Child-centric approach


The GUIDE/EuroCohort Survey is co-created by children, policy makers, and scientists.

GUIDE/EuroCohort is founded on the principle of child-centred approaches. We believe that children are active agents in society and, therefore, should advocate for their direct engagement throughout the research process. As such, children were placed at the centre of our work from the onset of EuroCohort, including during the preparatory stages of the research design. We also believe that when the results from the survey become available, children and young people must be key stakeholders in their interpretation. This contributes to the co-production of relevant policies for lasting social and economic benefit alongside inputs from policy makers, scientists and other stakeholders.

Children and young people’s engagement in the MYWeB feasibility study (2014-2016)

Starting from the MYWeB feasibility study, children were involved not only as research participants but also as advisors. In 2014-2015, a consultation involving 450 children and young people across 11 countries (see map below)  captured their views on well-being and participation in research projects. See a summary of key findings here. National reports are  available within Publications under Reports.  


Consultation with children and young people to capture their views on well-being and participation in research

Children and young people’s views were brought forward to an options appraisal exercise that involved over 300 professionals across Europe and were taken into account when working on the survey design. Parts of the survey were piloted in six countries, involving 195 children aged seven and eight in cognitive interviews. Children and Youth Advisory Groups were established in six countries to capture the views of 51 young advisors on our work and co-create some policy recommendations.

Children and young people’s engagement in the European Cohort Development Project (2018-2019)

The European Cohort Development Project created a specification and business case for a European Research Infrastructure that will provide, over the next 25 years, comparative longitudinal survey data on children’s and young adults’ well-being. The project kept children’s participation at its heart and engaged them in relevant research activities to ensure that key research tools are co-produced. It undertook preparatory work for children and young people’s future engagement in the research design, implementation and dissemination of EuroCohort, including developing mechanisms for them to share their voices and expectations about their well-being and future.

A Children and Young Person’s Advisory Groups (CYPAG) was set up in two countries (UK and Croatia) and 20 ‘Community Reporters’ comprised of children, young people and parents of very young children were recruited and trained in the same countries (10 per country). The work undertaken to create CYPAGs and engage Community Reporters in the UK and Croatia share a common goal, that of respecting the right of children and young people to have a voice in decisions that concern them through ensuring a level of co-production in the design study. They do, however, have different purposes.

The CYPAG is used as a formal mechanism to engage children and young people. It relies on the continuous involvement (across several years) of a small number of young people and builds their capacity towards their role as advisors. This collaboration between youth and researchers aims to:

  • ensure that children and young people have a formal role in EuroCohort,
  • inform children and young people about EuroCohort,
  • seek their feedback (e.g. ethics, videos)

Community Reporters are used as an informal and innovative mechanism to engage children, young people, and their families. It is very much youth-led and builds on a small number of workshops in a short period of time. Participants may change from a data collection wave to another. Involving youth as Community Reporters aims to:

  • gain insight on children, young people and their families’ understanding of well-being,
  • keep in touch with people’s views and society’s reality (no need to inform them about the project),
  • generate material that can be used to disseminate the project.

You can find the Community reporter videos within the Resource Centre

GUIDE/EuroCohort 2020 onwards

In the coming years, we will keep children at the heart of EuroCohort, engaging them throughout the research process to improve the research design and relevance.   As we continue to build the GUIDE/EuroCohort consortium and develop its governance structures the role of children and young people remains central as can be seen in the governance structure of the GUIDE consortium below.  All aspects of the project are included in the remit of the Children and Youth Scientific Advisory Group.