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Susanne Schmid (2004)

Methods and Results of a Delphi Study on Demographic Development in Germany until 2030*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 29, 3-4/2004, p. 493-516, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The Delphi Study carried out by the Federal Institute for Population Research forms part of the DIALOG Project (2003-2005) funded by the European Commission. The DIALOG Delphi Study was implemented over a period of one year (2003) and took place in 15 European countries (Austria, Belgium [Flanders], Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Slovenia). The concept and organisation of the Delphi Study were the responsibility of the research group around Rossella Palomba of the Istituto di Ricerche sulla Popolazione e le Politiche Sociali (IRPPS) in Rome.

The goal of this DIALOG Delphi Study was to draw up future scenarios and corresponding demographic policy measures for the participating countries, focussing on three topical areas: a) demographic ageing, b) family and fertility and c) gender roles. The scenarios were drafted by country, based on the contributions, opinions and judgments of 15 experts. The experts were from the following areas: the political arena, industry and the craft trades, interest groups, trade unions, journalism, the Church, gender issues, research, culture and local administration.

The method of the DIALOG Delphi Study was developed especially for the DIALOG Project. It consisted of interview experts using iterative, multi-methodic access. The method integrated the "Policy Delphi" developed by the U.S. systems researchers Harold Linstone and Murray Turoff and the "appreciative inquiry" developed by the U.S. organisation researchers David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva.

In this Delphi Study, the experts drafted a picture of the future on the basis of their knowledge, wishes and expectations. In the Delphi future scenario which the experts ultimately favoured, the main focus is on the economy and political arena, but also on family and partnership. The adjustment of the pensions system to an ageing society, ensuring innovation in Germany and improved reconciliation of family and work were seen as priority political goals.

* Original title: Methodik und Ergebnisse einer Delphi Studie zur demographischen Entwicklung in Deutschland bis 2030 (full text in German only)

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