Initiated by the European Science Foundation, the ESS is coordinated by the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys at the City University of London. By the end of 2013, the ESS was awarded the Status of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). ERICs offer unique research opportunities to the participating countries and are highly enhancing the advancement of knowledge and the development of technology.
The ESS-ERIC is governed by a General Assembly which has three standing committees: a Scientific Advisory Board, a Methods Advisory Board and a Finance Committee. Switzerland is represented in the General Assembly by Prof. Georg Lutz and in the Methods Advisory Board by Prof. Dominique Joye. The design and operationalization of the survey (methodological decisions, survey topics, development of the source questionnaire, archiving of the data) are carried out by the Core Scientific Team at the City University London. This work is supported by partners at different research centers:
- Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD), Norway
- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS), Germany
- The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), Netherlands
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
- University of Leuven, Belgium
- University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Each participating European country carries out the survey according to the methodological rules established by the central ESS-ERIC team. In the case of Switzerland, it is FORS that is in charge of directing the survey. Under the lead of Dr. Michèle Ernst Staehli, the Swiss ESS-Team performs the following tasks: Translation of the English source questionnaire into three national languages (French, German, and Italian), sample drawing for Switzerland, development of specific survey methods, cleaning, processing and documentation of the Swiss ESS Data. The fieldwork is carried out by a specialized agency.
The international project planning and organization, the questionnaire development, and the data archiving are financed by the members of the ESS-ERIC. The planning and operationalization of the survey in Switzerland is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).