Completed Projects Poverty

(1) Local diagnosis of the problems and needs of the Brussels municipalities

(2) Renforcer la lutte contre le sans-abrisme en Région bruxelloise sous l'angle juridique

(3) Living at home after the age of 65. Atlas of the needs and stakeholders in Brussels (2004-2007)

(4) Brussels-Capital Health and Social Atlas (2005-2006)

(5) Assessment of the contribution of those living in poverty to the Brussels report on the state of poverty (2004-2005)

(6) Another approach for poverty indicators: research - action - training (2002-2004)

(7) Improving poverty indicators for the Brussels state of poverty report (2002-2003)

(1) Local diagnosis of the problems and needs of the Brussels municipalities

As part of its “Social Cohesion” Decree, the French Community commissioned an analysis of the problems and needs of the Brussels municipalities with regard to social cohesion. This analysis was intended to help the local municipal coordination centres draw up their state of play report with a view to preparing their new five-year plan for the period 2011-2015.

This analysis was being carried out by IGEAT-ULB in collaboration with the Health and Social Observatory. In concrete terms, it involves updating and developing the Observatory's municipality files: health and social statistics per municipality for 2006 (French - Dutch). Indicators linked to housing and education (with figures from both the French and Flemish Communities) were also introduced.

Alongside the 19 municipality files and an information sheet for the Region, an instruction manual will also be drafted to help local stakeholders interpret the data for their municipality. A third and final document entitled "sources and references" is intended to provide guidance for local stakeholders when they want to search the databases themselves.

The 19 municipality files are available in French and Dutch

The information sheet for the Region, the instruction manuel and the document “Sources and references” are available in French (website COCOF)

(2) Renforcer la lutte contre le sans-abrisme en Région bruxelloise sous l'angle juridique

Research carried out by Nicolas BERNARD and Laurent LEMAIRE (Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis) on behalf of the Health and Social Observatory.

The prevention of evictions and support for the (re)housing of homeless people are an important component of the strategy to combat poverty. This complex subject comprises important legal aspects. Alongside the thematic overview section of the 2010 Brussels report on the state of poverty on “Homelessness”, the Observatory asked Nicolas BERNARD’s research team to develop clearly the legal aspects of the problem and generate ideas to tackle homelessness.

This work exists in the form of the research report entitled “Expulsions de logement et sans-abrisme en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale. Une approche juridique transversale“ (Evictions and homelessness in the Brussels-Capital Region. A cross-cutting legal approach).

(3) Living at home after the age of 65. Atlas of the needs and stakeholders in Brussels (2004-2007)

The objective of the “Brussels-Capital Health and Social Atlas” project was to compare data pertaining to the health and welfare situation of inhabitants of Brussels with data on the existing health and welfare services.

The aim was to approach this ambitious task in various stages. Although inventories of certain services offered by various institutional authorities (for example by the French Community Commission COCOF and the Flemish Community Commission VGC) existed, there had never been an attempt to produce a combined inventory covering all services. As this type of work was not part of the Observatory's core activities, various partners were approached.

The Observatory first contacted the Social Documentation and Coordination Centre (CDCS-CMDC) to collaborate on the project. This not-for-profit association has considerable experience in gathering data on health and welfare services operating in the Brussels-Capital Region. As the collaboration of the various Brussels authorities (Joint Community Commission GGC/CCC, COCOF and VGC) was indispensable, they were also invited to participate in this project

The Observatory organised meetings with the various partners in order to discuss the actual content of the project. We were able to launch the content work once each of the parties involved had been convinced of the usefulness of the project and all the steps necessary for formalising the collaboration project had been completed.

A first major obstacle to be overcome was the need to identify the best approach to listing the services offered. As each authority has its own approach to the deployment of the services it offers, it was not possible simply to add up the services subsidised by the various authorities. Accordingly, we chose to take as our starting point the needs of citizens in Brussels rather than the subsidisation logic adopted by the various authorities.

A second difficulty was determining the theme. The range of health and welfare services offered is very broad. The budget available and the desire to obtain results in the short term forced us to limit the scope covered considerably. Identifying a centre of interest common to all the authorities concerned led us to select the theme “maintaining elderly people in their own home”.

The CDCS-CMDC prepared and conducted a survey among all the services which meet, in one way or another, the needs of elderly people living in their own home. The university teams which had collaborated on the “Health and Social Atlas” were requested to analyse and map the problem of elderly people living at home on the basis of the socio-economic survey data and the IGEAT team collaborated in mapping the results of the survey carried out by the CDCS-CMDC. The Observatory was responsible for overall project co-ordination and comparing the information concerning supply and demand and seeking additional data to answer this question, so as to be able to publish the information as a whole in “Living at home after the age of 65. Atlas of the needs and stakeholders in Brussels”.

Full text available in French and Dutch.

Conclusions and summary available in English

Take a look at the different chapters here: in French or Dutch

(4) Brussels-Capital Health and Social Atlas (2005-2006)

The general socio-economic survey (before the census) is a very important source of data for poverty indicators and health determinants. This survey offers numerous possibilities because the whole of the population on the national register was interviewed on many aspects of life (housing, work, level of education, health, etc.). Such data are only available every 10 years and there is no guarantee that such a collection of detailed data will be produced in the future.

That is why the Health and Social Observatory decided to launch a project to analyse the 2001 survey data as soon as they became available. The objective was to make the greatest possible use of the pertinent data contained in the survey in combination with health- and welfare-related data to make available to a wider audience information up to the level of statistical areas, in collaboration with university teams experienced in processing such data. Three teams of researchers - Interface Demography VUB, Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire of ULB and Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie KULeuven - worked together to analyse, map and interpret this mine of information. The Observatory co-ordinated the work of the teams of researchers and aspects such as the translation of the various contributions, the harmonisation of the overall project and ensuring the publication of a document as widely accessible as possible.

Full text available in French and Dutch

Introduction available in English

Take a look at the different chapters here: in French or Dutch

(5) Assessment of the contribution of those living in poverty to the Brussels report on the state of poverty (2004-2005)

The participation of poor people has been deemed crucial since the General Poverty Report of 1994. However, few plans featuring this participation have been acceptable in the eyes of all the partners. The Observatory is also in constant debate over the question of knowing how people who live in poverty can be best involved in the drafting of the Brussels poverty report. Thanks to a research project, in collaboration with the Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie (Institute for Social and Economic Geography) of KULeuven (Catholic University of Leuven) , we have researched a clear methodology and theoretical base.

This project led to the publication of a report (French - Dutch - summary in English) which, among other things, clearly defined the conditions for participatory consultation, and for an assessment of the contribution to the 2000-2004 state of poverty reports. It also contains a number of future scenarios, which may influence discussions on amending the order on drafting the state of poverty report.

The most important result of this project is the reinforcement of the collaboration between the Observatory and the Service for Combating Poverty, Marginalisation and Social Exclusion, for example, as part of the 2008 state of poverty report on the issue of the premature ageing of poor people.

(6) Another approach for poverty indicators: research - action - training (2002-2004)

Scientists, officials and people living in poverty were all involved in this project. The goal was to work out together the various existing possibilities for determining poverty indicators, to shed light on the life experiences of people and families living in poverty. Some 23 persons took part in the project, including a member of the Observatory team.

The project led in 2004 to the publication of “Une autre approche des indicateurs de pauvreté” (Another approach for poverty indicators). This is available on the website of the Service for Combating Poverty, Marginalisation and Social Exclusion. (http://www.luttepauvrete.be/publicationsserviceindicateurs.htm).


(7) Improving poverty indicators for the Brussels state of poverty report (2002-2003)

Until 2006, data from the 19 Brussels Public Social Welfare Centres (CPAS) constituted an obligatory part of the Brussels state of poverty report. However, the quality of the data could not be guaranteed for a number of reasons, so the Health and Social Observatory launched a research project to optimise the quality of data collected.

To this end, various partners have worked with the Observatory: a working group from the CPAS Conference of Presidents and Secretaries in the Brussels region, two researchers from KULeuven and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

The joint project came to completion in 2003 with an internal document produced by the partners and distributed to the 19 CPAS, the Conference and the relevant ministers for social welfare from the Joint Community Commission.
This document served as the touchstone for a working group from the CPAS Conference of Presidents and Secretaries in the Brussels region.



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