Late last month part of our team was in Brussels for the final meeting of the EuroCohort Development Project (ECDP). ECDP is a Design Study which will create the specification and business case for a European Research Infrastructure that will provide, over the next 25 years, comparative longitudinal survey data on child and young adult well-being. The infrastructure developed by ECDP will subsequently coordinate the first Europe wide cohort survey, named EuroCohort.

Integrated into this project, was a stream of work focusing on engaging children and young people in research projects. This part of the project ensures that the voice of children, young people and the parents/guardians of very young children are captured in ECDP so that there is a co-production in the development of the scientific tools and processes. It focused on working with groups of children and young people in the UK and Croatia.

Activities related to this included the establishment of Young People’s Advisory Groups (CYPAG) and the training of young people as Community Reporters and in different storytelling techniques. The Community Reporter’s captured youth voice on the topic of wellbeing. The CYPAG’s also embedded storytelling in their activities to support young people to contribute to the research project’s design. You see all of their stories here. The stories and Community Reporting processes adopted in ECDP were used to create a written analysis on what wellbeing means to young people and also produce a toolkit on how to engage young people in research project. More so, a short document on some of the key learnings from the CYPAG group in Croatia can be downloaded here.

The final day of the meeting was dedicated to a conference – EuroCohort: Growing Up in Europe. This conference brought together key stakeholders, national, European and international level policy-makers, funding bodies and academics as part of a launch event for the EuroCohort: Growing Up in Europe study. It shared learnings from the development project and showed how insights from Growing Up in Europe will support better policy-making and impact on the lives of children and young people.

And guess what? The Community Reporter stories took centre stage, with the voices of young people from Croatia and Zagreb bringing to life the many themes of the study – from happiness to digital life. Another Community Reporting success!

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