ImPRovE (2012-2016)

The „Poverty Reduction in Europe: Social policy and innovation (ImPRovE)” research project was launched in March of 2012. It aimed to evaluate the Lisbon decade in terms of policies and actions against poverty at European, national and sub-national level and to improve the understanding of the interrelationships between employment, social protection and social inclusion and between institutionalised macro level social policies and innovative local action.

The research analyzed sustainable growth strategies, effective employment policies and adequate social designs as the drivers of every strategy to reduce and eliminate poverty and social exclusion. It considered local socially innovative practices as laboratories to complement and modify these macro-level policies. The quantitative analysis of poverty trends in the past, the adequacy of existing policies and the implications of alternative scenarios for employment and tax-benefit-services schemes to meet the 2020 poverty targets were therefore complemented with in-depth studies of selected cases of local social policies.

The research developed new tools for monitoring poverty, social policy and social innovative practices. For the first time reference budgets were computed for several member states. The research consortium together with the support from well-known associates and two outstanding Advisory Boards, involving academics, policy makers and civil society organisations and the broad dissemination plan, allowed the highly experienced multidisciplinary research team to deliver important new answers to questions of great importance to European societies.

The project team:
1. University of Antwerp (UA), Belgium (coordinator) - Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy (CSB) and Centre on Inequalities, Poverty and Social Exclusion and the City (OASeS)
2. Athens University of Economics and Business - Research Centre (AUEB), Greece
3. TARKI Tarsadalomkutatasi Intezet, Hungary
4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), United Kingdom - Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
5. University of Essex (UESSEX), United Kingdom - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)
6. Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WUW), Austria - Institute for the Environment and Regional Development (RUW)
7. Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo (UNIURB), Italy
8. University of Turku (UTURKU), Finland - Department of Social Policy

The project was financed by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7-SSH-2011-2 - SSH.2011.2.1-2: Combating poverty in Europe: a key question of human dignity and social cohesion)

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