Project Partners

Project Promoter

About the Institute of Public Policy and Social Work

The Institute of Public Policy and Social Work studies the development of public policy and social work in the context of current social and economic issues, focusing on the organizational development of institutions of public policy and social work and management processes in the public sector. The Institute works closely with leading European research institutes in research projects supported by the European Commission and other international and national schemes.

The Institute’s research topics cover three areas:

1. The analysis of various areas of public policy including the system control (governance) of public policy, with emphasis on the labour market and employment, in relation to other areas affecting the development of human capital / potential and employment in all stages of the life cycle

2. Organisational studies, with an emphasis on the functioning of public policy systems, including the analysis of their management and reform processes that affect particular areas of public policy, especially social policy in organizations

3. The development of social work interventions in current Czech society, with a focus on their institutionalization and professionalization

Research team

Tomáš Sirovátka is Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Work and Leader of the Brno Branch of the Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs. He has published both nationally and internationally on a wide range of social policies – for example, in the European Journal of Social Policy, Social Policy and Administration, and the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. He has co-edited the books Governance of Active Welfare States in Europe (Palgrave, Macmillan 2011) and Public-private Mix, Innovation and Employment in Social Services (Ashgate 2014). Professor Sirovátka has cooperated with many European universities on numerous EU projects like CINEFOGO, KATARSIS, RECWOWE, GUSTO, NEUJOBS: Creating and Adapting Jobs in Europe in the Context of a Socio-Ecological Transition. He has served as leader of WP7 Public-private Mix, Innovation and Employment in Social Services. He is currently involved in two EU research projects: CITYSPYCE – Combating Inequalities through Innovative Social Practices of and for Young People in Cities across Europe (FP7) and NEGIOTIATE – Negotiating Early Job Insecurity and Labour Market Exclusion in Europe (H2020).

Blanka Plasová, Ph.D. is Researcher at the Institute of Public Policy and Social Work, Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic). Her main research interests are focused on the issue of reconciling work and family life. She also analyses childcare and eldercare policies (e.g. evolution and evaluation of quality and availability of care) in the Czech Republic as well as in other central European countries. In recent years, she has worked as a lecturer at Masaryk University, focusing on family policy, equal opportunities for men and women in the labour market and social programs within organizations. 

Jana Válková is a Researcher at the Institute of Public Policy and Social Work, Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic). She is interested in labour market policies, gender and family policy, especially the evolution of care policies, provision of care and the impact on work-life balance. Her works have been published as chapters in Czech and international scientific publications and Czech journals. She has been involved in several international research projects co-funded by the EC (FP7 such as CIVITAS ELAN and recently CITISPYCE), focusing on the evaluation of public policies and social innovative practices; and by the Visegrad Fund, studying the developments of family policies in the Central European region.

Josef Horňáček is Ph.D. candidate, Lecturer and Researcher at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno. As researcher, he has worked on the following projects: New Social Risks in the Labour Market and the Need to Reform Czech Public Policy, Equal Opportunities in Ceska Posta (Czech Post), s.p., and the ESF project Active Matching, in cooperation with Czech and Swedish public employment services. He focuses on public policy analysis, labour market policy, industrial relations and HR management. He also teaches the courses Evaluative Research, Quantitative Research, and Labour Market Theory, and serves as organizer of student internships in public policy and HR management.

Kateřina Kubalčíková, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, closely cooperating with the Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs. Her research activities are focused on social services providing for the elderly, the role of the social work within the social security system, community work and community planning. Furthermore, she is involved in field-work as a supervisor of the social services community planning process in municipalities. She also participates as a member of advisory boards in the social services planning of the South Moravia Region and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Pavel Horák, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University. His research deals with the topics of labour market policy implementation, the discretion of street-level bureaucrats, the governance of public policy and organizational flexibility. He is a regular contributor to Czech journals in the field of political science, public and social policy and social work. Some of his papers have been published in international journals such as International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Czech Sociological Review and Slovak Sociological Review.

Project Partner

About HiOA NOVA

NOVA is one of the largest social research institutes in Norway, conducting research on different aspects of society and the welfare state. We focus on the whole range of the life course: from the early years to later life. From 1 January 2014, NOVA became a part of Oslo and Akershus College of Applied Sciences and the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research.

NOVA's research is centred on Norwegian society, although international projects form a growing and important addition. The aim of the institute is to develop knowledge and understanding of social conditions and processes of change. We focus on issues of life-course events, the level of living conditions and aspects of life-quality, as well as on programmes and services provided by the welfare system.

Key Research Areas:

  • Childhood and child welfare
  • Youth
  • Ageing and the life-course
  • Family
  • Social security and social assistance
  • Housing
  • Migration
  • Welfare state
  • Health and welfare

Research team

Marie Louise Seeberg is a Research Professor at the Department of Childhood Studies and co-ordinates the research group on migration and trans-nationality at NOVA (Norwegian Social Research), a research unit at Oslo and Akershus University College. Also a social anthropologist, she has conducted fieldwork in a wide array of settings. In her Ph.D. thesis, she explored and compared the ways in which Dutch and Norwegian schools deal with ethnic and other differences. Her research topics also include the meanings of home and homeland among Vietnamese refugees in Norway, the relations between Swedish welfare institutions and refugees from Vietnam, and conditions for asylum-seeking children in Norway. In later years, she has especially studied care worker migration into Norway and developed her interest in complexity and systems theory. Since 2013, she has led the IMISCOE research cluster “Contested Childhoods in Times of Crises”. Her publications include The Holocaust as Active Memory: The Past in the Present (Ashgate Academic 2013, co-edited with Irene Levin and Claudia Lenz), “Immigrant Careworkers and Norwegian Gender Equality: Institutions, Identities, Intersections” in the European Journal of Women's Studies (2012), and “No Place: Small cCildren in Norwegian Asylum-seeker Reception Centres” in Childhood – A Global Journal of Child Research (with Cecilie Bagge and Truls Enger, 2009).

Kari Stefansen is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Norwegian Social Research, Unit of Youth Research. Her main areas of research are parenthood, child care, and family policy and care strategies. She is also participating in several projects, such as the study EFFECT – enhancing the effectiveness of work-family balance initiative use. She has published several papers based on qualitative interview data – using different approaches (case analysis, comparative analysis).

Thomas Hansen is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Norwegian Social Research, Unit of Ageing Research and Housing Studies. He studied social psychology and has worked mainly in the areas of gerontology and mental health and well-being. His main areas of research include the patterns and psychological consequences of parenting, childcare, and informal eldercare. He has participated in several projects, such as the study “Equal opportunities and long-term care – the mediating role of the welfare state”. Having published several papers based on survey data and high level quantitative analysis, his publications include studies of aging, mental health, well-being, childlessness, informal caregiving, gender division of housework and childcare.

Jorunn Theresia Jessen is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Norwegian Social Research, Unit of Childhood studies at Oslo and Akershus University College. Her main areas of research is social policy, welfare services and the studies of professions. She is participating in several projects, such as the study TREfF – “Social insurance in context: social justice, efficiency and welfare administration”. Her published papers are based on survey data, including studies of professional discretion, client attitudes and the impact of activation policies and governance strategies on front line practice.