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The Active Ageing Index: Evidence-based policymaking in action

As populations across the UNECE region and around the world are ever more affected by the realities of ageing, it is becoming increasingly important to design policies to promote active and healthy ageing.  Such policies are vital to foster the economic, social and physical well-being of people of all ages.  But they will only be effective if they are built on a foundation of real evidence.

On 16 and 17 April, experts and stakeholders from academia, civil society, governments and international organizations will convene in Brussels for an International Seminar co-organized by UNECE: ‘Building an evidence base for active ageing policies: the Active Ageing Index and its potential’.  They will share their research findings showcasing the value and potential of the Active Ageing Index (AAI), a tool developed in 2012 under a jointly managed project by UNECE along with the European Commission and the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.

The index measures both the current realities and the remaining potential for active ageing in a given population, along four dimensions: employment; participation in society; independent, healthy and secure living; and capacity and enabling environment for active ageing.  As such, it not only illustrates the current situation but also helps to highlight the areas where future gains can be made.

Among the 35 studies that will be reported at the seminar are findings from a diverse range of countries—not limited only to European countries nor indeed to countries of the UNECE region, but from as far afield as India, China and Argentina.  Moreover, the 150+ participants come from 35 countries from the full breadth of the UNECE region — Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Turkey, to name a few.

The overarching aim of the seminar is to discuss, debate and demonstrate how AAI is already being used, and could in the future be further used as an instrument for evidence-based policymaking on ageing that can have a real and measurable impact on active ageing outcomes.  Workshops on topics such as sub-national uses of the index, cross-country comparisons, and methodological questions will be complemented by keynote addresses and plenaries. For example, Milorad Kovacevic, Human development Report Office of UNDP, will consider the added value of composite indicators for policymaking.

The seminar will recognize the valuable contributions of early-career researchers with a number of awards for outstanding papers, helping to reward those who build the bridges between statistical information and policy-relevant evidence.

The preliminary programme for the seminar can be downloaded here.

For more information about the Active Ageing Index, please visit www.unece.org/population/aai