A research project led by the University of Barcelona will study the citizen participation of old people in Europe, analysing their involvement in different civic activities. The researchers, with head offices in five different countries, will examine the potential barriers in citizen participation regarding the old age, observing the experiences of old people in activities such as volunteering and participation in political activities. The study aims to identify good practises and public policies aimed to promote a better citizen participation for old people.
The project "Exclusion from civic engagement of a diverse older population: features, experiences and policy implications" (CIVEX) is one of the six selected projects in the call Equality and Wellbeing across Generations, from the 4th program More Years, Better Lives ( MYBL ). Among the participants are members of the Research Group on Gerontology of the UB: Rodrigo Serrat (principal researcher), Montserrat Celdrán and Feliciano Villar, as well as other researchers from Belgium, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
There is little research on the old people’s exclusion from civic participation. The CIVEX project wants to mention this void in the knowledge, through the research of the features of such exclusion. It will do so using the experiences of the collective of old people and the identification of potential policy responses to reduce this exclusion.
CIVEX will use quantitative and qualitative methods and will consider four aspects. First, it will study how personal features of individuals, such as gender or the social and economic position, affect their participation in civic activities. Second, it will try to understand how aspects such as the residence or features of wellbeing places shape citizen participation in groups of potentially excluded old people and that are not usually considered in research studies of this field. Last, it will study how the circumstances and experiences people undergo during their lives affect their opportunities in taking part in civic activities during ageing.
Moreover, old people and organizations for old people will play an active role in the project. Not only they will be interviewed but they will also participate as co-researchers, providing an essential and privileged perspective in the gathering, analysis and presentation of the research results, and when it comes to develop policy responses. In short, CIVEX will show how to better represent the interests and worries of old people in public decision-making.
MYBL, an initiative by seventeen member states of the European Union
The MYBL initiative intends to improve the coordination and collaboration among the European and national research programs related to the demographic change. Sine the affected areas by the demographic change cover a wide range of research fields and policy areas, JPO MYBL follows a cross-sectional and multidisciplinary approach of several disciplines in order to provide solutions for the upcoming challenges and to use the potential of social change in Europe.
MYBL is an initiative by seventeen member states of the European Union with the representation of ministries, funding agencies, civil society and research institutes. It has funded six projects in the joint call on Equality and Wellbeing across Generations in order to support the policy in reducing inequality regarding demographic changes. The call aims to promote research that improves our understanding on how the demographic change is altering the implicit contract across generations and how policies can guarantee a reduction of inequality instead of growth. In particular, the call tackles thee inequality aspects: income and wealth, caring responsibilities and social and political participation.
More information on the JPI MYBL call on Equality and Wellbeing across Generations and the funded projects.