The creation of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) was one of the key structural measures implemented by the Swiss Priority Program (SPP) “Switzerland Towards the Future” during the period 1998-2003 for the following two main purposes:
- To ensure a solid database for social reporting on stability and changes in living arrangements and well-being in Switzerland, that complements data collected by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office;
- To promote opportunities for quantitative social science research, by making high quality data available to Swiss social scientists and to the international social science research community.
To date, the SHP has experienced three main periods. In its first phase (1998-2003), created by the Swiss Priority Program “Switzerland Towards the Future”, the SHP was a joint project run by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the University of Neuchâtel.
At the end of the SPP “Switzerland Towards the Future”, the SHP has entered its second phase (2004-2007). Still located at the University of Neuchâtel, the SHP developed a joint venture project “Living in Switzerland-2020” aimed at conducting the Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (SILC) pilot study 2004-2005 in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The SILC pilot data were distributed by the SHP until the end of 2008.
The third phase of the SHP is linked to the integration within FORS, the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences. Since 2008, the SHP, still funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, is located at the University of Lausanne within FORS.