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Latest videos – Longitudinal Methodology Series VIII – Prof Lucinda Platt & Dr Marta Favara

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The eighth seminar in the CLOSER Longitudinal Methodology Series featured talks from Lucinda Platt, Professor of Social Policy and Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Marta Favara, Quantitative Researcher at Young Lives, University of Oxford.


Professor Lucinda Platt

Producing a harmonised survey for cross-national research in four European countries: issues and approaches.

Cross-national comparative survey offer a range of analytical benefits for understanding both institutional differences between countries and their impacts and truly cross-national phenomena, such as the recent increase of intra-EU migration with the expansion of the EU. Yet they are not straightforward to implement, due to differences in  sampling frames and in approaches to data collection, as well as the difficulties in constructing a questionnaire that suits different national contexts. These challenges are exacerbated when attempting to survey specific and compare the responses of specific groups, such as migrants. This paper presents the implementation of a short panel survey of recently arrived migrants in four European countries. It discusses the specific challenges to harmonised data collection and how (and the extent to which) these were resolved.


Dr Marta Favara

Young Lives: An extensive longitudinal study into children & youth around the world. Methodological challenges, strengths and weaknesses

Young Lives is an longitudinal study of childhood poverty following the lives of two cohorts of children – an Older Cohort born in 1994–95 and a Younger Cohort born in 2001–02 – in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam over 15 years. The first survey took place in 2002, with three further rounds of data collection in 2006–07, 2009–10 and 2013–14. The fifth round of data collection is currently in the field.

Young Lives is a unique longitudinal cross-country study that focuses on low and middle income countries. Although the benefits of longitudinal cohort studies is well established, the process of designing and implementing the questionnaire, and the challenges attached to it, are different from those faced by longitudinal studies in developed countries. The objectives of this presentation is to briefly document this process and reflect on the different limitations and challenges in a developing countries context. Young Lives is a living example of how these challenges have been addressed over the past five rounds of data.