The Institute

The ISG Institute for Social Research is a privately owned, independent research institute with offices in Cologne (headquarter) and Berlin. The institute goes back to the Otto-Blume-Institut für Sozialforschung und Gesellschaftspolitik e.V. which was founded in 1952. In the past the institute conducted numerous scientific projects for various public institutions, among others for the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Employment Agency, the German Ministry of Education and Research and the Commission of the European Union.

The scientific research focuses on

  • Economic and labor market policy (head: Dr. Fuchs)
  • Social policy (head: Dr. Engels)

In these fields scientific projects were conducted regarding:

  • the evaluation of European Social Fund (ESF) programs,
  • the evaluation of public interventions with respect to vocational training, research policy, family and social policy, safety and health at work as well as business start-up,
  • the scientific monitoring and assessment of pilot projects,
  • the development of concepts and strategies regarding the structural funds of the EU and local approaches to labor market and social policy as well as
  • the consulting of public institutions with respect to the implementation and supervision of strategies and concepts.

Our understanding of scientific policy advice

Our understanding of high-quality scientific policy advice follows the „Leitlinien Politikberatung“ of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. These emphasize correctly that scientific policy advice neither can nor should substitute political decisions and societal discourse.

In fact, its main task consists of preparing, enabling and critically accompanying the latter. Against this background, the major problem of scientific consultancy is to apply the knowledge generated according to scientific criteria and interests to policy relevant questions in a form which enables conclusions and recommendations that are both scientifically reasonable and politically implementable. An assessment of the latter is only possible by a dialogue of scientific advisors with decision makers.

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