The Ministry of Regional Development in Poland (the lead partner) is responsible for implementation of cohesion and regional policy, aimed at increasing economic and social cohesion in regions, through effective use of funds from European Union structural funds. The Ministry participates in the project in order to provide analytical expertise to support reforms at national level and support the regions which are in a disadvantaged socio-economic situation and aims to provide knowledge and recommendations for changes, essential to perform within the national public policies.
WHY BE A PARTNER
Issues that are the subject of the project entitled Local scenarios of demographic change: public policies and strategies are fundamental for further Polish economic development. Demographic changes, similarly to climate or technological changes, are nowadays one of the biggest challenges facing the global economy. Ministry of Regional Development started this project in order to diagnose and assess possible scenarios for the demographic changes that will occur in our country in the coming years, and the assessment of phenomenon on the labour market.
Demographic processes, such as increasing length of life, low birth rate in society and associated with it labour market changes and challenges in education and health care may be increasingly important for sustainable development of the country, taking into account regional conditions.
Ministry of Regional Development participates in the project not only to share their experience and knowledge of the project subject with experts from the OECD, but also to learn from experience and best practices of other regions and countries participating in the project realized within the LEED Program. Due to the object and purpose of the project (regional differentiation of demographic changes), it is implemented in partnership with local authorities of three regions: Łódzkie, Małopolskie and Pomorskie. Both international and country experts, are involved in the research project and a key part of the project is the field study visits and workshops with representatives of various sectors of the labor market (workers, employers, NGOs, local government, academics).
The results of studies and surveys conducted within the project will develop useful conclusions and recommendations that should be used for more effective counteracting the effects of demographic changes in Poland and propose necessary system solutions in this regard.
THE WORKSHOPS 2012
On 26-30 March 2012 a week-long study visits of OECD experts was held in Poland. Workshops took place in Krakow, Warsaw, Lodz and Gdansk, in which experts had not only an opportunity to discuss issues of demographic changes with representatives of local authorities, social partners and academia, but also a direct opportunity to see examples of different initiatives of activation for the elderly, such as the Center for Culture and Recreation for Senior Citizens and innovative project on age management in the enterprise.
The workshops facilitated the exchange of experience and examples of good practices from other regions of the world, seeking the most effective mechanisms to counteract the effects and factors associated with demographic changes (such as rising unemployment among youth, early deactivation of older people and skills mismatch to the labour market needs). The projected demographic indicators for Poland in the coming decades significantly alter Polish demographic structure, what requires searching, since today, implementation of solutions to realization of various public policies - health, education, employment.
OECD experts have pointed out that demographic changes are not only a challenge but also an opportunity associated with developing new types of consumers and markets. The changing age structure of population means on the one hand - a smaller supply of labor in the labor market, but on the other – it is an opportunity for the development of new industries, sectors of economy like the so-called "Silver economy" that includes a range of services or products that must be adapted to the needs of the senior consumer. So it is a new possible source of enterprise development and in the long term - economic growth.
Final conference summing up the realisation of the project.
For more information on the Polish study, please contact Mr Michał Sułkowski (+ 48 022 330 30 76) or visit the Ministry and its partners’ websites: www.mrr.gov.pl (MRD), www.lodzkie.pl (Łódzkie Marshall Office), www.fundusze.malopolska.pl (Małopolskie Marshall Office), www.urzad.pomorskie.eu (Pomorskie Marshall Office).
The Research Centre for the Local Public Human Resources and Policy Development (LORC), Ryukoku University, was established in July 2011. LORC is pursuing internationally collaborative research into the nature of the institutional infrastructures and public human resources which are necessary to establish a sustainable regional society in today’s Era of Depopulation. LORC is committed to cross-linked research on ‘theory and practice’ by making use of collaborations between local communities and the university in order to realize sustainable, mature local areas.
LORC carries out comparative studies on policies and institutional infrastructure, focusing on urban and rural policies, and studies on policy responses to depopulation and economic stagnation at the local level as well as building institutional infrastructures that enable realization of such policies.
WHY BE A PARTNER
OECD-LEED programme’s Local scenarios of demographic change: public policies and strategies is an important agenda for Japanese local policies. The globalization of economic and community activities is increasing the pressure on local industrial structures thus leading to the loss of employment opportunities. Additionally, the society is undergoing rapid depopulation and ageing, with marginalized areas located outside the metropolitan areas experiencing an exodus of the young generation. The communities located in these marginalized areas generally have poor access to transportation, and the remaining community, usually the elderly, is faced with the difficulties of sustainability. Therefore, these local communities are more fragile and have difficulty maintaining and renewing their social infrastructures.
There is a need to develop sustainable local community design, whereby “design”, signifies not only architectural and visible meanings, but also the future of the synthesis of local communities as a whole, including people’s ways of working and living. The OECD-LEED programme shares this foundation in realizing public policies for sustainable local communities in demographic transition.
Japan is experiencing depopulation and ageing earlier than any other OECD member countries. Universities are responsible for appropriately analyzing economic and social problems faced by an ageing and depopulating society, proposing necessary and appropriate policies, and presenting the outcomes with the other OECD members. Simultaneously, Japanese, policy-makers, researchers, NPO engaged in local policies amongst others, expect to learn much from each bold policy challenge made in OECD member countries.
THE WORKSHOPS 2012
On 29th of September of 2012, in collaboration with OECD and Ryukoku University, the workshop on Local revitalisation policies for shrinking and ageing society: North Central Kyoto was convened in Kyoto City. Policy makers and academic experts involved in the OECD-LEED programme participated in the Workshop along with officials of Kyoto Prefecture, department chiefs of local city governments, related officers, university professors, NPO, and postgraduate students. The north and central areas of Kyoto Prefecture are experiencing rapid depopulation and ageing. However, there are examples of unique policy formulations or trial practices developed in order to solve the problems of depopulation, in collaboration with the Prefecture, local municipalities, universities, as well as local businesses.
The Workshop introduced a variety of policy efforts related to creation of employment opportunities and regeneration of post industrial communities in Europe, and examined the Japanese cases.
For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Yahagi (+81 75-645-2904) at Ryukoku University.
The Ministry of Kingdom Relations and the Interior (BZK) in the Netherlands safeguards the core values of democracy. BZK stands for effective public administration and public authorities that the public can trust. BZK helps people live in affordable, safe, energy-efficient homes in pleasant neighbourhoods where everyone counts and everyone takes part. BZK is working to formulate a tough but fair immigration and asylum policy and to foster the successful participation and integration of newcomers to the Netherlands.
In order to provide analytical expertise to support policy formulation BZK supports different research projects. The project entitled Local scenarios of demographic change: public policies and strategies is a joint research project of BZK and OECD, implemented under the international program of LEED (Local Economic and Employment Development), which aims to provide knowledge and recommendations for local changes, essential to perform within the national public policies.
WHY BE A PARTNER
Shrinkage regions are facing problems on their labor market. A shortage of young people negatively impacts potential growth of local firms, whereas an ageing work force implies an increasing challenge on skills development and training activities. All this has potentially negative consequences on local economies, which in turn can speed up outmigration and demographic shrinkage.
In the Netherlands, the intergovernmental action plan on population decline is actively addressing a wide range of issues connected to demographic shrinkage. At the same time, national labor market policies are increasingly paying attention to the shortage of active young population and an ageing work force at long term. Though, the relationship between these two policy fields is still weak.
The Ministry of Kingdom Relations and the Interior has indicated interest in joining the project to give an impulse to policy development and initiatives from society to address labor market challenges. Local activities, initiatives, and strategies are of particular importance therefore the project is implemented in partnership with local authorities from three regions: Limburg, Drenthe/Groningen, Zeeland.
THE WORKSHOPS 2012
For more information about BZK’s participation in the project, please contact Mr. Aldert de Vries (+31 70 3393733) or visit the Ministry’s website.
Arbetsförmedlingen is the largest placement service for work in Sweden. Their most important task is to bring together those who have a vacancy to fill with those who are looking for work. By creating meeting places for employers and jobseekers, they contribute to a well-functioning labour market. Arbetsförmedlingen is a national government agency that exists throughout the entire country.
The labour market is becoming increasingly international and contacts with employers, jobseekers, public authorities, employer and employee representatives and institutions in other countries, particularly in Europe, are becoming an increasingly important part of providing an effective employment service. Arbetsförmedlingen is working in a focused manner with different issues so that jobseekers and employers, both now and in the future, can receive the best possible support. Both matching and their way of working are improved by cooperation with other countries in the area of labour market policy.
WHY BE A PARTNER
Arbetsförmedlingen participates in the project Local scenarios of demographic change: public policies and strategies to share experience and knowledge of the project subject with experts from the OECD, and get valuable experience and best practices of other regions and countries participating in the project within the LEED Program.
The results of studies and surveys conducted within the project will bring useful conclusions and recommendations to the participating regions in Sweden, Mora, Orsa, Älvdalen, Pajala and Kiruna. The outcome will give the regions valuable input in the context of all the efforts which had to be done to more effective counteract the effects of the generation shift.
For more information about Arbetsförmedlingen’s participation in the project, please contact Torbjörn Israelsson or visit the website.
CHINA (PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF) - CASE STUDY
At present, China is still the most populous country in the world. By the end of 2011, China’s population reached 1.35 billion, accounting for 19.2% of the world total population. Over the past three decades, to curb the excessive population growth has been China’s priority in its implementation of population related policies. However, the results of the sixth national census conducted in 2010 reveal that China’s demographic situation has witnessed fundamental changes over the past three decades: from 2000 to 2010, the average annual growth rate of population was only 0.57%, far lower than the 1.07% in the previous decade.
Meanwhile, the population structure has also changed considerably: from the second national census in 1982 to the sixth one in 2010, the proportion of children aged between 0 and 14 in the total population fell from 33.6% to 16.6%; that of elderly people aged above 60 rose from 7.6% to 13.3%; and that of those aged above 65 increased from 4.9% to 8.9%. The changed population structure indicates that falling birth rate and aging population that beset developed countries have started to affect China and are getting worse. Population aging has been and will continue to pose serious challenges to the country’s socioeconomic sustainability.
WHY BE A PARTNER
Although China has witnessed the coming of an aging society since 2000, it is still at the starting point in addressing population aging related challenges. This case study aims at exploring the current extent to which China has been prepared for its population aging. The content of this case study consists of five parts: Part 1 provides an analysis regarding China’s recent demographic changes; Part 2 gives an analysis concerning the changing age structure in China’s population; Part 3 presents China’s preparations for its population aging; Part 4，based on the case study of Beijing, the capital of China, gives an analysis on the current and potential needs of the elderly and the supply of old-age people oriented products and services. Part 5 provides policy recommendations for China to push forward its preparations in dealing with the coming of population aging.
For more information about this case study, please feel free to contact Dr. Wenmeng Feng.
OECD LEED Project: Local scenarios of demographic change