Three main lines of intervention were identified for Serbia


Serbian Researchers Join the European Social Survey ERIC


Serbia is not participating in the comparative research projects that are conducted on the European or regional level. This is excluding Serbian researchers from using comparative data and providing high quality outputs. 

European Social Survey (ESS) is methodologically and theoretically the most comprehensive international comparative research in the field of social science that is being conducted under auspices of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). 

European Social Survey has been implemented bi-annually from 2002, fulfilling the highest methodological standards of research in the domain of social sciences. ESS has been recognized from the institutions of the European Union (European Commission and the Parliament of the EU) as one of the key data sources that enables measurement and understanding of the long-term structural changes, as well of changes of value and cultural patterns and practices of citizens in the European societies. European Commission regularly uses the data obtained from this research for the monitoring of social phenomena and formulation of practical policies on the EU level. 

Intervention Logic +
In close cooperation with a group of mid-career researchers from the Sociology Departments of Faculties of Philosophy from three state Universities in Novi Sad, Nis and Belgrade, as well as researchers from the Institute of Social Sciences and the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, PERFORM facilitated the process of Serbia joining the European Social Survey. 

The aim of the intervention was the inclusion of Serbia in the 9th round of the European Social Survey, which would include over 100 social science researchers from Serbia and provide opportunities for young researchers to cooperate with their European colleagues. The 9th round of the European Social Survey will be implemented in the period December 2017 - June 2019.  

During the first half of 2017, PERFORM facilitated a consultative process among the Social Science Research community aimed at enabling a discussion about the potentials of raising the quality of social science research in Serbia through joining the ESS.  Conclusions of this process were presented to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, which recognised the importance of Serbia’s accession to ESS. 
Minister Mladen Sarcevic sent an official letter to the General Assembly of the European Social Survey requesting membership for Serbia and on October 18th, Serbia was officially accepted as a member of the European Social Survey at the meeting of the General Assembly of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium.

Before the end of 2017, PERFORM will facilitate establishment of a Steering Committee of ESS Serbia, which will include the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, public research organisations, faculties, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, and publishers. The Steering Committee will be key committee to secure ownership of the process of participation of Serbia in the 9th Round of ESS.   
Expected Results +
Unlike the data collected in some other international surveys (World Values Survey, European Values Survey, International Social Survey Programme, SILC, Eurobarometer, etc.), the benefits for Serbia participating in the ESS ERIC are multiple: transfer of theoretical and methodological knowledge and practices; enhancing their visibility in international circles, as well as their inclusion in international academic networks. Serbian policy institutions will also benefit by accessing comparable research data from over 30 European countries.

The overall process of preparation and realisation of research is based on extremely rigid and highly set theoretical and methodological standards that guarantee the quality of collected data (concerning the objectivity, representativeness, adequacy and validity), which will contribute to the improvement of research methodology of social sciences in Serbia. 

Data collected in ESS ERIC enable development of both subjective and objective indicators for measuring different social phenomena and their monitoring over a longer period of time, as well as determination of potential causal mechanisms, inference on existence of probabilistic (stochastic) links among the observed phenomena.

Available data from the 9th Round will enable the cross-national comparisons for Serbian researchers, which has not been possible until now.

Next steps to expand systemic change

In cooperation with the national team for ESS ERIC Serbia and the National Coordinator Mr Dragan Stanojevic, PERFORM will provide support for collection of data during 2018. PERFORM will facilitate and support capacity building for national researchers to use available data of ESS ERIC 9th Round to write scientific articles and high quality publications, which will also be used to inform the public policies in Serbia.

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