Opportunities and Challenges in Moving from DDI- Codebook to DDI-Lifecycle: the case of the Generations and Gender Programme
In the context of cross-national and longitudinal surveys, it is key to document the comparability of the data across countries and subsequent waves. It is also important to provide metadata on the procedure to harmonize the data between countries. DDI-Lifecycle is specifically suited to document this type of surveys. What are the limits if DDI-Codebook is used for these surveys? What are the challenges to implement DDI-Lifecycle?
This paper presents the case of the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), a cross-national and longitudinal demographic survey run in 20 countries in Europe and beyond. GGP is based on post hoc data harmonization and uses DDI-Codebook and the software Nesstar to document the datasets. After an overview of the arguments in favor of DDI (DDI-Lifecycle in particular) for documenting cross-national longitudinal surveys, we present the GGP methodology. We describe the procedure to document with DDI-Codebook GGP data harmonization and data comparability across countries and waves, its strengths and its limitations. We then report on a test we did of DDI-Lifecycle, and we discuss how its implementation could enhance data documentation in the GGP (e.g., through Conceptual and Represented Variables). We conclude with some reflections on the challenges linked to such development.