Research design of EuroCohort discussed at a meeting in Jyväskylä

Research design of EuroCohort discussed at a meeting in Jyväskylä

The third ECDP meeting for the design of @EuroCohort was held in Jyväskylä on the 2nd and 3rd of July. This was an opportunity to focus on developing the research design.

The venue for the meeting was the Agora building at the University of Jyväskylä, by the lake. Gary Pollock introduced the meeting by reminding the consortium that Finland tends to do very well in OECD measures of well-being, making this an ideal location to be discussing how to collect data that would contribute to improving child and youth well-being across Europe.

There then followed a presentation by Thalia Hirsch (University of Bremen) and Florian Sipos (University of Debrecen) which contributed to a prioritization of concepts to be included in the EuroCohort survey. The last session of the day turned to questions of governance where Terhi-Anna Wilska (University of Jyväskylä) explored how could the EuroCohort survey structure be managed.

Day 2 began with presentations related to the engagement of children, young people and their families into aspects of developing EuroCohort. Here, Jaroslav Mihalik (UCM), Jessica Ozan (MMU) and Hayley Trowbridge of People’s Voice Media showed what had already been done to capture the voice of young people and ensure that there is a child-centric approach taken when deciding what to ask about and how in the survey.

The importance of ethics was then introduced by Magda Nico (ISCTE). There is a need for EuroCohort to comply with both national and European ethical requirements. 

Following this there was a joint presentation by Gary Pollock (MMU), Alison Park and Natasha Wood (both from CLOSER, UCL), and Peter Lynn (ISER, Essex) who skyped in – his voice resounding around the meeting room.  In this session, the research design of the survey was initiated with important questions relating to sampling, data collection, fieldwork processes, questionnaire development, data archiving, user support and so forth raised.

After lunch, Toni Barbarovic (IPI) and Pau Serracant (CYO) explored the complexities of piloting an international longitudinal survey, forcing participants to think hard about how it ought to be done in order to achieve best practice.

The final session was led by Marge Unt (Tallinn University) and Anita Stasilane (Daugavpils University) who showed what has already been done in relation to communications and dissemination.  EuroCohort branding was shown to be well developed, with templates for reports, presentations as well as leaflets, posters and banners.  In addition, the web site and twitter feeds were shown to be highly active.  Ending with videos for the EuroCohort website, including one of humorous out-takes, participants were left feeling that a huge amount of progress had been made in the six months since ECDP started.

Many thanks to the local organisers: Terhi-Anna Wilska, Katarina Salmela-Aro and Nina Heräjärvi.