Paul van der AaPaul van der Aa will contribute to the development of the Inspires template for the innovative policy database as well as to data collection on Dutch social policies for the database. Also, he will participate in the analysis of policy learning. He considers Inspires to be relevant because it looks at social policy from a broad perspective, including substantive policies in various fields as well as policies regarding governance. Such a 'comprehensive' approach is essential given the growing relations and interdependencies between policy fields and the numerous ways and mechanisms by which social inclusion of vulnerable groups is influenced. And of course, a thorough analysis of resilience is very timely, given the crisis and the still continuing aftershocks.
Apart from his work for Inspires at Utrecht University, Paul van der Aa works as a policy researcher for the Dutch city of Rotterdam. In Rotterdam he evaluates local innovative social policies. His main research interest lies with design, implementation and outcomes of local job activation and employment policies. In 2012 he finished his PhD-thesis at Utrecht University on the delivery of activation services by municipal social assistance agencies.
Rik van Berkel
Rik van Berkel is associate professor at the Utrecht School of Governance, one of the partner institutes in the INSPIRES project. ''More than anything else, the current crisis underlines the importance of investing intellectually and politically in developing social policies contributing to the labour-market participation of vulnerable groups'', he comments. Rik's research interests include active welfare state reforms, the governance and frontline delivery of active labour-market policies as well as employers' HR policies and practices in relation to the labour-market inclusion of vulnerable groups. Recent publications include (with W. de Graaf and T. Sirovatka) 'The Governance of Active Welfare States in Europe' (2011, Palgrave); and (with P. Leisink) 'Both sides now: theoretical perspectives on the link between social and HR policies in promoting labour market participation' (in 'Managing social issues from a public value perspective', 2013, Edward Elgar).