Socio-economic and scientific indicators

May 2010

Get to the POINT: who uses indicators?

To what extent do indicators of sustainable development (SD) influence policy making? Do policy makers have the indicators they need to make sound decisions about sustainable development? Do they make good use of the ones that they do have? What influences policy makers’ ‘use’ of indicators? Would better indicators lead to better policies – and possibly avoid errors of judgement by policy makers and lead to better sustainable development policy making? These are some of the critical, but under-examined questions being explored by a multinational EU-supported research project called POINT.....more

September 2010

Crime and confidence: The benefits of trust

For criminal justice systems to function properly, the public must have confidence in the institutions of justice. In other words, they must trust that their police and justice officials are exercising legitimate authority. Efforts to build this kind of confidence could yield significant dividends for European societies. Potential benefits include increased compliance with the law and a greater sense of public security. Those are among the key propositions being explored by the ongoing research project EURO-JUSTIS (previously JUSTIS).....more

January 2011

New tools to improve statistical data for policy

Those who produce statistical data for policy making typically adhere to very high quality standards, yet there is always room for improvement. One area of concern involves the representativity of statistics derived from survey samples and registers. Simply looking at response rates may not provide a clear picture of how representative the statistics are of what they are measuring.....more

February 2011

New indicators on EU poverty at local level

Existing figures on poverty and living conditions in the European Union are not statistically reliable for small areas such as Local Administrative Units (LAUs). The SAMPLE (Small Area Methods for Poverty and Living Condition Estimates) research project has suggested new indicators, such as levels of debt, quality of housing and ability to access services, as additional measures for estimating poverty and living conditions at the local level.....more

April 2011

Sharing healthcare costs in Central and Eastern Europe: The quest for fair and sustainable policies

Striking the right balance between providing healthcare services and paying for those services is a challenge for all societies. In Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, this challenge is complicated by a mix of formal and informal patient payments that have evolved through decades of political change. In order to assess the patient payment policies in the region, the European Union launched a major collaborative research project a few years ago known as ASSPRO CEE 2007. Preliminary results from the project show just how diverse payment policies are in CEE states, and why any effort to change those policies should be approached with considerable caution.....more

July 2011

Assessing quality of European socio-economic research: Towards a new prototype

A new framework is emerging to help scholars, university administrators and funding bodies assess the quality of research publications covering social sciences and humanities (SSH). The preliminary framework, which was developed by the EERQI research project, should offer a more comprehensive and accurate way of judging the relevance of research publications in a multi-lingual world. The EERQI consortium is convinced that the framework has the capacity to raise the worldwide visibility of European research.....more

November 2011

Towards more reliable measurements of poverty and social exclusion in Europe

Only the most accurate and reliable methods to measure poverty and social exclusion in Europe should be used to inform policy. By following a set of recommendations developed by the EU-funded AMELI research project, policy makers can now make sure they extract the maximum benefit from estimates of social exclusion, known as Laeken1 or poverty indicators.....more

February 2012

New indicators on patenting activities can support European innovation policy

New indicators on patenting activity in Europe, produced by the InnoS&T research project, increase understanding of the pathways by which inventions can lead to economic growth. Until now there has been no way to make direct and detailed comparisons of science and technology patenting activity across all regions and industry sectors in Europe, or explain to what extent scientific research leads to technological progress.....more