Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences (SERISS) is a four-year project that aims to strengthen and harmonise social science research across Europe. Work Package 2 of this project, called “Representing the population” is coordinated by SHARE. The aim of the Work Package is to improve the harmonisation of sampling frames which are used in different surveys of the population in European countries, and the harmonisation of the information which is used from these sampling frames. Researchers from the four large cross-national face to face surveys involved in SERISS have put their efforts together to work on this aim: the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the European Social Survey (ESS), the Gender and Generations Program (GGP) and the European Values Study (EVS). The work is divided across five tasks:
Task 2.1: Mapping and improving European sampling practice
Task 2.2: Learning from administrative data
Task 2.3: Weighting for complex survey designs
Task 2.4: Handling of item non-response
Task 2.5: Including the institutional population into a sample survey of the general population
One major activity of the work package, feeding into several of the deliverables, was a survey of sampling experts carried out jointly by the four large surveys in SERISS (ESS, EVS, GGP and SHARE). In addition, an extensive inventory and database across all four studies and many other studies has been made, to explore the inclusion of the institutionalised population. Finally, significant improvements, in a statistical sense, were made in panel weighting procedures and an important innovation in the imputation method for household income was designed.
Partners in this work package were actively involved in the organisation of the first SERISS Survey Network event with invited external sampling experts, held in December 2016 in Munich.