Current research projects


2GENDERS (Generation and Gender ENergy DEprivation: Realities and Social policies)

The research project 2GENDERS (Generation and Gender Energy DEPrivation: Realities and Social Policies) focuses on energy poverty in Belgium, which can be understood as the difficulty of accessing basic energy resources at home. What are the characteristics of the populations concerned? Are they vulnerable in other ways, such as social relations, mobility, health? Are gender and generation dimensions relevant? To answer these questions, statistical analyzes are carried out on existing databases (GGP and SILC) and in-depth interviews conducted with people living in energy poverty in the Brussels Region (for UCL). The project is multidisciplinary and international.

  • Person in charge: Bartiaux Françoise
  • Researchers: Vandeschrick Christophe, Baudaux Anne (LAAP-UCL), Luyckk Charlotte (IDP-UCL)
  • National and international collaborations: University of Antwerp (Oosterlynck S.), University of Mons (Lahaye W.), University of Birmingham (Day R.)
  • Funding: BELSPO


ASSESS: Improve death statistics to better monitor health developments in the Dakar region

The Senegalese population has an average life expectancy of 65 years, one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Senegal is also engaged in a health transition modifying the ranking of causes of death. A high mortality regime dominated by infectious diseases (diarrhea, malaria, etc.) gives way to a low mortality regime, where deaths are mainly due to chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, etc.). Due to disparities in access to health care, equipment and sanitation, important inequalities in mortality persist between rural and urban areas as well as within cities. The agglomeration of Dakar, which represents 50% of the urban population, has experienced a rapid and poorly controlled urbanization, and risk factors for poor health are very unevenly distributed spatially. This project aims to introduce some innovations in the civil registration system of Dakar to serve as a real health planning tool. The aim is to test methods of collecting causes of death in vital statistics offices, to carry out a systematic analysis of mortality in the Dakar metropolitan area and to document inequalities in mortality with the help of spatial analyzes, accounting for populations migration.

  • Person in charge: Masquelier Bruno
  • National and international collaborations: National Agency of Statistics and Demography (ANSD), Department of Geography (SGOG) of the University of Namur, Laboratory of Bacteriology-Virology, Malaria Unit of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar
  • Funding: ARES-CDD


Causality in black-recursive systems

The project examines the various types of conjunctive variables and their impact on causal attributions.

  • Person in charge: Wunsch Guillaume
  • National and international collaborations: Mouchart Michel (CORE and ISBA, UCL), Russo Federica (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Causes of health inequalities in Belgium: Multiple dimensions, multiple indicators (CAUSINEQ)

There are profound inequalities in risks of dying in Belgium, and these inequalities have increased in recent decades. The CAUSINEQ project investigates the mechanisms by which these inequalities are generated, focusing on the different dimensions of the socio-economic situation, through a detailed analysis of major causes of death.

  • Persons in charge: Gadeyne Sylvie (VUB), Eggerickx Thierry
  • Researchers: Gourbin Catherine, Majérus Paul, Masquelier Bruno, Vandeschrick Christophe
  • National collaboration: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Funding: BELSPO


DEMOSTAF (Emerging population issues in sub-saharan Africa: Cross checking and promoting demographic data for better action)

DEMOSTAF brings together European and African research institutes and national statistical institutes in a 48-month program of staff secondments to promote research on current population issues in sub-Saharan Africa. DEMOSTAF is built around four main themes relevant for population studies: fertility; mortality and health; households and families and education. The DEMOSTAF project supports existing research projects carried out by the different partners, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the end of 2015. The research  builds on quantitative data produced at the national level (censuses and representative surveys) and those produced at the local level (health and demographic surveillance sites or civil registration systems set up locally).

  • Person in charge: Masquelier Bruno
  • Researchers: Bocquier Philippe, Schoumaker Bruno, Lankoande Bruno, Rautu Iulia, Kpadonou Norbert
  • National and international collaborations: DEMOSTAF involves 17 partners: 4 European academic institutes (INED and IRD in France, UCL in Belgium, UNIGE in Switzerland), 12 African partners located in Burkina Faso (INSD and ISSP), Kenya (APHRC), Madagascar (INSTAT, INSPC, IPM, UCM), Mali (INSTAT), Senegal (ANSD, UCAD, UZ) and Uganda (UM)
  • Funding: RISE Program, European Union


European humanitarian action partnership

The project aims to promote the exchange of best and innovative practices and improve the quality and efficiency of education in the field of humanitarian action in order to increase professionalization.

  • Person in charge: Gourbin Catherine
  • National and international collaborations: NOHA, RedR UK, Aktion Deutschland Hilft, Bioforce, Accion contra el Hambre, Oxford Brooks University, Norges-Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet
  • Funding: Erasmus +, European Union


Family transformations – Incentives and norms

Over the last century, marriage and the family have undergone dramatic transformations, both in industrialized and less developed countries. Within a few decades, new patterns such as blended families or same-sex couples have emerged, divorce rates have increased, and fertility has gone down. This is also the cause and the outcome of value changes. This joint project focuses on the mechanisms that drive family transformations as well as their consequences. Family changes are accompanied by profound modifications of women’s social status and roles in society. However, some authors argue that the gender revolution is «incomplete» or «stalled» because gender equality is especially lagging inside the family, in contrast to what happens in education and the labor. Gender will thus be at the heart of this project too, both at the explanatory and at the normative level.

  • Persons in charge : Rizzi Ester, Baudin Thomas, de la Croix David, Gosseries Axel, Mariani Fabio, Pienseroso Luca
  • Researchers: Brée Sandra, Chabé-Ferret Bastien, Dantis Charalampos, Frigo Annalisa, Gobbi Paula, Kondi Keiti, Ma Li, Mikucka Malgorzata, Mercier Marion, Munno Cristina, Oikonomo Rigas, Rizzo Elisa, Stelter Robert, Roca Fernandez Èric, Salomone Sara, Sarkar Koyel, Truffa Francesca
  • National and international collaborations: INED, MPIDR, Università Bocconi Milano, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Funding: Concerted Research Actions (ARC)


Is paternity leave an effective policy? Looking for evidence with a quasi-natural experiment

This research project aims at determining if, in addition to favor gender equity, the paternal leave may be an efficient policy to increase fertility in developed countries experiencing low fertility rates. Grounding on the German case, it will try to answer two precise questions using individual data from the German Panel (G-SOEP): (i) what are the main determinants of the fathers’ decision to take a paternal leave? and (ii) do couples having enjoyed a paternal leave have more chance to get an additional child? Answering these two questions in the German context is quite important as this German case (contrary to the Swedish one) is often cited as evidence against the efficiency of paternal leave. In this project, we propose to shed light on this topic by using quantitative longitudinal analysis.

  • Persons in charge: Baudin Thomas, Rizzi Ester
  • Researcher: Dantis Charalampos
  • National and international collaborations: INED (France), Vienna Institute of Demography
  • Funding: F.R.S.-FNRS


LIMA: Personal Aspirations and Processes of Adaptation: How the legal framework impacts on migrants’ agency?

The LIMA project is a multidisciplinary project (law, sociology, demography) funded under the Concerted Research Actions (2015-2020). The aim of this project is to examine how the legal framework - Belgian and European - influences the migratory, family and professional trajectories of migrants from third countries, and to what extent this framework is compatible with the fulfillment of migrants' aspirations. It also involves an analysis of the European and Belgian legal framework on family reunification, access to the labor market and mobility, and the analysis of the administrative, professional and family paths of migrants in Belgium. It relies on the use of data from the National Register and the Crossroads Bank for Social Security and involves quantitative and qualitative surveys of migrants of Indian, Congolese and American origin.

  • Persons in charge: Sarolea Sylvie (EDEM, UCL), Schoumaker Bruno, Merla Laura (CIRFASE, UCL), Marquet Jacques (CIRFASE, UCL)
  • Researchers: Vause Sophie, Carpentier Sarah
  • National and international collaborations: EDEM (UCL), CIRFASE (UCL)
  • Funding: Concerted Research Actions (ARC)


Louvain 4 ageing : survey among the population aged 55 ans above in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve

This survey, conducted among 750 individuals aged 55 and above, aims to analyze the socio-demographic situation of the elderly in Louvain-la-Neuve, their way of life, their intergenerational relations (in their family and their neighborhood) and to answer questions about their health and their environment. This survey will also analyze the profiles of newcomers in relation to the first residents in order to determine whether the selection of people entering the municipality is becoming increasingly important, due in particular to rising real estate prices. This survey will serve as a basis for the installation of a population observatory in Louvain-la-Neuve.

  • Person in charge: Eggerickx Thierry
  • Researcher: Jean-Paul Sanderson
  • Funding: Louvain Foundation (UCL) and commune of Ottignies-LLN


Low morbidity and mortality. Implications for data collection

The purpose of this project is to review existing sources of data on mortality, morbidity and health in Europe, in order to examine their potential for monitoring trends in situations of decreasing mortality but of increasing prevalence of dependency (both physical and mental). Data sources for evaluating health care performance and costs lie outside the scope of this project.

  • Persons in charge: Wunsch Guillaume, Gourbin Catherine


Internal migrations and residential strategies in Belgium from the 19th century to today

The overall objective is to analyze internal migration in Belgium from the early 19th century to the present day. The aim is to study the characteristics, causes and socio-economic effects, as well as the strategies (residential choice, intergenerational proximity, etc.) implemented and their interactions with other demographic parameters.

  • Person in charge: Eggerickx Thierry
  • Researcher: Eggerickx Thierry
  • Funding: F.R.S.-FNRS


«Moving targets» Identifying health risks in mobile populations through longitudinal follow-up of formal and informal settlements in Ouagadougou

Migration can both improve and degrade the lives of migrants and their families. Migration-health relations are complex and changing in the context of urbanization in Africa. Do the health indicators reflect health risks and access to services in urban areas? To what extent do these indicators reflect exposure to other health environments and systems? The Moving Targets project aims to examine the relationships between mobility and health using longitudinal data from the Ouagadougou Population Observatory, capital of Burkina Faso. A new tool for tracking mobile migrants as well as statistical modeling tools will be tested to monitor the effect of migration on health. The main results of the project will be health indicators by migration status, before and after migration, and by level of migratory intensity.

  • Persons in charge: Bocquier Philippe, Soura Abdramane (ISSP, University of Ouagadougou)
  • National and international collaborations: Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (Abdramane Soura, ISSP - University of Ouagadougou); Institute of Demographic Studies and Life Course (Clémentine Rossier, University of Geneva)
  • Funding: ARES-CDD


Multi-centre analysis of the dynamics of internal migration and health (MADIMAH)

Based on the work of the INDEPTH Working Group on Migration and Urbanization, and using existing data from a dozen demographic and health systems in Africa and Asia, the overall objective of MADIMAH is to analyze the dynamics of migration and health through trainings in longitudinal data management oriented towards analysis and the development of a comparative longitudinal analytical framework. Research in 2016 focused on migration and mortality, particularly by cause of death.

  • Persons in charge: Collinson Mark (University of the Witwatersrand), Bocquier Philippe, Béguy Donatien (APHRC)
  • National and international collaborations: INDEPTH Network Secretariat, International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health (INDEPTH), Accra, Ghana ; University of the Witwatersrand, Agincourt Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance Site, Johannesburg, South Africa ; African Population and Health Research Center, APHRC, Nairobi, Kenya


Census of the nighttime population of Louvain-la-Neuve

The objective is to characterize the nighttime population (residents and students staying on the campus) of Louvain-la-Neuve as of January 1, 2017 and analyze the recent migratory trends of the resident population.

  • Person in charge: Eggerickx Thierry
  • Researcher: Sanderson Jean-Paul
  • Funding: INESU-UCL


SODA : Social sciences and humanities data archive

The aim of this project is to build a "Belgian archive" of surveys and data collected in the human sciences. The project aims at constructing a tool for depositing the data of surveys carried out in the human sciences in the different Belgian universities so as to be able to reuse them for other projects.

  • Persons in charge: Eggerickx Thierry, Schoumaker Bruno
  • Researcher: Sanderson Jean-Paul
  • National and international collaborations: VUB, General Archives of the Kingdom (AGR)
  • Funding: BELSPO


The issue of control in complex systems. A contribution of structural modelling

Building upon Judea Pearl’s directed acyclic graphs approach to causality and the tradition of structural modelling in econometrics and social science, the present project examines the issue of control in complex systems with multiple causes and outcomes. It deals first with three-variable saturated and unsaturated models, and then focuses on more complex systems including models with collider or latent confounder discussed by Pearl. The purpose of this project is to develop simple rules for selecting the variables to control for when studying the direct effect of a cause on an outcome or the total effect when dealing with multiple causal paths.

  • Person in charge: Wunsch Guillaume
  • National and international collaborations: Moucart Michel (CORE and ISBA, UCL), Russo Federica (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Track-changes: Tracking health changes in urban Africa with cause-specific mortality data

Counting who is dying and what they are dying from should be a basic prerequisite of any health program aimed at reducing mortality. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, most people die without entering any official record. Few deaths have a cause certified by a medical practitioner, and there is limited evidence on the leading causes of death. This project aims to improve the collection and interpretation of cause-of-death data in urban Africa, in order to better understand recent changes in disease patterns. Its methodological component includes (1) the collection and interpretation of cause-specific mortality data in three capital cities (Antananarivo, Dakar and Bamako), (2) an assessment of demographic methods to evaluate the completeness of death reporting, and (3) the development of a statistical model to make the most of in-hospital death records. Its theoretical component is an investigation into the “double burden of disease” experienced in urban Africa, where the rising burden of chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, stroke and cancers) is associated with the persistence of lifethreatening infections.

  • Person in charge: Masquelier Bruno
  • National and international collaborations: Senegal: National Agency for Statistics and Demography (ANSD), Madagascar: National Institute of Public and Community Health (INSPC), National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), Institut Pasteur
  • Funding: National Fund for Scientific Research (Research Credit 2016-2018)


Towards environment-friendy practices?

The population-environment relationship is analyzed at the household level, especially in Belgium and other countries of the Northern Hemisphere. This research aims to elucidate the various factors (material, socio-cultural, etc.) associated with changes in practices or resistance to them, in terms of energy use, energy renovation work, shopping goods, energy use and other practices that have an impact on the environment. The preferred theoretical framework is that of theories of social practices.

  • Person in charge: Bartiaux Françoise
  • Researchers: Bartiaux Françoise, Anciaux Amélie (CriDIS-UCL)
  • National and International Collaborations: Danish Building Research Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark; Institute of Societies of the Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; WWF, Brussels, Belgium and Zurich, Switzerland
  • Funding: F.R.S.-FNRS