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Generations and Gender Programme: Evaluate, Plan, Initiate

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GGP-EPI (Generations and Gender Programme: Evaluate, Plan, Initiate)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

The GGP provides data for the study of the causes and consequences of demographic change including changes in family dynamics, gender relations and relationships between generations. The GGP was founded in 2000 by a consortium of European institutes, statistical offices and research centers within universities under the umbrella of the UNECE. The GGP has been hosted by NIDI since 2009. To date, 21 countries have fielded the GGP own survey, including European and non-European countries. This data is used by more than 4,000 users from across the world and from a large variety of disciplines. It is accessible via a virtual, open access data portal. The overall purpose of the project is to bring the GGP to the level of maturity required for inclusion as an active project on the 2020 ESFRI Roadmap and eventually for its full implementation as a distributed research infrastructure. To do so, GGP is pursuing three key objectives:

Objective 1: To evaluate the GGP’s governance and management structure and to identify the governance, financial, and legal model that will best serve the GGP and its various stakeholders.
Objective 2: To plan for the recent and foreseeable technological and data developments and identify the e-needs of the GGP.
Objective 3: To initiate the centralization of the GGP’s operations throughout its data life cycle and especially in connection with new data collection.
With regards to the first objective of the project, rapid progress has been made. A human resource policy has been outlined, a new consortium agreement and accompanying by-laws have been drafted and will be formally adopted at the annual Consortium Board Meeting in November. This governance and management structure has been reflected in a cost-book which will also be formally adopted at the Consortium Board meeting in November. With these formalizations of the existing governance structure in place, preparations are now being made for the future trajectory of the research infrastructure. The GGP has engaged PNO ( to assess funding strategies that would diversify revenues for the GGP and we have begun to explore governance options beyond 2020 which include the establishment of an ERIC but is also examining alternative structures such as a Dutch Foundation.

Regarding the second objective, the GGP has made huge advances. The survey operations have been centralized at NIDI and they have been tested and developed in several countries. In 2017 Belarus fielded the full survey and in 2018 there is fieldwork being conducted in Latvia, Argentina and Kazakhstan. There has also been an experiment fielded in Portugal, Germany and Croatia using an innovative push-to-web design that drastically reduces costs and the processing time of data. This fieldwork reflects a growing interest in the GGP and has resulted so far in 26 countries having already signed a statement of intent to participate in the new round of data collection in 2020-21. Whilst there is still much work to be done before all the financing is in place ahead of the fieldwork window, it is a very encouraging sign of enthusiasm and we are hopeful that several countries will have committed to participating by the time of the next ESFRI roadmap application.

Regarding the final objective, the new fieldwork model and formalized governance structure has greatly improved the delineation of responsibilities. The GGP is currently preparing formal technical guidelines for national teams and is drawing up model data agreements and service contracts that will help standardize the relationship with national data collections. The GGP has also been assessing its user community through a formal usage analysis and its socio-economic impact by liaising with national teams, leading researchers and the policy making community. Furthermore, a new website has been launched ( social media activity increased and research monitoring extended. We have also held a stakeholder engagement meeting in Brussels in January 2018 and will hold GGP training for Policy Makers later in 2018. The GGP has also launched an animation to help engage people with the project and raise its profile (
The survey experiments in the GGP place it at the forefront of fieldwork innovations. In particular, the GGP was the first to roll out its cross-national fieldwork using Blaise 5.3. In doing so, the GGP has been in close consultation with other survey infrastructures, such as SHARE, partly through our participation in the EU-funded SERISS ( The early adoption of Blaise 5.3 by GGP has allowed the technical team within SHARE to prepare for their own upgrade and the two operation teams maintain close contacts. The GGP is also the first cross-national survey to conduct a push-to-web experiment in which respondents can participate without any face-to-face contact. This area of survey research is however developing very fast and it is hoped that by the end of the project the GGP will have been able to include several further innovations, linking to other data sources such as social media data and administrative data.

During the months to come until the end of the project, at the technical and methodological level, one of the priorities of the GGP will be preparing and finalising the guidelines for fieldwork implementation that will incorporate the lessons learned with the fieldwork experiment. The financial and governance activities will focus on communicating the infrastructure plans and soliciting future funding and governance commitments ahead of the GGP’s ESFRI application in 2019. In addition, the Conceptual Design Report will synthesize the main recommendations derived from the findings of work packages 2, 3, 4 and 5, providing a clear vision for future developments and input for the GGP’s application for ESFRI membership.

With regards to the socio-economic impact (SEI), we conducted a thorough analysis as part of GGP-EPI. We analysed the information on socio-economic impact of GGP in 15 countries, participating in this RI. Our aim was to investigate the scope of GGP’s socio-economic impact in countries where it has been implemented, but also to reflect on challenges related to monitoring SEI of this research infrastructure and to formulate suggestions for further actions in this respect. All national representatives, who completed the questionnaire, were able to provide rich accounts of GGP’s SEI in their respective countries. Consequently, we were able to document GGP’s contribution to two specific areas, namely (1) how the GGP contributes to public discourse and policies, and (2) how it helps to develop research infrastructure and scientific community across Europe. Regarding the first of these areas, our aim was to document the GGP’s contribution to tackling major societal challenges. This was depicted by looking at GGP-based results mentioned in media and transferred to policy-makers and other stakeholders. Across all analysed countries, GGP mostly contributed to public discourse and public policies related to family, fertility, aging, quality of life, gender roles and–to a smaller extent–migration. Importantly, all these topics are related to the grand societal challenges identified by the European Commission, namely: (1) Health, demographic change and well-being; (2) Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
Members of the Generations and Gender Programme Council at their annual meeting in Berlin 2017