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The University of Southampton
Centre for Research on Ageing

Research project: Global Ageing and Long-Term Care Network (GALnet)

Currently Active: 

The Global Ageing and Long-term Care Network (GALNet) is funded by the ESRC's Global Challenges Research Fund. It brings together academics, policy makers and practitioners from across a range of disciplines to share examples of experiences and best practice from different countries to inform the design of integrated long-term care services that are centred on the needs of older people. It is led by Prof. Maria Evandrou in the University of Southampton and involves UK and international collaborating partners.  

Background and objectives:

The world’s population is ageing rapidly. In 2015, there were 900 million individuals aged 60 and over, of whom two-thirds live in the developing world; by 2050 this figure is expected to more than double to over 2 billion and 80% of these individuals will be living in less developed countries, many of which currently lack comprehensive systems of social protection.  Globally, the family remains the dominant source of support for social care in later life. However, with increasing participation - particularly of women - in the paid labour market and higher levels of migration, traditional systems of family support are coming under pressure. Across the globe, formal systems of long-term care are evolving to complement informal (unpaid) care from family members and non-family networks. In some contexts, such systems are already well developed but in others they are evolving organically with little or no oversight or regulation. The WHO, in its World Report on Ageing and Health (2015) highlighted the imperative of developing long-term care systems that enable older people to receive care and support that is ‘consistent with their basic rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity’.


Through the organisation of a series of workshops, the Global Ageing and Long-term Care Network (GALNet) will facilitate the sharing of insights into the factors underpinning the need for, and present realities of, long-term care and how these might vary across different social groups, along with discussion of alternative models for long-term care from different sources, and the balance between informal (unpaid) care provided by family members and non-family networks, formal support provided by the state or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), or formal paid for support purchased through the private sector.


The project will establish a dynamic and internationally leading network on ageing and long-term care around the world, which fulfils the following objectives:


a)   Exchange of information and expertise;

b)   Build complementary knowledge to create new insights to inform policy;

c)   Promote capacity building;

d)   Build strong partnerships with academics, NGOs and policy makers; and

e)   Identify innovative research agendas to inform future policy design and practice.



Research network:

The Network is led by Prof. Maria Evandrou, Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Research on Ageing at the University of Southampton, and includes colleagues from the following academic partners:

  • University of Southampton (UK);
  • University of East Anglia (UK);
  • Africa Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) (Kenya);
  • Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) (India);
  • Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore (India)
  • Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University (China);
  • School of Public Administration, Zhejiang University (China)
  • SIDOM Foundation, Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Project activities

The project will bring together academic and non-academic partners with a view to enhancing our understanding of long-term care provision around the world. Three network meetings are planned (please click each link for more details):

Workshop 1: Understanding the demand for long-term care (26-27 June 2017, Kenya)

Workshop 2: Alternative models of long-term care (January 2018, India)

Workshop 3: Policy choices for long-term care (April 2018, China)

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