1st year of EuroCohort: a brief summary by project coordinator Prof. Gary Pollock

1st year of EuroCohort: a brief summary by project coordinator Prof. Gary PollockPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

The first year of the European Cohort Development Project has been busy.  We kicked off in Manchester in January 2018 where it was clear that we had much work to do in order to take EuroCohort to the next stage of its development. The two broad strands of the project are firstly, to develop a research design for a Europe wide birth cohort survey and, secondly, to secure support from policy makers, funders and government ministries.

Developing a new survey requires a vast amount of work on many fronts. The project has progressed well with the ECDP consortium working to ensure that EuroCohort contains appropriate measures, has a scientifically sound design, and has a credible management and governance structure. The consortium includes leading international scientists in longitudinal and comparative survey design. We also benefit from input from leading survey data collection agencies, Ipsos Mori and Kantar Public.

EuroCohort is increasingly being discussed in both scientific and policy environments, for example it is mentioned in the UK’s recent Research Infrastructure roadmap interim report and has been included in discussions about the future of the UK’s longitudinal surveys.  EuroCohort has been represented at major international conferences in Milan (SLLS), Essex (MOLS2), Toulouse (ESOF), Vienna (ICRI), Singapore, Pisa, Seville (INTED 2018) and Brussels as well as at numerous national events (for example in Estonia, Croatia and Latvia).

We continue to extend our International Advisory Group to include leading experts in methodology and child well-being across the world.


Next steps

We are entering the busiest phase of the project during which progress will be swift on a number of fronts, amongst a range of activities, the following will be finalised:

  • Identification of key policy drivers required to understand how child well-being can be enhanced in future interventions
  • Key aspects of the EuroCohort infrastructure are determined, ranging from the design of the survey itself through to the strategic and operational management
  • A mechanism for integrating the views of children and young people into the survey development
  • Case studies which detail the benefits to policy makers of comparative longitudinal birth cohort and child cohort data

In addition, we are currently in the process of identifying designate National Coordinators for EuroCohort across Europe. These individuals will seek to raise awareness of EuroCohort in their country, in particular with a view to gaining national funding to facilitate data collection in the next phase of the project.