Survey Respondents
Frequently Asked Questions from participants

What is the GGS about and what information is collected?

With the Generations & Gender Survey we look at what is important in the context of couples, family formation, having children, and relations between younger and older generations. Your opinion will be an important source for our research and for future political decisions and therewith living conditions in your country and many others. The survey is part of an international programme, coordinated by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and a group of Europe’s leading demographic research institutes.

Why me? Why was I asked to participate?

Because we are not able to get information on everybody in a country or area, we instead collect data from a selection of people. This selection is random and it is by chance alone that you were selected to participate. Your help is vital to the success of this research. We can only obtain a truly representative picture of the national population if selected persons agree to be interviewed. It is vital that people like you are represented in this research.

I was contacted to participate in the survey. How do I know if this is legitimate or not?

If you have been contacted by a survey organisation to participate in the Generations & Gender Survey through a letter or by a visit from an interviewer and you are unsure if they are legitimate representatives of the programme, you should contact the fieldwork agency that is named to verify that this is a legitimate request. The Generations & Gender Programme always names the survey organisation in any letter and interviewers must always carry credentials with them. Only survey organisations that adhere to the ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research are able to conduct the Generations & Gender Survey and this code requires all interviewers to provide credentials and a simple means of verifying their identity. If they are unable to do this, do not provide them with your personal details or complete any questionnaires. You can also verify that the survey is being conducted in your locality by emailing

Will I be asked to provide information on sensitive topics?

Because our focus is on topics such as family life and having children, there may be questions in where you feel a bit uncomfortable. Remember that the answers you provide are confidential and you will not be identified as a participant in the survey. Your responses will be depersonalised and analysed with those of thousands other people. But ultimately, you can always skip a question if you feel too uncomfortable with it. 

Where is my information stored? Is it safe and who has access to it?

The information you provide during the survey consists of two parts. The first part is your personal information such as your name, address and contact details. This is stored by a survey organisation in your country. It always stays in your country and nobody except the survey organisation has access to it. They keep this information on record so that we can contact you in the future and we can see how things have changed in your life.

The second part consists of your responses in the survey. This is separated from your personal information and sent to the Central Office of the Generations & Gender Programme in the Hague, the Netherlands. You cannot be directly identified from this data, even by the staff that work at the Central Hub. It is then put together with data from thousands of other participants and used in statistical analysis by researchers. This information can only be accessed for research and it will never be used for commercial purposes. We check that each user is a researcher from a verified institution. They are only allowed to use the data for research. 

To ensure that the data will be accessible for researchers in future generations, the data is archived at the Dutch Royal Academy Institute for Data Archiving and Networked Services.

I participated in the survey but now I would like to withdraw and have my information deleted. How can I do this?

Whilst we are obviously disappointed when anyone decides to withdraw from the study, you have the right to have all of your data deleted. To do this, you will need to contact the agency who conducted the interview or contacted you about participating in the survey. They will be able to locate your record and we will then delete both your personal information held by the survey organisation and the responses you provided in the survey. Please do not contact the GGP Central Hub in order to delete your data. Because we do not hold personal data, it is impossible for us to locate your record and delete it. The survey organisation in your country stores personal information and they can then tell us your unique identifying number and we will then delete that record.

What is the data used for? 

The data is used for statistical analysis and research. The Generations & Gender Programme abides by the International Statistical Institutes declaration on professional ethics and asks that researchers using the data do the same. The data is only used for scientific research, which is usually published in journals or books. A full list of these publications can be found in our GGP Bibliography. These publications are quite technical and focused on specific scientific areas of interest. We do however produce policy briefs and impact reports which show how the data has been used to inform policy and this can be found here, along with a brief video on how the GGP works to improve policy and society.

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