life Cycle (CLC) seminar.
'Active Ageing Index' is a research project by the European Commission's DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion together with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, and the European Centre Vienna, within the framework of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and during the 10th anniversary of the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing. The project aims to provide policymakers with a new tool (namely: the Active Ageing Index, AAI) that will highlight various areas for policy interventions across European countries in relation to promoting active and healthy ageing in its multifaceted ways. The AAI makes use of a dashboard of indicators, organised under four different domains: Employment of older workers; Social activity and participation of older people; Independent and autonomous living of older persons; and Capacity and age-friendly enabling environment for active and healthy ageing. In effect, it shows the extent to which older people have and can realise their potential with respect to employment, health, independent and self-reliant living and other unpaid family, social and cultural contributions to the society.The AAI will be available online and it has been designed as a comparative tool tracking progress over time. Thus, the Index aims to help shape future research and policy agendas and influence how existing large-scale comparative data-sets can be further developed to address the impact of population ageing by following the policy discourse of active ageing and solidarity between generations. The coverage of the AAI will also be extended in the near future to the member states of the UNECE that are not part of the EU27.
To undertake this project in the most rigorous manner, the UNECE and the European Commission worked with a team of advisors. Advisors are distinguished international experts in active ageing and intergenerational relationships from UNECE, European Commission, OECD and academia as well as from EUROSTAT and the national statistical agencies, as well as representatives from policymaking bodies of national governments and civil society. The Expert Group and the three project partners have worked together to obtain transparent numerical results for 27 EU countries and other UNECE member States by the end of 2012. The work has also benefitted from discussions of the preliminary AAI results at various high level international events, such as the World Demographic and Ageing Forum (August 2012) and the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing in Vienna (September 2012). Also, in the future, with progress in data availability and further improvements in concept and methodology, the AAI will continue to make improvements in its scope and country coverage.
The work reported at this CRA/CPC/CLC seminar will present the results for 27 EU member States on individual active ageing indicators, which have been aggregated into a gender-specific index. The presentation will also describe the methodology used and the essential insights drawn from the discussions on conceptual considerations of incorporating the life course perspective and prospective ageing. Most notably, the discussion will also seek to identify future areas of research work to be pursued at ageing/gerontology division of School of Social Sciences, in the area of active and healthy ageing.
Note: This research was undertaken by the research team at European Centre Vienna, in collaboration with the UNECE and the European Commission. Coordinated by Asghar Zaidi, Professor of International Social Policy, Centre for Research on Ageing/ ESRC Centre for Population Change, Social Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.