Eurochild joins the European Cohort Development Project

The European Cohort Development Project (ECDP), led by Manchester Metropolitan University, and funded by the European Commission’s research programme ‘Horizon2020’, aims to establish the research design for a longitudinal survey of children and young people’s well-being across Europe (from birth until the age of 25).

Currently there is no readily available robust data to assess the child well-being situation across Europe or in comparison to the rest of the world. Existing child data, which have their own limitations, indicate that European countries vary widely in terms of child well-being but there is no comparative data which show the circumstances of how children develop into adults.

A comparative longitudinal survey of child well-being in Europe offers policy-makers at a European and Member State level a number of new possibilities for policy formulation. Longitudinal well-being surveys can help us understand transitions in children and young peoples’ lives (for instance the step from education to the labour market), interruptions and trauma (break up the family unit) as well as turning points that might contribute to the understanding of well-being.

These transitions are inherently longitudinal processes and so longitudinal data are necessary to analyse and understand such life course developments.  Only this type of data is able to inform policies aimed to improve child well-being over time and answer questions about the impact of policy interventions on child and young people’s outcomes.

It aims to make this survey a key European Research Infrastructure (like the European Social Survey).  This project builds upon the MYWEB feasibility study that established that there was a significant demand for such a survey among policy makers, academics and practitioners. In addition it found that this type of survey would be both technically feasible and economically viable. This 18-months project includes partner universities from Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and The Netherlands.

Eurochild is part of the International Advisory Group, which includes representatives from Learning for Well-being Foundation, Jacobs Foundation, ISCI, and UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.

The Eurochild network has an extensive experience working on and advocating for more child-centered and evidence- and child participation based indicators for well-being and more regular monitoring. Better monitoring of outcomes is a clear learning from the Childonomics research study. We have experience liaising with various EU institutions and other stakeholders and successfully disseminating information relevant to our work.

Eurochild can play an important role by:

1) ensuring that the right policy fields are included for well-being – both the material and non-material indicators; 2) raising awareness about a cohort study and gathering the political support at EU level;
3) help mapping the key influencers at national level through our membership to build support.