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Kai Leichsenring

European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

Kai Leichsenring

Kai Leichsenring is Executive Director at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, since 2016. His background is in Political Sciences/Social Policy (Dr.phil., University of Vienna) and Organisational Development Consultancy. During his career as a researcher, he specialised in comparative and applied social research and policy consultancy with a focus on ageing, health and long-term care, and related issues such as governance and financing, quality management, labour conditions, user involvement and informal care. Apart from coordinating many national and European R&D projects he collaborated with a number of regional and national governments, and international agencies (UNECE, OECD, WHO, Worldbank, UNDP). He has represented the research community at the UNECE Standing Working Group on Ageing and its Bureau since 2016. Moreover, he designed and facilitated workshops, conferences and trainings, and published a wide range of reports, books and articles


Countries Austria;
Topics Care economy; Care inequalities; Care innovations; Care integration/ coordination; Care work and migration; Co-production in LTC; Community-based LTC; COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and LTC; Dementia care and support; End-of-life care and LTC; Evaluation of LTC systems and services; Financing LTC; Gender and care; Governance and LTC systems organisation; Healthcare access in LTC; Local care ecosystems; LTC and people with mental health conditions; LTC and younger people; LTC Policy; LTC Reforms; LTC Systems; LTC Workforce; New models of care; Outcome measurement in LTC; Prevention and rehabilitation and LTC; Quality and accreditation for LTC services; Residential LTC services; Rights and people’s voices in LTC systems; Social Innovation in LTC; Survey measures; Technology and LTC; Unmet needs; Unpaid / informal care;
Methods Analysis of administrative data; Co-production methods; Comparative policy analysis; Document analysis; Knowledge-exchange; Literature reviews and synthesis; Mixed methods; Policy analysis; Qualitative studies; Research ethics; Simulation models; Surveys; Theory of Change;
Role Research;
Other 1;
Research interests

Comparative social policy, integrated care, long-term care systems: their identity, policies, structures, pathways, (quality) management and resources, the long-term care workforce; ageing & society, new public management and social services.

Key publications

Leichsenring, K. and Sidorenko, A. (eds.) (2024) A research agenda for ageing and social policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Simmons, C., Pot. M., Leichsenring. K. (2023). Scoping review on alternative purchasing arrangements: impact of purchasing, service delivery and institutional design on quality of chronic care. Geneva: World Health Organization. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Leichsenring, K., Kadi, S. & C. Simmons (2022). Making the Invisible Visible: The Pandemic and Migrant Care Work in Long-Term Care. Social Sciences, 11: 326.

R. Rodrigues, C. Simmons, T. Premrov, Leichsenring, K. & C. Boehler (2022). From each according to means, to each according to needs? Distributional effects of abolishing asset-based payments for residential care in Austria. International Journal for Equity in Health, DOI: 10.1186/s12939-022-01639-y

Leichsenring, K., Schmidt, A.E. & Staflinger, H. (2021). Fractures in the Austrian model of long-term care: What are the lessons from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic?, Journal of Long-Term Care, 33-42. DOI:

Leichsenring, K. (2021) Applying Ideal Types in Long-Term Care Analysis, pp. 187-206 in C. Aspalter (Ed.) Ideal Types in Comparative Social Policy. London: Routledge.

Tello, J.E., Pardo-Hernandez, H., Leichsenring, K., Rodrigues, R., Ilinca, S., Huber, M., Yordi Aguirre, I. & E. Barbazza (2020). A services delivery perspective to the provision of long-term care in Portugal. Public Policy Portuguese Journal, Vol. 5(1), 8-25.

Schulmann, K., Reichert, M. & Leichsenring, K. (2019). Social support and long-term care for older people: the potential for social innovation and active ageing, pp. 255-286 in: Walker, A. (Ed.), The future of ageing – making an asset of longevity. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nies, H. & Leichsenring, K. (2018). Concepts and strategies of quality assurance in care for older people, pp. 347-371 in: Boll, T., Ferring, D. & Valsiner, J. (Eds.), Cultures of care in aging. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Leichsenring, K., Nies, H., Billings, J. (Eds.) (2013). Long-term care in Europe – Improving policy and practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.