Dr. Ides Nicaise


Prof. em. Ides Nicaise has a background in economics and wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Poverty and human capital, i.e. the relationships between persistent poverty and inequalities in the education system. Since 1989, he has worked as a research manager and head of the “education and lifelong learning” unit at HIVA (Research Institute for Work and Society), a multidisciplinary research institute of the University of Leuven. He further specializes in social policy, more precisely the relationships between education, labour market policy, and social inclusion in rich as well as developing countries. Until 2020, he also had a part-time teaching assignment in the Dept of Education Sciences at the University of Leuven, teaching on the economics of education, lifelong learning and equal opportunities, and education, society, and culture. He has previously taught – at various colleges and universities – economics, social profit management, labour economics, sociology of education, and social security economics.

Besides his professional activities, he chairs the Belgian Resource Centre for the Fight against Poverty, a center created by law as an interface between the government, civil society, and grassroots organizations defending the interests of the poor.

He was/is involved in many projects at the national, European, and international levels, ranging from minimum income systems (a comparative EU-wide study of adequacy and non-take up for DG EMPL) to active labour market policies (a book published in 1995). His most recent research projects include Re-InVEST (a Horizon 2020 project on social investment strategies to foster social inclusion, which he coordinated), the “poverty pillar” of InGRID (a research infrastructure project for the social sciences), ENLIVEN (a Horizon 2020 project on lifelong learning strategies for disadvantaged groups), and the socio-economic work package of CARE (Curriculum & Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education and Care – FP7). He currently coordinates the HumMingBird project (a Horizon 2020 research on early diagnoses of migration flows for proactive policy responses). He also led the Belgian team of the European Social Policy Network until 2019.