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Growing Inequality: a Novel Integration of transformations research

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GI-NI (Growing Inequality: a Novel Integration of transformations research)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31

Our societies and economies are experiencing major changes. Most discussions have focused on the impact of new technologies. Next to new technologies, it is also important to address two other disruptions: globalisation and migration. The outcomes of these three transformations are difficult to predict. While they are beneficial to some individuals, they also impact others negatively. All discussions show that we need to look at the combined effects of technology, globalisation and migration in an integrated way. There is uncertainty about how to manage their impact at national and global scale. At the policy level, it has proven difficult to meet the Europe 2020 targets for increasing employment and reducing poverty and social exclusion. One can think of it as inequality in output (income and wealth) and in opportunities (education, health, digital environmental, etc.). All these inequalities have a gender dimension as well as a geographical one (disparities). These inequalities need to be tackled in their entirety by EU and national policymakers. We need to look into how we can turn negative developments into outcomes that promote more equality and economic prosperity in EU countries. This requires joint research efforts but also more rigorous multi- and interdisciplinary approaches at European level.

GI-NI's research activities contribute to above mentioned challenges to realise an inclusive Europe of shared prosperity, by providing a better understanding of the changes and mutual impact of three major transformations: (1) digitisation of production through automation, robotics, and platform technologies; (2) globalising international trade; and (3) migration and mobility. Europe is confronted with hard choices about migration. The Ukraine war has shown that we need to have a better approach to migration in general. The COVID-19 crises has exacerbated our supply situation in Europe. More and more, policymakers are trying to understand if further globalisation is the right way forward. The GI-NI project will address these questions.

GI-NI has five objectives: 1. Measure impacts of the three transformations on work, skills, and inequality; 2. Synthesize and analyse their interaction; 3. Foster dialogue and co-create future options with stakeholders; 4. Collect and consolidate data and produce future projections; 5. Identify policy and governance options for inclusion and equality. GI-NI generates this by: building on state-of-the-art research and other EU projects; using innovative methods; combining EU-wide and international micro- and macro-data; addressing gaps in knowledge and insights on data, joint impacts, and futures.
The work at the beginning of the project is to create the conditions for doing the research, having the tools to communicate and disseminate, and to build the platforms and contacts to create the eventual project impact over the course of the project. For this first year, the main topic is ‘building’.

For the research, we developed our concepts and databases. Several deliverables were produced in this reporting period (01 April 2021-31 March 2022). However, most of them are confidential documents which were meant to be used for internal project purposes; 1) The “Internal guidance paper for the institutional and economic analysis” (D1.1) which provides ‘definitions’ and multiple ‘operationalizations’ on which the partners have to agree; 2)The ''Guidance plan for the project team'' (D10.1) which consists of an overview of the datasets that will be used for separate analysis; 3) The ''Quality Assurance Plan_M6'' (D10.2); 4) The ''Data Management Plan_M3 (D10.4); 5) Ethical deliverables.
To achieve the objective 1 and 5, we identified the relevant policy areas and interventions needed to deal with data on the impacts of digital technologies, globalisation, and migration. WP2 is completely focused on this objective and it connects the following datasets: employer level (Community Innovation Survey (CIS), Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS), SES and European Company Survey (ECS) (Eurofound); employee data: EU- EU-Labour Force Survey (LFS) (Eurostat), EU- Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) (Eurostat), Survey on adult skills (Programme International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC) (OECD); European Skills and Jobs (ESJ) (Cedefop); The European Working Condition Survey (EWCS) (Eurofound). Next to these datasets, new data will be constructed starting from national datasets. The ''Positioning paper on relevant EU policy areas and Governance models/instruments'' (D1.2) has been published and is accessible openly from GI-NI webpage. This report starts from the European Social Model, which states that the European Union strives for less poverty and inequality, and convergence to higher living conditions.
We also finalised some activities related to objective 4 in the first year of GI-NI. The D10.1 provides an overview of the datasets that we will be gathering and connecting for the separate analysis.

For the dissemination, we have a broad set of tools with which we already reach a great number of followers. The project website, where one can subscribe to GI-NI newsletter and download publications, is accessible from this address: https://gini-research.org/. A LinkedIn group (https://www.linkedin.com/company/gi-ni) and Twitter account (@Transform_H2020) have been established to communicate and share knowledge and experiences. The twitter account reaches 10.000+ followers. Two newsletters were published (https://gini-research.org/subscribe). 2 videos have been prepared. See link: https://gini-research.org/videos. One blog and one leaflet are also ready to disseminate GI-NI project ideas.

For the build-up of our impact communities, we are busy with the messaging and with the contacts. For the messaging, Policy Brief #1 is published ‘’’The GI-NI project and the need for new policy to tackle inequality’’ and be reached (https://gini-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/SINN22_GINI_Policy_brief_I.pdf). For the contacts, the Ideas Lab (June 2022) and the GI-NI Scientific Conference (September 2022) are planned as first major moments for discussion with the scientific and policy fields. We kickstarted the discussion with Norwegian policy makers during our event in November 2021 in Norway.
GI-NI aims to generate three outcomes beyond the state-of-the-art: 1. New scientific understanding of joint impacts of transformations; 2. Multilateral policy solutions; 3. New evidence in support of a robust EU policy strategy. The project will develop an ‘inclusive social investment policy’ that can achieve the high road to productivity and better work for EU society.

For the first outcome, we have just delivered the project related datasets. We have been able to improve on the quality of the selected databases. The separate analyses, the combined approach will deliver ‘over-the-horizon’ kind of results. In the review report, we already indicated that we do not have a data problem. The first analyses are in line with our expectation of new relationships and findings. This is the first year of building up the research infrastructure, from year 2 we can provide actual results.

Outcomes 2 and 3 depend on the results of the actual research. At this moment, such results cannot be reported.
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