The director tells us about INED’s new strategic orientations
Chantal Cases, an economist and statistician, graduate of the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE), has been director of INED since 2009. Her recent research has focused on inequalities in health and access to insurance, the living conditions of persons with chronic diseases, and health system performance. (Interviewed February 25, 2011)
What are INED’s main scientific orientations for the next 5 years?
The frame of reference for INED research involves an integrated approach to life courses and their contexts. This means analyzing individual data, usually longitudinal, in connection with features of the social and economic context. Comparative international analyses, analysis of public policies and their effects, and analysis of social, gender and generational inequalities play a central role here. We need to bring together, even more effectively than at present, fundamental population science research and expertise in areas like ageing where there is strong social demand. INED research orientations involve three transversal approaches, that is, systematically applied—gender, economic demography, the historical long term—and three specific research avenues—fertility, family and housing; mortality, health and ageing; migrations, discrimination and identities—covering a wide geographic field. We will be bolstering research on the Southern countries and developing new studies on France’s overseas departments. To do so, we will be further consolidating the research surveys that correspond to our specific INED mission; that is, far-reaching longitudinal population surveys and data collection, such as the ELFE child cohort survey, to be launched next March; family dynamics surveys, such as the Generations and Gender Survey, jointly developed with 17 other countries; and population observatories in Africa, as well as wide-ranging transversal operations such as the Family and Housing survey, linked to the census and conducted together with INSEE. INED has long been innovative in surveying, and we will be helping to pool and share population survey material through the “smartphone panel” that is part of the DIME-SHS (Données, Infrastructures et Méthodes d’Enquêtes en Sciences Humaines et Sociales) “scientific equipment of excellence” project run by Sciences Po. And of course we will continue to design original surveys on sensitive subjects and vulnerable populations, e.g., by analysing the data collected on the end of life from a sample of physicians and developing a renewed research project on gender-related violence.
What challenges will INED be taking up?
Outside INED, we will have to pursue our integration into the new research landscape, especially by continuing to develop academic partnerships in both France and abroad; also to bolster our contribution to training through research by hosting greater numbers of doctoral students, and to develop new financial partnerships, perhaps through patronage or sponsorship. Within INED, we need to continue supporting conference participation and publication in high-level journals, particularly at the international level; also to renew and develop external communication with institutional actors, the press and, as always, the public at large. To ensure the development of joint research projects that involve even more in the way of collaboration and joint funding, research administration will have to be even better organized despite the strong tensions it is subjected to; we need to continue modernizing our information systems and improving project follow-up, among other things.