Task 4.5 Social policy APIs for social surveys in the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud project aims to demonstrate the application of social policy APIs in a social sciences survey infrastructure. A proof of concept was prepared by the Generations and Gender Programme and the WageIndicator Survey in the form of an experiment in which a Social Policy Module was integrated in the Dutch WageIndicator Survey. The experiment can be used as a template for future applications which aim to link social policy information with information of individuals or households.
The Social Policy Module was collected from June until September 2021 among Dutch men and women. The response rate of the Social Policy Module was about 30%. In total 86 respondents judged the estimated family benefits, and 50 respondents judged the estimated housing benefits.
Integrating social policy information via an API into a survey can facilitate the integration of complex social policy information captured in complex algorithms. The API approach is scalable, it can be used with a wide range of social policy information, and it can serve different purposes such as validating an existing database, improving a survey instrument and collecting substantive information about the effect of social policies on people’s perceptions. Implementing a social policy API in an existing social sciences infrastructure can substantially reduce costs for social policy data collection, without substantially increasing interview time or respondent burden. Researchers preparing a social policy API are advised to follow the ‘FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship’ in order to make the product findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable for others.