SECOND INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON THE ACTIVE AGEING INDEX
27–28 September 2018
Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao, Spain
The presentations and posters are available from http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=49105.
The UNECE Population Unit and the European Commission’s DG EMPL in cooperation with the University of the Basque Country and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and with the support of the Government of Biscay (Spain), organized the Second international seminar on the Active Ageing Index on 27–28 September 2018 in Bilbao, Spain.
The goal of the seminar was to provide a multidisciplinary forum for those interested in the use of AAI to enhance the knowledge about ageing and older people and lead to the development of better policies. The seminar attracted 144 participants from 37 countries, including researchers, policymakers, representatives of international and regional organizations, national statistical offices, and civil society.
In preparation for the seminar, in June 2017, the co-organisers launched a call for papers. Over 60 abstracts were submitted, and authors of 37 papers were eventually selected by an independent evaluation board and invited to present their research at the seminar at a plenary session, workshop, or poster session.
The seminar was opened by a keynote session with presentations by Maurizio Bussolo from the World Bank, and Ritu Sadana from the World Health Organization touching upon the issues arising from the population ageing across the world and highlighting ways to address those. The presentation of the Better-life index by Mark Keese from the Organisation for economic co-operation and development showcased an interesting approach towards measuring complex social phenomena such as well-being. A joint presentation by Asghar Zaidi (London School of Economics and Political Science), Jolanta Perek-Białas (Jagiellonian University and Warsaw School of Economics), and Andrea Principi (National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing) demonstrated the AAI results at the national level in the European Union (EU) and at subnational level in Poland, as well as comparative analysis of AAI results for different population subgroups in Poland and Italy.
This followed by a plenary session built around three selected papers and chaired by Sarah Harper (Oxford Institute of Population Ageing). Three parallel workshops and a poster session concluded the first day. On 28 September, another session of two parallel workshops was followed by the award ceremony where authors of five papers and two posters were presented with a prize. In addition, two authors were also recognised for their posters (no monetary prize). The closing panel with contributions from Sergio Murillo Corzo (the Government of Biscay, Spain), Anne-Sophie Parent (AGE Platform Europe), and Giovanni Lamura (National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing) concluded the seminar.
A recurrent theme of the studies presented, but also of the key note speeches and panel discussions was inequality: inequalities are present in living conditions, well-being, life expectancy of older persons, but also in enjoying active ageing. Once again, it was highlighted that older persons are not a homogenous group: different subgroups (disaggregated by sex, age, income and education levels, or even language they speak) show unequal levels of realisation of their potential, as measured by the AAI.
The seminar had a strong methodology component, which manifested itself not only during in-depth discussions at the methodology workshop, but throughout the whole seminar. Indeed, analyses carried out by researchers for a wide variety of topics required new approaches towards the index application. Discussions of these results helped to better understand the way the AAI is constructed, the rationale behind its indicators and domains, how to calculate the index in different contexts, and, importantly, that it is possible to calculate the index in the contexts that are different from the original (application at a national level across EU countries). In this way, the seminar also offered capacity-building elements in the area of work with composite indicators and measurement of complex social phenomena.
EVALUATION BOARD CHAIR
Ms. Sarah HARPER
Professor, MA (Cantab.) Cambridge; DPhil (Oxon) Oxford, Professor of Gerontology at the Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, http://www.ageing.ox.ac.uk/
EVALUATION BOARD MEMBERS:
Mr. Kenneth HOWSE
Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford,
Mr. Giovanni LAMURA
Senior Gerontologist, PhD, National Institute of Health & Science on Ageing (INRCA/IRCCS), Centro Ricerche Economico-Sociali per l'Invecchiamento (Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing),
Mr. Bernhard MARIN
Prof. Dr. Bernd Marin, Director, European Bureau for Policy Consulting and Social Research, Vienna
Ms. Jolanta PEREK-BIALAS
Associate professor, Dr. hab., Academic Lecturer, Researcher, Institute of Statistics and Demography Warsaw School of Economics and Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow,
Mr. Karel VAN DEN BOSCH
Guest professor at the Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy at the University of Antwerp, and Expert at the Belgium Federal Planning Office, Brussels
Mr. Asghar ZAIDI
Visiting Professor, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom