“Comparative research projects – comparing aspects of the welfare systems in different countries, for instance – lend an international perspective to Danish conditions, and this is very useful to both researchers, and to the policymakers who make use of SFI’s research. This means it’s a natural step for us to strengthen this area at SFI by establishing a centre,” explains Lisbeth Pedersen. She heads of the new Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies at SFI, which will be initiating its first projects in early 2016.
Projects and methods
In addition to Lisbeth Pedersen, the centre will be staffed by representatives from various departments at SFI. Their task will be to get an overview of the comparative research currently being conducted and to support their colleagues in developing new projects.
The centre will also host seminars on the various methods involved in conducting comparative research – be it register-based studies, surveys or qualitative studies.
Comparing welfare systems
The centre has already taken the first steps towards initiating a joint project with researchers in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.
“It is well known that service levels are under pressure in European welfare systems. With this coming project, we hope to compare the implementation of policies in some of the central service areas, such as the labour market and the school system,” says Lisbeth Pedersen.
In addition to this, the centre staff hopes to establish a comparative project using some of the large survey databases already stored at SFI.
“SFI already plays a part in several large, international surveys, such as PIAAC and ESS, so we have a strong basis for using this data more systematically in international projects,” concludes Lisbeth Pedersen.