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Pillar 3: Federal societal challenges

This pillar supports research that addresses current societal challenges (not covered by the other pillars). The topics funded in this pillar are selected in function of those challenges (e.g. health, security, ageing, economy...) that are considered a priority by the federal authority (as stated for example in Governmental Agreements, federal and interfederal plans...) and that align with international and European research agendas.

The ultimate goal is to develop a solid scientific expertise to support the competencies, strategic orientations and policies of the federal state.

Such expertise will clearly enhance the knowledge base around these challenges, reveal opportunities and possible caveats and provide useful recommendations for the federal level.

The topics of this pillar will encourage research that mobilises a large spectrum of disciplines, that are embedded in the international and European context and that will strengthen the participation of a wide range of stakeholders.

Committees members


Thematic projects of the call 2020-2021

@ntidote 2.0 - Cyberviolence: defining borders on permissibility and accountability

Thematic project
Keywords: Cyberviolence, e-commerce, Hate speech, Internet service providers, Non-consensual distrubtion of intimate images, Social media

  • Duration of the project: 2 years
  • Budget: 457.557€
  • Coordinator: Walrave Michel (UAntwerpen)
  • Promotors: Franssen Vanessa (ULiège), Mathys Cécile (ULiège), Van De Heyning Catherine (UAntwerpen), Vrielink Jogchum (USL-B)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Reports
    • State of the art: Cyberviolence: defining borders on permissibility and accountability (@ntidote)

BESWEP - The Belgian Short-time Work scheme: Economic and Psychological impacts

Thematic project
Keywords: Short-time work, Economic impact, Unemployment insurance, Socio-psychological impact, COVID-19 crisis

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020 - 15/03/2025
  • Budget: 646.495€
  • Coordinator: Dejemeppe Muriel (UCLouvain)
  • Promotors: Cockx Bart (UGent), De Cuyper Nele (KU Leuven), De Witte Hans (KU Leuven), Stinglhamber Florence (UCLouvain), Cahuc Pierre (Sciences Po Paris)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

EPIBEL - EPidemics and Inequalities in BELgium from the Plague to COVID-19: what can we learn about societal resilience?

Thematic project
Keywords: Pandemics, Resilience, Inequalities, Medium-and Long-term Impact, Differential Mortality

  • Duration of the project: 4 years
  • Budget: 841.788€
  • Coordinator: Soens Tim (UAntwerpen)
  • Promotors: Devos Isabelle (UGent), Eggerickx Thierry (UCLouvain), Greefs Hilde (UAntwerpen)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

FUTURES4FOOD - Connecting futures and stakeholders of food systems by designing effective transition trajectories

Thematic project
Keywords: Food systems, Stakeholders, Farm to Fork strategy, Inclusivity, Climate change, Sustainable agriculture

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020-15/03/2025
  • Budget: 1.140.806€
  • Coordinator: Vandamme Anne-Mieke (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: Baret Philippe (UCLouvain), Mathijs Erik (KU Leuven), Van Looy Bart (Flanders Business)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

HELICON - Unravelling the long-term and indirect health impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium

Thematic project
Keywords: Health inequalities, Health economics, Delayed healthcare use, Socio-demographic resilience, Cohort, Excess mortality

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020-15/03/2025
  • Budget: 1.021.815€
  • Coordinator: Devleesschauwer Brecht (Sciensano)
  • Promotors: De Smedt Delphine (UGent), Gadeyne Sylvie (VUB), Speybroeck Niko (UCLouvain)
  • Follow-up committee
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Reports
    • State of the Art: Unravelling the long-term and indirect health impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium (HELICON)

  • Events
    • 12-01-2022 - Webinar HELICON
      Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on cancer care
      Cancer care in Belgium has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unprecedented policy measures were implemented to create extra capacity for COVID-19 patients, including postponing all non-urgent consultations, medical tests, and interventions for cancer patients. Recent increases in hospital admissions and sickness absence among hospital personnel present major challenges for cancer care. A clear understanding of the delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment is imperative to understand the health impact on cancer patients, a particularly vulnerable group within this pandemic. Three leading researchers in the field will share their latest findings on cancer care disruptions in Belgium and the related health effects.
      Info and registration
    • 30-06-2021 - Webinar HELICON
      Burden of post-COVID conditions in Belgium: current insights and future perspectives
      As the population of patients recovering from COVID-19 grows, it is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 has the potential of causing long-lasting health effects. Some people develop post-COVID health conditions after being first infected with the virus, even after mild or asymptomatic infections. Many uncertainties still exist regarding the causality, the onset of the symptoms, the combination of symptoms and the treatment of post-COVID. In the framework of the HELICON project, three leading Belgian scientists have been to share their views on this enigmatic disease. In this first #HELICONference webinar, they will unveil the latest insights into Post-COVID in Belgium and provide an outlook on the future developments in post-COVID research.
      Info and registration | Presentations & Recording Webinar Live Stream

  • Overview recent COVID-19 research in Belgium
    • Estimation of delayed health care [RIZIV-INAMI 2021] 
      The report from the Hospital Audit Service presents estimates for the delays in Belgian hospital care between March 2020 and May 2021, as well as predictions for the time needed to overcome these delays. Analyses are performed for different surgical interventions, internal medicine health care and psychiatric health care. 
      Published: 03 December 2021
      Please find the link to the full-text: English - Dutch - French.
    • Confirmed COVID-19 Cases per Economic Activity during Autumn Wave in Belgium [Verbeeck et al. 2021] 
      In the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Verbeeck and colleagues provide an assessment of Belgian COVID-19 incidence per economic activity under varying non-pharmaceutical interventions in the autumn 2020 wave. The 14-day incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases was modelled per economic sector (NACE–BEL) building on exhaustive data for all Belgian employees. 
      Published: 27 November 2021
      Please find the link to the full-text: English
    • Long COVID: Pathophysiology – epidemiology and patient needs [KCE 2021] 
      The Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) provides an extensive overview of the current literature on the epidemiology and the pathophysiological mechanisms of Long COVIDs. In addition, the report includes results from an online survey among 1395 Belgian Long COVID patients to identify their unmet needs. The last chapter is dedicated to the available interventions and health care programs that may (in part) fulfill these identified needs.
      Published: 26 October 2021
      Please find the link to the full-text: English
      Please find the link to the peer-reviewed article: Dutch
    • COVIMPACT: Long-COVID and the health consequences after three months of follow-up [Smith et al. 2021]
      Smith and colleagues assessed the health of Belgian Long-COVID patients using two surveys: one just after the confirmation of a positive COVID-19 test and one three months later. This report shows that 47% of the 1658 respondents reported at least one COVID-19 related symptom three months after the diagnosis. In this group, one out of two persons reported at least three different symptoms. The most prevalent symptoms were fatigue, headache, and memory or concentration problems. In addition to the physical consequences, the report also sheds light on the mental and social health impact after a COVID- 19 infection.
      The full report is available: Dutch or French

IPV-DACOVID - Intimate Partner Violence: During and After COVID

Thematic project
Keywords: Intimate partner violence, Change, Public policies, Covid, Impact

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020-15/03/2023
  • Budget: 718.142€
  • Coordinator: Glowacz Fabienne (ULiège)
  • Promotors: Coene Gily (VUB), Fallon Catherine (ULiège), Vanneste Charlotte (NICC-INCC)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

LAMARTRA - Bridging decarbonization and labour market in sustainability transitions

Thematic project
Keywords: Sustainability transitions, Labour market, Future of work, Scenario-building, Policy mixes, Environmental justice

  • Duration of the project: 4 years
  • Budget: 1.063.029€
  • Coordinator: Bauler Tom (ULB)
  • Promotors: Delvenne Pierre (ULiège), Ferreras Isabelle (UCLouvain), Lenaerts Karolien (KU Leuven), Sebastien Brunet (IWEPS)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

REFUFAM - From policy gaps to policy innovations. Strengthening the well-being and integration pathways of refugee families

Thematic project
Keywords: Integration policies, Migration policies, Refugees, Citizenship, Integration, Migrant family

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020 - 15/03/2025
  • Budget: 1.298.276€
  • Coordinator: Vandevoordt Robin (UGent)
  • Promotors: Beeckmans Luce (UGent), Berger Mathieu (UCLouvain), Desmet Ellen (UGent), Geldof Dirk (Odisee)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

REGUIDE - A Holistic, Restorative and Gendered approach to Guide Returnees to their Home country

Thematic project
Keywords: Returnees, Restorative justice, Reintegration, Gender, Holistic

  • Duration of the project: 5/12/2020 - 15/03/2025
  • Budget: 1.002.092€
  • Coordinator: Lechkar Iman (VUB)
  • Promotors: Detry Isabelle (NICC-INCC), Fadil Nadia (KU Leuven), Vrielink Jogchum (USL-B)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation


Thematic projects of the call 2019

BABEL - Basic Income in Belgium: stress-testing basic income in the digital era

Thematic project
Keywords: Basic income, Employment, Poverty, Welfare state reform

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019-15/03/2024
  • Budget: 846.926€
  • Coordinator: Van Lancker Wim (KU Leuven)   
  • Promotors: Marx Ive (UA), Marx Axel (KU Leuven), Vanderborght Yannick (USL-B)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

B@SEBALL - Biodiversity at School Environments Benefits for ALL

Thematic project
Keywords: Biodiversity, Children's health, School environment, Environmental justice, Health inequality

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019-15/03/2024
  • Budget: 638.045€
  • Coordinator: Keune Hans (UA)
  • Promotors: De Clercq Eva (Sciensano), Lebeer Sarah (UA), Leonard Anna (GoodPlanet), Van Calster Hans (INBO), Vanwambeke Sophie (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

BBOX - OCMW/CPAS & new migrants/refugees: opening the black box of policy in practice

Thematic project
Keywords: Migrants, Integration, Social activation, Conditionality of rights, Street level bureaucrats

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019-15/03/2022
  • Budget: 578.497€
  • Coordinator: De Cuyper Peter (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: Franssen Abraham (USL-B), Lafleur Jean-Michel (ULiège)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Events
    • 15-10-2020
      The first meeting of the steering committee of this project will take place online, on thursday 15 October at 2pm.
      If you want to help us with this project and if you want to join the steering committee, please take contact with hanne.vandermeerschen@kuleuven.be.

BE-PARADIS - The Paradox of Belgian Inequality Studies: Belgium Less unequal than others?

Thematic project
Keywords: Inequality, Micro data, Redistribution, Distributional national accounts, Wealth, Poverty

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019-15/03/2024
  • Budget: 1.226.370€
  • Coordinator: Decoster André (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: Decancq Koen (UA), Gobbi Paula (ULB)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

DIGI4FED - Digital Revolution in Belgian Federal Government: An Open Governance Ecosystem for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain

Thematic project
Keywords: Big data, Trust, Artificial Intelligence, Open Government Ecosystem, Blockchain, Data management

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019 – 15/03/2022
  • Budget: 786.591€
  • Coordinator: Crompvoets Joep (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: Fallon Catherine (ULiège), Van Dooren Wouter (UA), Vanderose Benoît (UNamur)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Reports
    • State of the art: Digital (R)evolution in Belgian Federal Government: An Open Governance Ecosystem for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain (DIGI4FED)

ELLIS - Monitoring and Mitigating Environmental Health Inequalities in Belgium

Thematic project
Keywords: Environmental Health, Health Inequalities, Monitoring, Health Impact Assessment, Residential Exposure, Environmental Inequalities

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019 – 15/03/2024
  • Budget: 493.810€
  • Coordinator: Devleesschauwer Brecht (Sciensano) 
  • Promotors: Bouland Catherine (ULB), Eggerickx Thierry (UCLouvain), Faes Christel (UHasselt), Masquelier Bruno (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

Re-InVEST.be - Investing in basic rights, capabilities and anti-poverty policies in Belgium

Thematic project
Keywords: Human rights, Poverty, Capabilities, Social protection, Social investment, Anti-discrimination

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019-15/03/2024
  • Budget: 1.530.000€
  • Coordinator: Nicaise Ides (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: De Munck Jean (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Reports
    • State of the art: Social protection from a social investment perspective (Re-InVEST.be)

  • Events
    • 03-12-2021 | Seminar "Capabilities and poverty" (start 9:15 a.m. (opening 9:00 p.m.) - Ending 1:00 p.m.)
      The capability approach*, first conceptualised by the economist Amartya Sen, has since its inception greatly influenced development studies (Nussbaum, 2011) and has served as a foundation for a comparative and pluralist theory of justice (Sen, 2009). More recently, social scientists have implemented this approach in different fields of study such as social norms, inequalities and democracy (Bonvin et al., 2017). The Re-Invest.be research project aims at building upon this approach by combining it with an analysis of social rights and social investment, to analyse anti-poverty policies in Belgium. This seminar will serve as an introduction to the capability approach and to discuss its different applications and limitations in the sociology of poverty and human rights.
      It will explore the following questions:
      • How can we apply the capability approach in sociological inquiries?
      • How do capabilities and human rights interrelate?
      • How does the capability approach affect sociological definitions of poverty?
      • How can capability models be extended from static to dynamic, to include concepts such as ‘sustainable well-being’ and ‘social investment’?

    Presentations:
    Introduction “Basic capabilities and where to find them” – Matthias Rosenzweig (CriDIS UCLouvain)
    Jean-Michel Bonvin (Cigev, Geneva University): “Capabilities, Poverty, and the Welfare State”
    Ides Nicaise (HIVA, KUL): “Capabilities and social investment”
    Jean De Munck (CriDIS, UCLouvain): “Capabilities and social rights”

    *Capabilities reflect the set of opportunities that individuals dispose of to transform resources into a bundle of beings and doings that they have reason to value (Sen, 1985). Hence, capabilities depend on the amount of (material, financial, human, social, cultural) resources at one’s disposal, the conversion factors that determine the potential outcomes of the transformation process with given sets of resources, and the freedom one has to choose.

REMEDI - GPs' REcommendations to patients with MEntal health problems and DIverse migration backgrounds

Thematic project
Keywords: Unintentional discrimination, Migration background, Mental health (services), General practitioners, Mixed-methods, Vignettes

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019 – 15/03/2022
  • Budget: 447.694€
  • Coordinator: Bracke Piet (UGent)
  • Promotors: Ceuterick Melissa (UGent), Dauvrin Marie (UCLouvain), De Maesschalck Stephanie (UGent), Lepièce Brice (UCLouvain), Lorant Vincent (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

SEAD - Sustainable employment in the age of digitalisation: challenges, obstacles and opportunities

Thematic project
Keywords: Sustainable employment, Labour market policy, Occupational health and well-being, Social protection, Work organisation, Management

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019 - 31/03/2024
  • Budget: 1.385.627€
  • Coordinator: Vanroelen Christophe (VUB)
  • Promotors: Deschacht Nick (KU Leuven), Lamberts Miet (KU Leuven), Martinez Esteban (ULB), Pichault François (ULiège)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Bourgeois Emmanuèle

Documentation

  • Project description
  • Project website
  • Fedra

  • Event
    • 22-04-2021 | Webinar - Online event
      Digitalisation and the world of work

      Are you interested in the process of digitalisation and its impact on jobs, occupations and workers? Do you want to know more about automation, workplace innovation, the platform economy and the social protection of workers in the digital age? Join our free webinar on Thursday the 22nd of April!

  • News
    • 20-05-2021 - Call
      Looking for organisations that work with new digital technologies.

      Within the framework of the SEAD project (Sustainable Employment in the Age of Digitalisation) financed by Belspo and involving the VUB, ULiège, ULB and KULeuven, the research teams are seeking organisations using new digital technologies in order to integrate them into the project (see flyer). Please fill in the short online survey .

TRAHOME - Homelessness trajectories and non-take-up from a dynamic perspective

Thematic project
Keywords: Homelessness, Poverty, Mixed methods, Non-take up

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2019 - 15/03/2024
  • Budget: 788.425€
  • Coordinator: Hermans Koen (KU Leuven)
  • Promotors: Roets Griet (UGent), Wagener Martin (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation


Projects funded in the frame of JPI Climate SOLSTICE

202CM - Overcoming Obstacles and Disincentives to Climate Change Mitigation: A cross-cutting approach by human and social sciences

  • Duration of the project: 01/12/2020 – 01/03/2024
  • Budget: 249.900€
  • Coordinator: Catellani Andrea (UCLouvain)
  • Promotors: Cougnon Louise-Amélie (UCLouvain), De Schutter Olivier (UCLouvain)
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation

SOLARIS - SOLidarity in climate change Adaptation policies: towards more socio-spatial justice in the face of multiple RISks

  • Duration of the project: 15/12/2020 - 15/03/2024
  • Budget: 249.120€
  • Coordinator:  Crabbé Ann (Universiteit Antwerpen)
  • Promotors: -
  • BELSPO programme manager: Naji Aziz

Documentation