The Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), launched as a collaboration between top demographic institutes in Europe in 2001, collects and distributes data on how relationships between the young and old and between men and women in Europe and other advanced economies are changing. It aims at generating scientific breakthroughs in our understanding of how societal changes (population ageing, economic change, policy changes) impact on individual life courses and family relationships. It does so by (a) collecting top quality individual-level survey data on topics such as partnership formation and dissolution, fertility, and intergenerational solidarity, (b) by harmonizing these data into a comparative database, and (c) by complementing these data with macro-level indicators (at the regional and national level) through a Contextual Database. Importantly, the GGP covers the whole adult life-course, between the age of 18 and 79, and is therefore the only international research infrastructure dedicated to the longitudinal and cross-national study of family life and generational relationships from early adulthood to older ages.
Until now, the GGP has disseminated individual-level data on more than 200,000 respondents in 25 participating countries. In addition, GGP-like information from a number of additional countries has been harmonized and released as well. These data are used by over 4,000 users, who together form a global GGP community.
The Netherlands plays a pivotal role in the development of the GGP Research Infrastructure (RI), as the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI-KNAW) is the coordinator and host of the central hub of the GGP since 2009, and thus bears primary responsibility for the functioning of the GGP RI. The pivotal role of the Netherlands is also evident from the fact that the Netherlands is the only country with three representatives in the GGP Consortium Board (NIDI, EUR and UU). EUR plays a major role in monitoring and developing the quality of measurement instruments regarding intergenerational relationships. UU provides invaluable methodological expertise to the GGP. These three institutions, plus RUG and Statistics Netherlands, are also responsible for the Dutch GGP. RUG provides expertise on housing and family-life issues and Statistics Netherlands provides expertise in data-collection and data-linkage. Together this partnership incorporates world-class expertise in large-scale, longitudinal data collections and leadership in substantive research related to gender and generations. In addition, the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS) (which was the original Dutch contribution to the GGP), has been a source of inspiration on which much of the substantive and methodological developments of the GGP has been modeled.
In 2016, the GGP entered a new phase, as it was mentioned as an emerging infrastructure on the ESFRI Roadmap. Since then, it has entered a design phase to effectively move from a loose collaboration between institutes to a full Laarge-Scale Research Infrastructure.
The GGP is expected to have a major impact on science and policymaking. From a science perspective, it answers key questions related to the relationships between genders and between generations, including how macro-level conditions (institutions, economy, norms) shape, mitigate, or contribute to inequalities between genders and generations, and why these relationships differ across countries. From a policy perspective, the GGP informs both policy makers and the general public about the challenges and possible responses related to the increasing complexity, fluidity, and inequalities between genders and generations.