Closing Ceremony of First Family Policy Evaluation Seminar
On Tuesday, 20 May 2014, the first Family Policy Evaluation Seminar, organized by the UIC Institute of Advanced Family Studies (IESF), was brought to a close. The ceremony was attended by 35 Catalan government officials, as well as representatives from third-sector entities. The seminar, which was held over three days (21 November 2013, and 6 February and 20 May 2014), addressed topics such as population decline, the future of the pension system, tax alternatives and household income.
Taking part as speakers in the final session of the seminar were María Teresa López, the Director of the Extraordinary Chair of Family Policies of the AFA-UCM (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), and Daniel Santín, a professor of Applied Economics at the same university.
In her speech, López gave a detailed analysis of the labour market situation and the intergenerational solidarity that occurs in Spain and which is above the European average. “Family is a cross-cutting phenomenon that affects all of a country’s public policies; when family does not fulfil its role (i.e. reproduction, education, primary socialization, solidarity and the redistribution of income), the whole system suffers, especially the public sector, and even more so in times of crisis”. In her opinion, solidarity is an attitude by which some people voluntarily take on the burdens of others and, by doing so, benefits are reaped by those receiving the help and society as a whole. She went on to say, “The family generates primary relational goods and cannot be replaced by any other organization or institution”.
In his speech, Santín stressed the importance of clearly defining not only the policies and their goals, but also the indicators and the groups responsible for the measures, as well as the counterfactual or control group. From his own perspective of statistical analysis, Santín helped the audience identify the most appropriate indicators for each specific case, as well as the best practices currently employed by Barcelona City Council, the Provincial Council, the Catalan government and some institutions, especially NGOs.
He talked about international success stories, including the Mexican programme Progresa and the Catalan government's Family Holiday programme.
Consuelo León, the Director of IESF’s Observatory on Family Policies, closed the conference and made reference to the sponsorship of the Joaquim Molins Figueras Foundation and the upcoming second International Conference on Family and Society, which is organized by the IESF and is due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, 24-25 September 2014.