By joining the European Social Survey, the Serbian national research community stands to benefit from the improved quality of research in social sciences, and the implementation of advanced standards in national and cross-national social surveys.
This was the main conclusion of the consultative meeting “Accession of Serbia to the Mechanism of the European Social Survey – ESS Round 9, 2017-2018”, organised by the ESS national team with the support of PERFORM and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.
European Social Survey (ESS) is methodologically and theoretically the most comprehensive international comparative research, that has been implemented bi-annually from 2002, fulfilling the highest methodological standards of research in the domain of social sciences. It is one of the key data sources that enables measurement and understanding of the long-term structural changes, as well as changes of value and cultural patterns and practices of citizens in the European societies.
„ESS will be the first comparative research of social life in Serbia after ten years, and the first with such high methodological standards and theoretical foundations.“ - Prof. Dr Mina Petrovic, Head of the Sociology Department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade
Prof. Dragan Stanojevic, the ESS Serbian Team Coordinator, stressed that this project will have multiple benefits for the national research community: transfer of relevant theoretical and methodological knowledge and practices from the domain of social research to the local scientific community; profiling of domestic scientific staff for performing international longitudinal and comparative research; enhancing their visibility in international circles, as well as their inclusion in international academic networks. Another important benefit of joining ESS is in the improved evidence informed policymaking. Decision makers in the European Union – in compliance with the development of the model of good governance, demand that public policies must be based on relevant data (evidence based) instead of short-term and everyday political pressures, in order to deal with the causes and not only the symptoms of the existing problems.
Participants had the opportunity to hear about the experience of Croatia where the two round of ESS have already been conducted. Dr Toni Babarovic of the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, who chaired this process in Croatia, presented the challenges they faced during the different stages of preparation, conducting the research, reporting and publishing results. He stressed the importance of long-term membership in ESS for national research community, where a country should go through at least three rounds of this process in order to get the best results.
"PERFORM will continue to facilitate systemic changes to improve the quality of research methodology in social science research. High quality research will ensure the relevance of research outputs for reform process in society", said Dr Martin Dietz, Manager of PERFORM.