The policy research centres Culture, Sport, Youth and Media joined their forces for the realization of a participation survey. This participation survey has to support the policy and management cycle of the Flemish government in these domains by providing answers to key questions concerning the state of participation, barriers to participation, modes and contexts of participation, the degree of overlap in participation in these domains and participation influencing mechanisms. It should, moreover, allow to reveal trends in participation through comparison with previous participation surveys.  

To answer all these questions, a large-scale survey will be organized in 2014 in which a standardized questionnaire will be presented to a representative sample of the Flemish population. Data should not only provide policy-relevant information, but also give input for fundamental scientific research. To meet these objectives, a survey design and questionnaire are created that meet the highest standards in methodological quality and rigidity. The high level of methodological quality, the representativeness, the depth of information and the combination of culture, sport, media, and possibly youth, in a single survey will provide a unique dataset, also in an international perspective.

Tasks concerning questionnaire design, data analysis and valorisation of the results will be taken up within each of the research centres separately. The involved research centres will interact and coordinate their activities in mutual understanding. For the general methodology, the coordination of the questionnaire design and the data-collection a construction is worked out in which each of the research centres contribute to a central methodological research cell located at Ghent University -  Department of Sociology. This group was also responsible for the methodology and data collection of previous participation surveys: Cultural Participation in Flanders 2003-2004 (Cultural Policy Research Centre ‘re-creatief Vlaanderen’) and Participation in Flanders 2009 (Policy Research Centre for Culture, Youth and Sport). The general methodology of the new participation survey will built upon the latter data collection, also to allow comparisons in time.

In general, the participation survey should allow answering the following questions:


  • What is the state of participation?
  • Who does and who does not participate? Why do certain groups participate more, or less, than others ?
  • Are there patterns of participation and how do they correspond to lifestyles?
  • What are the main barriers for (an increased level of) participation?
  • With what expectations and motives do people participate ?
  • How is participation linked with social orientation ?
  • What is the social and recreational context in which people participate?
  • How does Flanders relate to Europe concerning participation ?
  • What are the trends in participation?