Growing Up In Digital Europe: Its genesis, from MyWeB to EuroCohort and GUIDE, by Aleksandra Szymczyk, (Research Associate, Manchester Metropolitan University)


The GUIDE consortium is developing the first Europe-wide longitudinal child well-being study. We have successfully submitted the proposal to join the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures 2021 roadmap, where we are hoping to join the SHARE and ESS surveys. As we await the results of the external evaluation, we would like to shed some light on the development work that has brought us to this stage and explain how the project identity has evolved.


MYWeB Logo



We started working together on an EU funded feasibility study to scope the possibility of a Europe-wide longitudinal survey on children’s well-being guided by a child-centric approach.  This study, known as the MYWeB project (i.e. Measuring Youth Well Being GA 613368) began in 2014 and ended in 2016. MYWeB was coordinated by the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit of Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK and involved a consortium of partners from 14 countries. This project systematically showed that not only was such a survey technically doable but that there was also a strong desire among scientists, policy makers and practitioners for the data that this survey will generate. From the onset, we gathered opinions and expertise from children themselves, who agreed this was an important venture and shared with us their preferred ways to take part in the research.

On completing MYWeB we applied to take the project further through a ‘Design Study’ and secured more EU funding to undertake the European Cohort Development Project: ECDP (GA 777449), which was also led by PERU.  Within ECDP we originally named the future study ‘EuroCohort’ as this captured the scientific essence of the enterprise: a Europe wide accelerated birth cohort study.  ECDP developed the business case and research design and governance structure for EuroCohort. ECDP also initiated the extension of the consortium to countries not yet represented as well as to involve broader national networks with key stakeholders to secure the funding necessary for implementing the study. 






An innovative horizon scanning exercise within ECDP led us to rebrand the study as ‘Growing Up in Digital Europe’ which has the benefit of having a neat acronym: GUIDE; as well as indicating that children and young people across Europe will be growing up in a society where digital technologies are moving fast and are hard wired into all facets of life.  This title also has the benefit of being more easily understood by non-scientists. Nonetheless, we do not want to lose the EuroCohort identity altogether so, for the present time we have adopted the dual project name: GUIDE/EuroCohort.  This is the title that we used in our submission to join the 2021 ESFRI roadmap.  For more information on the submission please read our GUIDE ESFRI submission blog.






The ECDP project concluded in December 2019 with a GUIDE/EuroCohort launch event in Brussels, sharing the project findings with key stakeholders and outlining the next steps required to make the first Europe-wide longitudinal child well-being study a reality. Since then, the GUIDE consortium has expanded, and we now have now have 26 partners in 20 countries. We look forward to welcoming new partners who have an interest in representing their country in Europe.