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Paris meeting 27th to 29th September 2021

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Organised by: Lidia Panico, Aurelie Santos

Present: Toni Babarovic (IPI), Cara Booker (Essex), Jessica Ozan (Man Met), Lidia Panico (INED), ZoePerron (INED), Gary Pollock (Man Met), Jennifer Symonds (UCD).

GUIDE Questionnaire design One of the strands of project COORDINATE is to undertake a pilot of the Growing Up In Digital Europe survey – one of the new 2021 ESFRI roadmap projects. The pilots will take place in Croatia, Finland, France and Ireland. Three draft questionnaires were developed in the previous project (European Cohort Development Project), one each for: 8 year olds, their parents, and the parents of nine month old babies. Since the start of COORDINATE we have been refining the content of each. Having kicked off the COORDINATE project earlier in the year with an online meeting, the like of which we have all got very used to over the past two years, it was with some trepidation that we arranged a face-to-face meeting in Paris. At the time of organising it we couldn’t be sure that COVID-19 infection rates would allow international travel for us all. The reason for holding an in-person meeting revolved around the difficulties of finalising questionnaire content using an online platform and a series of email exchanges. Even with the skills we have all acquired in hosting and contributing to online meetings there remain problems with both the efficiency and effectiveness by which interactive dialogue takes place. We felt that the pressing need to finalise the questionnaires meant that an in-person meeting would make swifter progress and would also produce better results. The meeting For most of us, this was our first international travel since early 2020. For us all, it was our first overseas in-person project meeting. As COVID-19 restrictions remain in force in most countries, we were limited as to the number of participants given the facilities we were able to use. The meeting was held at INED’s new location in Aubervilliers close to Montmartre at Campus Condorcet. This is a new campus of eleven Paris based social science and humanities institutions. As the photo shows, in the meeting room we sat some distance apart and wore face masks throughout.We began on Monday afternoon, and ended at lunchtime on Wednesday with only a few breaks for coffee and food.

The group brought different disciplines, including psychology, demography, sociology, as well as different methodological concerns spanning ethics, data management, questionnaire length and so forth. Among the topics of discussion were:

Scale selection We went through each questionnaire and discussed each of the sections, questions and items. While most of the content has been decided much work revolved around the selection of one scale over another, therefore we were interested in the extent to which scales had already been validated in different languages and contexts. Household experiences The issue of split household experiences led to a particularly interesting discussion about the extent to which a child’s experiences being brought up in more than one household should and could be adequately captured. Interestingly, shortly after we were in Paris the newspaper Le Monde ran an article citing the work of Ined researchers which shows the growing importance of taking into account single and blended families. Next steps We almost managed to get through all that was planned. Our next steps are to identify the specific questions and items that we want to include on cognitive testing and to begin working with our colleagues at CentERdata so that they can begin to produce CAPI versions of the questionnaires. Personal reflections On the train back to London I felt tired. Was this the travel or the meeting? Perhaps a combination of both. I am normally used to work related travel and wondered if maybe it will take me some time to get back to it.

The contrast between Paris and Manchester in terms of mask wearing is enormous. While in Manchester it seems as if around 5% of people wear masks indoors and on public transport, it is around 95% in Paris. At least, I could be sure that I did not have COVID. UK travel requirements are such that I had to have a certified test in Paris before leaving France, and two days after getting back to the UK had to take another test. These tests add to the expense and take time, previous travel was not this complicated. These are minor complaints, however, as I can say for certain that this trip was very much worth it.


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