World’’s largest household study to unveil vital issues facing human communities

October 15th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, October 15 (ANI): A research council in the United Kingdom has launched the worlds largest ever household longitudinal study to understand how changes occurring in the ever-evolving societies affect human communities.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) hopes that the Understanding Society project will provide valuable new evidence to inform research on the vital issues facing our communities.
The initial funding of 15.5million dollars for the project comes from the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills and the ESRC.
This project is said to eb the largest single investment in academic social research resources ever launched in the UK.
Initially, the study will be carried through to 2012, but it is believed that the project will continue for decades to come.
According to reports, the Understanding Society study will be the largest study of its type ever undertaken, anywhere in the world.
During the study, information will be collected from 100,000 individuals, across 40,000 households from across the country, from Lands End to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
The information thus gathered will be analyzed to understand the long-term effects of social and economic change, and to develop new tools to study the impact of policy interventions on the well-being of the people.
Given the large sample size, the research project is expected to give a unique opportunity to explore issues for which other longitudinal surveys are too small to support effective research.
It will permit analysis of small subgroups, such as teenage parents or disabled people.
Speaking about the launch, Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the ESRC, said: “This is an exciting and important development that will increase our understanding of communities and society in general. The study will benefit policy researchers and policy makers in the UK, and researchers and research users in a wide range of academic and non-academic environments around the world.”
Understanding Society Director, Professor Nick Buck of University of Essex, said: “We are very pleased to lead this exciting project which will provide high quality longitudinal data about the people of the UK, their lives, experiences, behaviours and beliefs, and will enable an unprecedented understanding of diversity within the population. It represents the latest stage in the UK’’s uniquely successful tradition of longitudinal data and we aim to ensure it becomes a flagship resource for the research and user community in the UK and beyond.” (ANI)

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