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What is the project about?

The COORDINATE project brings together 22 partners from 14 countries who will work together to improve access to data about children's wellbeing. We are particularly interested in data that captures changes across time. This will be achieved by surveying the same children and families throughout the years. We want to create a new survey that will measure child wellbeing across Europe and across time. This survey is called GUIDE (Growing Up In Digital Europe). 

Where does this come from?

This ambitious project started in 2014, when the European Commission asked a group of researchers to consider whether it was possible to have a comparative child wellbeing survey implemented across Europe. It builds on the understanding that implemented across Europe does not exist and would be very useful to policy makers. The first project gathered information from scientists, policy makers, as well as children, to determine whether the survey was desirable, feasible and worth it, despite its costs. It was followed by a second project, the aim of which was to work on the research tools (questionnaires) and to build a business case to convince governments that this was a worthwhile investment.

What are we doing?

In this third project, we wish want to expand the community of researchers interested in and able to use data capturing children’s well-being across Europe, and throughout time. We will therefore improve access to such data, notably by offering grants to researchers for visitation purposes to institutions where similar data is available with the aim of learning how such data can be collected and used. We are also preparing some online and face-to-face trainings for future users.

To make sure that GUIDE is successful, we need to ensure that the survey is useful to policy makers. Part of this project focuses on expanding our network and gaining support from institutions and governments that may fund the survey in the future. Our aim is to have an approach that balances scientific rigour, policy priorities, and children’s views. Our Youth Advisors Board will keep the survey grounded into reality.

Finally, we are testing the questionnaires we have developed through our previous projects, in order to make sure everything will work well for the launch of the GUIDE survey. This is the part of the project where most of the research participants will have a role.

What are we asking research participants to do?

We are asking children and their parents to help us improve our questionnaires. We have prepared three different questionnaires:

  • for children aged 8

  • for parents of children aged 8

  • for parents of babies aged between 6 and 12 months

This happens through two steps. First, we focus on a small number of questions and ask children and parents to say if the questions are easy to understand and answer. This is called a cognitive interview. COORDINATE researchers will conduct cognitive interviews in 4 European countries, with a total of 80 children and 40 parents or carers. This will allow us to refine some of our questions before they are tested on a larger scale.


The questionnaires are then tested, as a whole, on a larger scale. This will help us work out any issues in the questionnaires before the GUIDE survey is launched. We want our research tools to be easy to use and engaging. This is particularly important because we will be going back to the same families across time, and if the questionnaires are poorly designed, they will be less likely to respond in the future.

The piloting will take place in the same countries as the cognitive interviews, with different participants. This will be done on a much larger scale to allow for robust statistical tests to be run on the survey responses. Overall, 2.000 adults and 1.000 children will be involved across four countries.




Child and parental consent

Research participants will be provided with an information sheet detailing information on data protection and on how their responses will be anonymised. Participants will be asked to sign an informed consent, confirming that they have received information about the project, understand what the project entails, and are aware of how their data will be used. Parental consent will be secured before asking children if they would like to participate. Once parental consent is granted, the child will be able to decide whether they want to participate or not.

Research participant feedback

We wish to keep research participants up-to-date with how their contribution is being used. To achieve this, we will post research updates on this website and create materials accessible to children.

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