1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Special Events (2000 - 2009)

Ageing, Development and Social Protection

  • Project from: 2001 to 2003


Accelerated population ageing is now a global trend. It has long been a significant issue for developed countries, and it is becoming one in many developing areas as well. There is a tendency to depict population ageing as a threat to the future. Rather, it should be recognized as one of the great achievements of the past century—albeit one which also generates a range of social, economic, political and cultural challenges. Population ageing is both part of and influenced by wider processes of development and transformation. The well-being and quality of life of elderly people are strongly conditioned by their capacity to manage opportunities and risks associated with rapid and complex change. Social protection, both formal and informal, can play a key role in mediating these relationships.

In contribution to the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing, UNRISD commissioned a series of papers that address the dynamics and challenges of population ageing in contexts of rapid social change, as well as in situations of social crisis. Other papers examine policy responses to population ageing, through both formal social protection, and informal care and inter-generational exchange. A collection of papers prepared for this project have been published in Living Longer: Ageing, Development and Social Protection, edited by Peter Lloyd-Sherlock (Zed Books, London and New York, 2004).

The Institute also organized a two-day conference on Ageing, Development and Social Protection in Madrid, inviting the paper-writers to present their findings. For more information regarding this event, please click on “This Project’s Events” on the right.

This project was externally co-ordinated by Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, University of East Anglia. For more information regarding Mr. Lloyd-Sherlock and the collaborating researchers, please click on “Research Team” on the right.