The institutional partners for SEEDS were selected for the project based on criteria that would optimise their chances of establishing new data services in the near future. In identifying potential partners, FORS gave consideration to the following institutional features, among others:

  • Institutional capacity in terms of staff and physical and technical infrastructure;
  • Centrality and integration within the national social science research landscape;
  • National and international networks;
  • Links to national funding institutions and chances for future funding;
  • Strong interest in establishing a national data service.

All of the selected SEEDS partner institutions have the capacity to establish new data services, with respect to human resources and physical and technical infrastructure. Each institution has existed for many years and thus already has the kind of stability needed for a long-term infrastructure service. All of the regional partners are firmly integrated within their countries’ research landscapes, with solid national and international networks and familiarity with the norms, actors, tools, and capacities of other research institutions that either produce or use social science data. Each has good ties and support from ministries, with open lines of communication and the possibility of lobbying national funding agencies. Finally, each has expressed a strong interest in establishing new data services, recognising the need for durable infrastructure that can help make the most of existing social science data to address pressing questions about society, politics, and economics.