A man holding a young child in Pakistan

In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security.

The Centre works closely with colleagues from around the world to conduct research on age-friendly environments, including the development of indicators for age-friendly cities. Taking advantage of its location in Japan, the Centre draws upon the specific expertise and experience of Japan. In collaboration with Japanese researchers the Centre is conducting research on identifying interventions and policies that can add healthy years to life.

fact buffet

395 millionthe number of people living to be 80 worldwide by 2050

Q&A on ageing

50 yearsthe difference in life expectancy of a Chilean women between 1910 (33 years) and 2010 (82 years)

Fact file on ageing

25%estimated percentage of the population over 85 years old by 2030 in Japan


Research on community-based social innovations for healthy ageing (CBSI)

Call for Expression of Interest (EOI)


The WHO Kobe Centre (WKC) has launched a research project on community-based social innovations for healthy ageing (CBSI). Partnering with RAND Europe, this new research aims at improving health and well-being among older people at a community level, and to guide development and implementation of various models of community-based care and support services. These are needed as many countries and communities have not yet fully planned to deliver comprehensive health/social services in support of rapidly ageing populations. Emphasis is being given to middle and high income countries.

The study will investigate a) health/social delivery innovations implemented in a community that emphasize active engagement of older people, b) interventions that aim to assist older persons to increase autonomy and to maintain or enhance their health and quality-of-life for as long as possible, and c) examine their effectiveness and integration/coordination with the wide health care system.

WHO and RAND Europe will conduct a systematic review and case studies of up to ten middle-income countries across the world. Primary data collection in selected case studies will provide evidence about CBSIs, including how they operate, link to other health and social care services, and what benefits they bring for participants.

Anticipated research results include: creating a typology of CBSIs and policy options/briefs to inform country policy and planning to ensure greater sustainability and integration of services, in the context of universal health coverage.

WKC and RAND Europe are now inviting all interested parties to suggest case study sites on community-based social innovations (CBSIs) that support older people in middle-income countries (MICs).

See the Call for Expression of Interest (EOI) for interested organizations to propose CBSI case study sites. Deadline for EOI submission is 31 December 2016.