The Center is currently advising the Spanish coalition government in areas related to managing the Coronavirus pandemic, and has also been advising the Vice President’s office of Social Rights in social policy areas. This work involves research into the different areas for developing the fourth pillar of the Welfare State, and into the successful implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda in Spain. The 2030 Agenda is a UN initiative, calling for widespread policy developments in a variety of areas, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of populations over the next decade. The two research projects are as follows:


Development of the fourth pillar of the Welfare State

The Center has been developing a proposal to move from the current Spanish care system, eminently family-oriented, to a universal, public, accessible and high-quality care system, known as the fourth pillar of the Welfare State. This project is subdivided into two specific areas of work:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care Services (0-3 years)
    The project includes a proposal to universalize childcare services and good quality nurseries in Spain, provided by public services. The study quantifies the costs to the public sector for such universalization. It estimates the socioeconomic impacts associated with the implementation of universally accessible nurseries and care for children aged 0-3 years: direct and indirect income generation from job posts, freeing of resources, an improvement in educational indicators, and equality of opportunities, among others, as well as the costs of infrastructure construction.
  • Services to Increase Autonomy and Dependency Support
    It has been developing a proposal to develop those services which increase the autonomy and support the needs of dependent people (such as the elderly and people with disabilities), via the public and sufficient provision of these services. The goal is to eliminate the current system's approach to care, guaranteeing care for dependent people as a de facto and universal right, accessible for all those who need it. As well as planning a new system, this project calculates the costs of its implementation, working out the increases in resources that would be necessary to implement such a system, and estimating the expected returns in social, financial and employment terms.

The universalization of these services is now more important than ever, given that the impacts of the pandemic are making dependent individuals even more vulnerable and reliant on support, and have caused an enormous amount of stress for young children (with foreseeable consequences for their emotional, cognitive and social development). It is also intended to support the reintegration of the population (particularly women) into the labour market, due to the fact that the coronavirus crisis has caused many complications for adults balancing work and family life.

Research team:

Director: Vicente Navarro

Coordinators: Vicente Navarro, María Pazos, Pol Carrión and Ferran Muntané.

Main researchers: Vicente Navarro, María Pazos, Pol Carrión, Cristina Castellanos and Ferran Muntané.

Collaborators: Ana Carolina Perondi, Francesc Padró, Xavier Bonal, Josep Muñoz and Manuel Aguilar Hendrickson.


The resulting report, "The Fourth Pillar of the Welfare State. A proposal to cover essential care needs, create employment and move towards gender equality", was presented on June 15, 2020 at the Commission for Social and Economic Reconstruction of the Congress of Deputies (Spanish Parliament) by the Center's director, Vicente Navarro. You can read the news HERE.


2030 Agenda: Improvement of the system of indicators for monitoring the sustainable development goals

The JHU-UPF Public Policy Center collaborates with the Secretary of State for the 2030 Agenda, of the Second Vice-Presidency of the Spanish coalition government, in the project to improve the indicators for monitoring the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. 

With a multidisciplinary team, the Center develops an analysis of the current map of indicators and offers advice for their improvement, introducing or modifying those indicators that would improve the monitoring of the SDGs.

Research team:

Director: Vicente Navarro

Coordinators: Vicente Navarro, Pol Carrión and Ferran Muntané.

Main researchers by areas: Xavier Bonal (Quality education), Pol Carrión (Care services), Cristina Castellanos (Gender equality), Joan Carles Gallego (Decent work and economic growth), Ferran Muntané (Care services), Vicenç Navarro (Good health and well-being), María Pazos (Gender equality), Mercedes Sastre (Gender equality), Sebastià Sarassa (Poverty) and Christos Zografos (Climate action).


Other projects

The Center has also been supporting the government with managing the negative impacts of the pandemic through advising on the need to adapting the country's industrial production. It recommends repurposing the industrial infrastructure to serve the health sector's most urgent needs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their workers, as well as ventilators and other necessary equipment to protect the country's key workers and victims of the virus. The Center has also proposed the expansion of the country's welfare state, to guarantee the population's wellbeing (which is still recovering from the 2007 financial and economic crisis). This expansion of the welfare state will be fundamental for tackling the economic and social crisis that it being caused by the pandemic.