Tue, Aug 4th, 2015
In the 15 years since the publication of the European Commission White Paper ‘A New Impetus for European Youth’ (2000), the continuing importance of youth work within European policy has been reflected in, for example, the EU Strategy for Youth (2010-2018) and Agenda 2020. Many member states, including Ireland, have also recognised the value of youth work in developing their own policies on education, inclusion and civic engagement. However, the last few years have been very challenging for all those involved in youth work, as external circumstances have resulted in reduced funding and fewer resources. While the value of youth work is well recognised by those who work within the sector, there is always a need to provide research-based evidence to policy-makers and funders. At the consultations carried out by Léargas at the start of the Erasmus+ programme, the need for generating research-based evidence was identified as an important element of implementing Erasmus+.
The Youth in Action programme (2007-2013) and currently the Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme (2013-2020) are based on the premise that youth work that takes place within a specifically European context–employing multi-method and transnational approaches–will result in positive outcomes for those who take part.
To test this and to provide a research-based analysis of both programmes, the RAY Network was established in 2008. Across 16 participating countries, the RAY Network explored the impact of the Youth in Action programme for six years using a combination of qualitative and quantitative social research methods. The resulting analyses informed the design and structure of the youth ‘chapter’ within the Erasmus+ programme, which has now been running since 2014.
- Youth in Action projects provided a space for new learning experiences and innovative methodologies
- 50% of Youth in Action project time was devoted to non-formal education and training
- involvement in Youth in Action projects stimulated young people (82%) and youth leaders (89%) to plan further educational activities and professional development
- 69% of young people who took part felt that their chances of finding work had increased
See more here.
On completing its analysis of its Youth in Action research, one of the RAY Network’s recommendations was that further research-based analysis and monitoring of the Erasmus+ programme in the youth sector should take place, to ‘contribute to quality assurance…in [programme] implementation and…research-informed youth policy development’.
Léargas is pleased to announce that, together with the Centre for Youth Research and Development in NUI Maynooth, we have joined the RAY Network so that we can work with the youth sector in Ireland (and 27 other participating countries) to:
Specifically, we’ll be taking part in two research projects:
This project will explore:
As a result of this work, the research project will contribute to:
This research project will explore how Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCAs) and training activities within Key Action 1 and 2 in the youth field contribute to the competence development of youth workers and youth work practice and how they affect the participating organisations and the local environments of projects
The overall objectives of this project are to explore:
This should lead to a better understanding of the systemic impact of training activities within Erasmus+ Youth field. Furthermore, the study should also contribute to the quality development and strategic planning of Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCAs) within the Erasmus+ Youth field.
A combination of social research methods (including online questionnaires, interviews and on-site visits) will be used by all partners in the RAY Network to gather evidence for its research projects over the coming four years. The work will start in Autumn 2016 and continue through to 2020. National reporting will take place each year and the results of the research will be provided on this and other websites and at the Léargas Forum.
If you’d like to find out more about the previous research check the RAY Network site.
For more on the upcoming RAY research projects outlined here, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome contributions and ideas for ‘Insights’ at email@example.com.