Does international youth work offer a valuable contribution to the development and education of young people? Six youth work organisations from Romania, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Ireland, Lithuania wanted to provide an answer based on sound research.
The six organisations collaborate in providing an alternative form of education for young people all over Europe better known as ‘non-formal education’, which is enacted in an international youth work setting. Contrary to formal education, learning outcomes within non-formal education are not measured by standardised testing, but based on self-evaluation and peer assessment. The organisations involved were eager to explore ways to measure the impact of their non-formal educational programmes. In line with their work methodology, this
started with the inclusion of young people.
Between 2015 and 2017, the ImpACT+ framework implemented six international multi-activity youth programmes financed by the Erasmus+ youth programme. A total of 450 youngsters, 110 youth workers and an estimate of at least 60 staff members were part of these programmes.
Although each of the organisations received a significant amount of positive feedback from the (young) people involved, the organisations wanted to get a better understanding of how these programmes contributed to
• the personal and professional development of young people,
• the personal and professional development of youth workers,
• quality development within the participating youth organisations,
• the local communities of each organisation.
It was evident that young people and youth workers should play an essential role in the project. In collaboration with senior researchers of the research group Social Work of the Saxion University of Applied Sciences, an approach was developed where young people were not solely the topic of research, but they were the researchers themselves instead. It was evident that participatory youth research would allow both goals to be reached. This provided the outlines of ImpACT+; a research that aims to gather data on the impact of non-formal educational programmes, but also teaches young people to do research.
In order to effectively use the outcomes of the research, it was decided that the ImpACT+ research would provide two sets of recommendations developed for youth work organisations and policymakers with the aim:
1. to increase the quality and outreach of international youth work activities,
consequently contributing to the development of young people, youth
workers, local communities and youth work organisations,
2. to reach out for more stakeholders, gaining more support, knowledge
and recognition for international youth work among stakeholders and
Would you like to get access to the resources created during this programme?
You can find these materials by clicking ->HERE<-
Financial structure: This programme has been made possible with the help of the Erasmus+ programme.
Interested to know more about the impact of non-formal education and how to implement it in your classroom, organisation or business? We would be more than happy to provide training about the impact and use of non-formal education
If you want to read more about the experiences of young people in this programme just hop to the TYC Blog