On-going research

Optimising the Governance and Management of the Natura 2000 Protected Areas Network in Latvia (LatViaNature) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The overall objective of the LIFE-IP LatViaNature is to ensure implementation of the PAF specifically addressing gaps and shortcomings and ensuring favourable conservation status of the natural and semi-natural habitats and species of Community interest by developing best practices, and creating and adopting innovative solutions. The proposed IP will include the following specific objectives:

  • To improve the conservation status of habitats and species through wise planning and effective management;
  • To improve the efficiency of Natura 2000 network;
  • To improve the nature planning system at site level by making it more flexible and user-friendly;
  • To develop motivating mechanisms to support effective nature conservation on private lands;
  • To develop an effective system for control and management of invasive alien species;
  • To create a modern, centralized data portal for nature conservation sector;
  • To strengthen the capacity of administration and to enhance collaboration among governmental, non-governmental sectors and scientific institutions;
  • To increase the stakeholder involvement and to raise awareness of specific target groups, especially private landowners, regarding nature conservation in general and specific areas of the IP;
  • To raise awareness of the general public on nature conservation issues and to increase their knowledge and voluntary involvement in biodiversity conservation.

Implementation period: 01.11.2020. - 31.12.2028.

Funding/ programme: EU Life Environment Programme

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: Nature Conservation Agency (lead partner), Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, University of Latvia, Daugavpils University, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, JSC “Latvia’s state forests”, Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, Latvian Fund for Nature, Pasaules dabas fonds

Project funding: 19484173.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Andris Klepers, Anda Arkliņa

More information: https://www.daba.gov.lv/public/lat/projekti/aktualie_projekti/latvianature/

Nudging for Behavioural Change to Improve Households’ Waste Management - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: This research project will study behavioural insights of recycling efforts among the households, exploring the potential of nudges in the promotion of sustainable consumption and circular economy. The scientific excellence of this project lies in the multidisciplinarity: the application of social psychology in increasing the efficiency of existing recycling approaches by altering the behaviour of private households, thus, contributing to existing policy efforts in environmental protection.

Implementation period: 01.01.2021. - 31.12.2023.

Funding/ programme: Fundamental and Applied Research Programme

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: N/A

Project funding: 300000.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Vineta Silkāne (vineta.silkane@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Agnese Dāvidsone, Anna Broka, Linda Veliverronena, SSII researcher Jana Simanovska, guest researchers Inga Belousa, Andris Saulītis, master's students - guest research assistants Armands Aivo Astukevičs, Anna Karolīna Ozola, Gerda Ajanta Gaile

Models of Assessment in the Digital Learning Environment (MADLE) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The aim of the research is to develop research-based formative and summative assessment models that help to ensure a credible and objective assessment of the learning process in the digital environment. Main activities/ objectives of the research: Studies of literature and practice, international mobility, development of the models, approbation and improvement, preparation and publishing of publications, presentation of study results in conferences and seminars, informing the society about the research results. Main results of the research: A systematized and research-based set of static models. Assessment models will help teachers to ensure the learning process in different forms of education: formal education at schools and higher educational institutions as well as adult education, further education.

Implementation period: 01.05.2020. – 30.04.2023.

Funding/ programme: European Regional Development Fund (Post-doctoral Research Support)

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: N/A

Project funding: 133805.88 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Anžela Jurāne-Brēmane (anzela.jurane@va.lv)

Project news: https://va.lv/en/research/research/models-assessment-digital-learning-environment-madle

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Sustainable Land Resource and Landscape Management: Challenges, Development Scenarios and Proposals (LandLat4Pol) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The aim of research: to develop knowledge-based solutions and proposals for sustainable use of land resources, assessing land use efficiency and key drivers. To prepare methodological solutions for mapping the Latvian landscape and sustainable landscape management. Research objectives:

  • To assess of the legal framework in Latvia and examples of foreign policies of land resources management;
  • To summarize the previous practice and methodological solutions of landscape assessment and management in Latvia and other countries;
  • To assess the efficiency of land resource use in economics and provision of ecosystem services;
  • To develop alternative scenarios for land resources management efficiency;
  • To prepare and test a knowledge-based methodological approach for landscape assessment and management in Latvia;
  • To prepare a digital Latvian landscape atlas with project results;
  • To develop the framework and guidelines for sustainable land resource and landscape management;
  • To prepare and provide dissemination of the scientific publications and practical results to social partners, governmental institutions and other stakeholders.

Implementation period: 01.12.2020. - 30.11.2022.

Funding/ programme: National Research Programme “Sustainable Development of the Territory and Rational Use of Land Resources”

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Riga Technical University, Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava"

Project funding: 376550.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Andris Klepers, Anda Arkliņa


Visitor Monitoring and Digital Solutions for More Efficient Management of Visitors' Flow in Specially Protected Nature Territories - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: In 2020, the joint cooperation between Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences and the Nature Conservation Agency concentrated the resources of both institutions and involved data available to other organizations in order to establish a comprehensive inventory of visitors to specially protected nature territories, which forms a quantitative part of wider monitoring. In order to establish an appropriate qualitative monitoring component and assess visitor motivation, socio-economic impact, the role of ecosystem services and alternatives to recreation in a specially protected nature territory (SPNT), as well as to provide Kemeri National Park with recertification information required by the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, a large-scale coordinated survey of the ten most popular SPNTs in Latvia in terms of visitors is planned. A digital platform has already been set up for the interpretation of monitoring data, which needs to be adapted for combining quantitative and qualitative data. This would deepen the understanding of the interrelationships of interactions between humans and nature in SPNTs. The obtained data will be applicable to the situation in Latvia as a whole, in order to use them for making informed decisions on the daily management and protection of the territory and to find solutions for more efficient management of the visitors' flow to SPNTs.

Implementation period: 01.04.2021.-15.02.2022.

Funding/ programme: Latvian Environmental Protection Fund

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: Nature Conservation Agency

Project funding: 26 653 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): HESPI Lead Researcher Andris Klepers (andris.klepers@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Agita Līviņa, Anda Arkliņa, Iveta Druva-Druvaskalne

Values in Action: Promotion of Responsible, Secure and Educated Civil Society in Latvia through Research and Model Development - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The overall aim of the project is to strengthen civil society in the development of new policy approaches and to model directions fostering social and territorial cohesion based on European democratic values. It aims to develop a solid knowledge base and develop and validate potential action models for improvement of a responsible, secure and educated civil society in Latvia. The project will take aninterdisciplinary scope in researching the given topic by delvinginto the values of the Latvian State, the functioning of public institution governance areas, the development of values in the territory of Latvia over the course of history, contrasting them with the contemporary interpretations of democratic values, processes and practices among members of different groups of Latvian society. Our multidisciplinary project team will also explore the importance of democratic values, the rights of the State and the factors influencing their development. Special attention will be paid to the governance bodies and policies of the European Union in relation to the topic of civil society development, as well as the rights of the society. The responsibility and cooperation mechanisms in the process of general development of the State, and the ways in which the values of society affect its actions will be investigated on both the macro and micro levels, focusing, first, on structural influences and, second, on the agentic positioning and actions of individuals.

Implementation period: 03.12.2018. - 30.11.2021.

Funding/ programme: National Research Programme "Latvia’s Heritage and Future Challenges for the Sustainability of the State"

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: Riga Stradins University

Project funding: 599839.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Gatis Krūmiņš (gatis.krumins@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Feliciāna Rajevska, Agnese Dāvidsone,Vineta Sillkāne, Jānis Buholcs, Jānis Šiliņš, Solvita Denisa-Liepniece, HESPI guest researcher Māris Andžāns

Significance of Documentary Heritage Research in the Development of Synergies between Research and Society - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: ​The aim of the project is to conduct interdisciplinary research into the Special Collection of the National Library of Latvia, including using digital research methods, to update the previously insufficiently researched segments and aspects of Latvian documentary heritage, focusing on those historical periods and issues less studied to date, and overcoming the ethnic and linguistic barriers hampering research. On the basis of newly created expertise, it is intended to stimulate conceptual discussions on what comprises the concept of documentary heritage, its place in the context of a common national cultural heritage, and the role of libraries in its exploration and transfer to the public.

The results of the research are expected to be approbated in scientific publications (publishing scientific articles, compiling articles and collective-body monographs for publication, organising an international research conference), as well as being promoted to the public (exhibitions, public lectures and series of readings). Using the research results, it is planned to draw up recommendations for improvement of the content of educational programmes in the humanities and to put forward suggestions for supplementing Latvia’s cultural-tourism map with new materials from Latvian history and culture that have not previously been in public circulation.

Implementation period: 01.12.2018. - 30.11.2021.

Funding/ programme: National Research Programme "Latvia’s Heritage and Future Challenges for the Sustainability of the State"

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: National Library of Latvia (lead partner)

Project funding: 585250.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Linda Veliverronena, Jānis Kalnačs, Iluta Bērziņa, Juris Smaļinskis, Aigars Andersons, Oskars Java, Anda Arkliņa, master's students - guest research assistants Krīstīne Grīnberga, Sanita Resne, Grigorijs Salnits

Elaboration of Latgale Business Development Strategy in the field "Development of Enterprise Tourism Services" - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The study is being implemented within the framework of the sub-measure "Interregional and Transnational Cooperation" of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Latvian Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for the needs of the project "Tourist friendly Latgale entrepreneur in the age of digitalization". In the project, HESPI provides expert service in developing Latgale Business Development Strategy, which includes:

  •     Analysis of the current situation, including SWOT analysis;
  •     Latgale tourism service providers, perspectives;
  •     An action plan to achieve the objectives;
  •     Inclusion of indicators and methodology for monitoring strategy implementation.

Implementation period: 01.10.2019. - 30.11.2021.

Funding/ programme: Ludza District Partnership

HESPI role: Expert

Cooperation partners: NA

Project funding: 6380 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Anda Arkliņa

Leveraging ICT Product Innovations by Enhancing Codes of Modern Art - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The scientific objective of the project is research in the field of ICT and modern art in Latvia in order to find new ideas to benefit ICT rooted in the contemporary cultural tradition that has already lasted over one hundred years and which embodies the basic intellectual codes of today. The aim of this project is to form a new methodology of ICT products’ creation using knowledge of the theory of modern art (hereinafter – TMA) and its subsequent postmodernity expression, paving the way for a novel approach to culturally based digital production. The planned action is to experimentally create models, prototypes and examples of ICT as bearers of intellectual capital and analyze existing products while forming this kind of methodology. The impact of the new ICT methodology is a transfer of knowledge about contemporary artworks into ICT. Thus, it is an impact on the Latvian digital society as knowledge about modern art that is insufficient at present. The major deliverable of this project will be a new methodology for the translation of art codes into ICT products, taking into account that the ICT and TMA are specifically segregated / unconnected fields and today’s interdisciplinary scientific approach demands their crosscutting.

Implementation period: 01.09.2017. - 31.08.2021.

Funding/ programme: European Regional Development Fund (Post-doctoral Research Support)

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: Interactive Agency Cube

Project funding: 117593.46 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Ieva Gintere (ieva.gintere@va.lv)

Project news: https://va.lv/en/research/research/leveraging-ict-product-innovations-enhancing-codes-modern-art

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Development of the Project of Administrative Structure for Newly Established Valmiera Municipality - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: Tasks of the project: 1) to perform a description of the activities of the local government institutions and structural units, capital companies, associations and foundations, as well as other local government institutions to be merged (collectively referred to as the Institutions); 2) to develop a model for the future operation of the Institutions of local governments to be merged; 3) to develop a municipality administration governance model of the newly established municipality as a result of merging.

Implementation period: 19.10.2020. - 20.05.2021.

Funding/ programme: Valmiera City Council

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: N/A

Project funding:

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Sarmīte Rozentāle, Agnese Dāvidsone, Aigars Andersons, Jānis Bikše, Anna Broka, Hanna Mihailova, Anda Arkliņa

Life with COVID-19: Evaluation of Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis in Latvia and Recommendations for Societal Resilience in the Future - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The project aims to evaluate the preparedness of the Latvian society to overcome crises and its capability to address it, and to prepare recommendations for future scenarios to help reinforce the society’s resilience. The main result of the study will be an extensive overview of the diverse socio-economic impact that the COVID-19crisis has had on Latvian society. The project’s authors are the leading scientists from four top universities, and they represent various social sciences fields. The nature of their cooperation is unprecedented - the high level of innovation lies in the multi-layered, interdisciplinary and diachronic view on the impact of the crisis on different segments of Latvian society. They will be using scientific methods from communication and media studies, psychology, social anthropology, paedagogy, sociology, computer science as well as artificial intelligence. The researchers have experience in studying Latvian society and have historical data at their disposal. By using comparative analysis and other methods, this data will be compared with more recently obtained data. Thus, at the end of the project, it will be possible to accurately identify and measure the impact of COVID-19 and provide recommendations regarding further actions to lessen the consequences of the impact. The project will provide detailed recommendations, which will be based on an interdisciplinary review regarding further steps to be taken in order to restore economic processes and development in Latvia.

Implementation period: 01.07.2020. - 31.03.2021.

Funding/ programme: National Research Programme

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: Rīgas Stradiņš University (lead partner), University of Latvia, Institute of Electronics and Computer Science, Rezekne Academy of Technologies

Project funding: 497580.00 EUR

Project manager (e-mail): Līga Cvetkova (liga.cvetkova@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Gatis Krūmiņš, Feliciana Rajevska, Jānis Buholcs, Vineta Silkāne, Agnese Dāvidsone, Anna Broka, Hanna Mihailova, Sarmīte Rozentāle; SSII research staff Ginta Majore, SSII guest research assistant Mairita Zaķe, guest researchers Zigurds Zaķis, Ieva Bērziņa, master's students - guest research assistants Sanda Šapale, Angeļina Aņisimova, doctoral student - guest research assistant Ieva Grīntāle

More information: https://www.rsu.lv/projekts/dzive-ar-covid-19