Monitoring policy responses to population ageing in UNECE region
Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Olga Kharitonova, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
UNECE brings together 56 countries in Europe, Central Asia, and North America and encompasses some of the oldest and most rapidly ageing societies in the world, along with parts of Asia. Over the last decades ageing has emerged as a profound societal process in many of these countries due to interplay of increasing life expectancies, declining/low fertility levels and migration as well as changing institutional frameworks. In 2002, UNECE countries agreed on the Regional Implementation Strategy (RIS) for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) — the global policy framework to direct the response to population ageing. The framework requires reviewing every five years the progress made in implementing commitments in ten key areas including health and well-being, employment, social participation and intergenerational solidarity. This paper provides an overview of main monitoring tools and guidelines for implementing MIPAA/RIS on country level, specifically Road Map projects on Mainstreaming Ageing and the Active Ageing Index (AAI). Since 2010 three countries — Armenia, Republic of Moldova and Georgia — cooperated with UNECE on developing Road Maps and as a result adopted national strategies on ageing. Starting from 2012, the joint UNECE/European Commission project “Active Ageing Index” has been carried out with an aim to increase capacity of monitoring ageing outcomes by improving data availability and reporting on ageing-related developments in the region. The AAI project was implemented in close cooperation with the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research and more recently with the Southampton University. In this paper, we review the regional and national coordination work done in implementing both the Road Map and AAI projects, how different stakeholders have been included in this, as well as the ways to use the outcomes of these projects in the third MIPAA/RIS review and appraisal exercise.