Research News

Major H2020 project to improve child wellbeing announced

  • 14 April, 2021


UCD will partner in a major new international research programme that aims to transform young people’s life chances, spanning several European countries.


The €5 million ‘COORDINATE’ project, which will be led from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), promises to improve child wellbeing by bringing together a community of researchers working in that area and begin the first ever Europe-wide birth cohort longitudinal study to track children’s wellbeing as they grow up - ensuring that the data that's collected and analysed will inform policies that directly affect children’s lives.


The project will facilitate improved access to existing survey data on child wellbeing, extend the Growing Up in Digital Europe (GUIDE/Eurocohort) survey network, and initiate the GUIDE survey with a large-scale cohort pilot survey using a harmonised instrument and research design in key European countries.


Led by Professor Gary Pollock of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Policy Evaluation and Research Unit and Associate Professor Jennifer Symonds of UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, COORDINATE has been funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework to undertake a range of activities that will build the capacity and infrastructure to collect and use longitudinal survey data to improve child wellbeing across Europe.


The UCD team is led by Associate Professor Orla Doyle from UCD School of Economics, with Dr Seaneen Sloan from UCD School of Education and Dr Laura Taylor from UCD School of Psychology. Associate Professor Jennifer Symonds is also a member of the UCD team.


Associate Professor Symonds said: “A Europe-wide birth cohort survey will allow policymakers to access large amounts of data on measures of young people’s health and wellbeing, such as stress at school and happiness in the home, and how these are affected by decisions they make at different stages of their young lives. We believe that this will give children a louder voice in the conversations about issues that affect them.”


Associate Professor Doyle said: “We are excited to be working with 18 partners across Europe to promote and facilitate research on child wellbeing. This project sets the stage for the first Europe-wide cohort study, the legacy of which will be long lasting in terms of creating policy which will improve the lives of all children in Europe.”


COORDINATE is the next phase of the GUIDE project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, in recognition that policymakers across Europe are currently unable to draw upon consistent, comparable and high quality data on child wellbeing to inform policy.


GUIDE will be an important source of evidence in developing social policies for children, young people and families across Europe for many years to come. It will be an accelerated cohort survey including nationally representative samples of new born babies and school age children. With two cohorts taking place in parallel it will be possible to make cohort comparisons early in the life of the survey.


For more information about GUIDE, visit

Learn more about the importance of a Europe-wide birth cohort survey:


COORDINATE Project Partners


The Manchester Metropolitan University (Coordinator)      

University College Dublin, UCD Geary Institute

Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives, European Research Infrastructure Consortium    

Institut Drustvenih Znanosti Ivo Pilar

Universidad Pompeu Fabra (Pompeu Fabra University)       

Institut national d'études démographiques  

University of Essex (The Institute for Social and Economic Research)         

Znanstveno-raziskovalno središče Koper      

Europaisches Zentrum Fur Wohlfahrtspolitik Und Sozialforschung (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research)   

ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology)    

Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki)    

Alma Mater Studiorum- Università di Bologna         

Stichting CentERdata 

University College London (Centre for Longitudinal Studies - CLS and Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources – CLOSER)     

Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie Van Wetenschappen - KNAW (Generations and Gender Programme – GGP)

Gesis-Leibniz-Institut Fur Sozialwissenschaften Ev (Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Ipsos GmbH   

TNS UK Ltd (Kantar Public)    

cApStAn SA