Quantitative models which simulate the probable effect of changes in taxes and welfare benefits can provide policy-makers with a useful evidence base, and can enable stakeholders such as NGOs to play a more active role in policy formation. Austria has broken new ground by creating an easy-to-use public website that enables any citizen to calculate the effects of tax and benefit changes on different sections of the population.
Italy’s Programme of Intervention to Prevent Institutionalisation (P.I.P.P.I.) is a blend of evidence-based research and action to prevent children being taken into care. P.I.P.P.I. focuses on families that face multiple, complex difficulties. It gathers the views of parents, children and concerned professionals; then, placing the child at the centre, it designs a plan to help the family and sets up an interdisciplinary team to implement it. An online system allows the workings of the plan to be monitored modified, if need be.
The Belgian government’s Children First initiative has been funding a pilot project to set up local ‘consultation platforms’ on child poverty. The platforms engage a wide range of local actors – from e.g. anti-poverty associations to child daycare centres, schools, sports clubs and student support centres.
Slovenia is preparing a major reform of its fragmented long-term care (LTC) system introducing long-term care insurance. A Peer Review held in Ljubljana on 18–19 November brought 12 Member States and stakeholders together to discuss the question on how to ensure adequate and sustainable financing of LTC.
Managing population ageing relies on having the right tools to monitor the impact of a wide range of policies. The Active Ageing Index (AAI) combines 22 indicators covering four dimensions: including active ageing outcomes, namely employment; participation in society; independent, healthy and secure living; as well as capacity and enabling environment for active ageing.
Health System Performance Assessment (HSPA) allows decision-makers to measure the performance of health systems as a whole and to report results regularly to the public and relevant stakeholders, but has been developed in relatively few European countries. Belgium, which piloted its first HSPA in 2008, hosted a Peer Review which focused on the methods and tools needed for further developing HSPA within the EU.
ICT is now a big part of everyday life, but not for everybody. The Peer Review on the Galician Digital Volunteering Programme (VolDIX) focused on possible ways to avoid social exclusion to go digital.
The onset of the economic crisis has increased the risk of poverty across Europe making the need for action to fight poverty all the more pressing. In mid-January 2014 Peer Reviewers met in Brussels to hear about the approach in Belgium where the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion involves a wide range of stakeholders to formulate policy recommendations.
Across the EU homelessness stands at an unprecedentedly high level, particularly among young people. On 22 November, Peer Review participants met in Copenhagen to learn how Denmark has tackled homelessness using an integrated housing-first strategy.
A Peer Review held in Zagreb (Croatia) in October 2013 examined how social entrepreneurship can both support the economic recovery and combat social exclusion by integrating disadvantaged people into the labour market.