Building a youth policy strategy
Welcome to the online course Essentials of
youth policy, organised by the partnership between the European Commission and the Council
of Europe in the field of youth. Lets see what steps are needed for building
a youth policy strategy. First, get familiar with the already existing
youth strategy, if there is one. Are there any lessons learnt from its formulation and
implementation? Have its impact and further needs been evaluated? Next, think what your overall vision of young
people is. The vision is reflected in a political statement. It should be formulated in dialogue
with everyone concerned. It should be based on sound knowledge of the situation of young
people. For example, all young people are active citizens
and have access to the labour market. Then, define the overall long-term goal that
the national youth strategy will help to achieve. You need one goal for your strategy, which
should be concrete and achievable, formulated as one comprehensive statement.
For example, the strategy aims at offering young people, especially from rural areas
and experiencing disadvantage, opportunities for developing their citizenship and labour
market skills. After this, you define the objectives. These
are the concrete purposes for which the strategy is needed. They include the prioritised policy
areas for the youth strategy, with one or two objectives for each priority policy area.
Objectives should be formulated as a desired end, and not as a process. They should also
specify the target group and be directly related to the goal. They should respond to the needs
of young people, be realistic and achievable within the strategy.
For example, in the area of active citizenship: – Increase youth work provision for young
people living in the rural areas – Offer young people living in disadvantaged
areas opportunities for volunteering in civil society organisations. Once the objectives are defined, you can think
about outcomes, so concrete results you want to achieve with this strategy. They are about the changes that happen when the objectives are realised. There may be several outcomes for each objective. Each outcome should be fully achievable within the strategy and directly linked to at least one of the objectives. For example, thanks to the strategy, young people living in rural areas got access to participative youth work activities.
Indicators should be set to measure your success in achieving the outcomes. Set up your indicators
before you identify activities. This will help orientate the activities necessary for
your strategy. Indicators should be based on facts, not subjective opinions, and on
data that you can actually obtain. The more accurate your indicators, the easier it will
be to check the progress of your strategy. For example, the number of young people living
in rural areas involved in youth work. Only then you define which activities you
want to carry out to achieve each indicator. There should be at least one activity per
indicator. The strategy should provide an overview of activities needed.
For example, youth activities in youth centres in rural areas and training their staff for
supporting young people’s participation. Don’t forget to define your baseline data.
What is the reality, on the ground, at the moment the strategy starts to be implemented?
This is what the baseline data will tell you. Baseline data is contained in statistics and research on young people. If it does not exist, you may need to carry out additional research or conduct a survey among stakeholders. Try to have the baseline data available for each indicator so that we can measure the impact later. We hope this helps clarify the things to keep in mind when working on a youth strategy! We hope this video contributed to your learning about youth policy.