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European Cohort Development Project (ECDP)


The European Cohort Development Project (ECDP) follows on from the Measuring Youth Well-Being (MYWeB) project, which determined the feasibility and desirability of a pan-European longitudinal survey measuring child and youth well-being, with the aim to identify the necessary conditions for the implementation of such a survey.

The project aims to create a specification and business case for a European Research Infrastructure that will provide, over the next 25 years, comparative longitudinal survey data on child and young adult well-being. The infrastructure developed by ECDP will subsequently coordinate the first Europe-wide cohort survey, named EuroCohort.

There is at present no data source available to scientists to comparatively analyse the well-being of children as they grow up and therefore to develop policies to improve their well-being. As the respondents to EuroCohort grow up, an increasing body of data will develop, becoming ever richer and informative, able to show the ways in which national policies have made impacts and showing where policy interventions can make significant improvements.

Project aims

In order to inform decision-making for new research infrastructures at a European level, the ECDP Conceptual Design Report will outline realistic costs of a pan-European longitudinal survey over 25 years, detail the policy gains, and finalise the survey design requirements. An important part of the project is dedicated to building political and financial support for the survey through raising awareness of the advantages of a pan-European longitudinal survey measuring youth well-being and outlining the strategic and funding needs of the scientific community.

Concept & methodology

The ECDP Consortium includes most of the MYWeB partners to continue to develop EuroCohort. In addition, the ECDP Consortium is strengthened by the addition of new Strategic Partners, chosen for their expertise in the specific tasks required to develop the infrastructure. There is a need for methodological expertise to be at the heart of the science in ECDP which can then inform the operational requirements, the costs of developing and running EuroCohort and the analytic benefits which will then contribute to more targeted policy making which will result in improved levels of well-being as well as public expenditure efficiencies. To this end, the ECDP Consortium comprises expertise from Europe and beyond at the cutting edge of international comparative and longitudinal survey methodology. The Consortium includes team members who have experience of gaining substantial levels of political and funding support, and can demonstrate the capacity to run complex surveys in a range of challenging environments.

Professor Peter Lynn will chair the project’s Survey Group which collates the project’s development activities of the scientific developments oin a number of the project’sareas related to survey design and survey management and co-ordination processes. The ISER team are additionally responsible for Work Packages on sample design, nonresponse, and data collection modes and will contribute to work on questionnaire content, questionnaire translation, data management, and user support.

Project website

Team members

Professor Peter Lynn

Professor of Survey Methodology - ISER, University of Essex

Dr Gundi Knies

Research Fellow - ISER, University of Essex

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Photo credit: Anthony Cullen