The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) is a government agency which conducts research into the social aspects of all areas of government policy. The main fields studied are health, welfare, social security, the labour market and education, with a particular focus on the interfaces between these fields. The reports published by SCP are widely used by government, civil servants, local authorities and academics.
The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) monitors, explains and explores the social and cultural well-being of people living in the Netherlands. Its activities include monitoring life situation and quality of life in the Netherlands, evaluating government policy in this regard and performing forward studies in support of future policy. SCP is a professional organisation which carries out its work independently and on a scientific basis. In its capacity as a knowledge institute, SCP performs scientific research that is relevant for government policy. Formally, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research is part of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
SCP was established by Royal Decree in 1973. Its official tasks are threefold:
- to describe the social and cultural situation in the Netherlands and outline anticipated developments;
- to provide the information needed for a well-considered choice of policy objectives and resources and for the development of alternatives;
- to evaluate government policy, especially interdepartmental policy, for example concerning the elderly, young people, ethnic minorities, etc.. SCP also publishes reports on several other topics.
SCP produces numerous research publications about life in the Netherlands, focusing either on the population in general (Social and Cultural Reports), or on specific groups in society (e.g. the disabled).