Microsoft word - yia final report interim evaluatin - executive summary.doc

This report presents the findings of the interim evaluation of the Youth in Action (YiA) Programme. The Programme consists of the following Actions: Action 1: Youth for Europe Action 2: European Voluntary Service Action 3: Youth in the World Action 4: Youth Support Systems Action 5: Support for European Cooperation in the Youth Field The target groups are young people, youth organisations and youth workers. All member states of the European Union can participate, as well as countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and countries which are candidates for accession to the European Union (Turkey)1. Furthermore, Youth in Action supports cooperation between these ‘Programme Countries’, the ‘Neighbouring Partner Countries of the EU’ and several ‘Other Partner Countries of the world’. The ultimate responsibility for the Programme lies with the European Commission. The Programme is implemented through centralized strands which are managed mostly by the Education, Culture & Audiovisual Executive Agency and decentralized strands, managed by National Agencies within Programme Countries. Other bodies involved in the Programme implementation are the Support for Advances Learning and Training Opportunities (SALTO) and Eurodesks. Purpose of the evaluation and methodological approach Provide an assessment of the Youth in Action Programme according to evaluation questions in the Terms of Reference. Provide an analysis and synthesis of the National Reports. Provide recommendations on a) how Programme design can be strengthened for the successor Programme, and b) how implementation during the remainder of the current Programme period can be improved. The main evaluation criteria used are: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the Youth in Action Programme. 1 The listing of Programme Countries is valid for the time span of this evaluation (2007-2009) The evaluation consisted of the following evaluation activities (December 2009 to December 2010): Reconstruction of the intervention logic. Interviews with: National Agencies (NAs), National Authorities, youth organisations, youth workers, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), the European Commission (EC), SALTO and umbrella youth organisations. Online questionnaires amongst participating young people and a questionnaire amongst non participating young people (control group). Analysis of the existing Commission survey among young participants, youth organisations and youth workers. The evaluation concentrated on the decentralised (sub)-Actions and paid less attention to the centralised Actions. As a consequence, most of the interviewees and groups targeted by the questionnaires relate to the decentralised (sub)-Actions. In several cases, this focus influences the outcomes of the evaluation, especially in relation to opinions on relevance. Also, the effectiveness and efficiency of the centralised Actions has not been explored in depth, with the exception of sub-Action 4.6 Partnerships. When reading this report, this focus should be taken into consideration. The sample for the EC questionnaire and the ECORYS questionnaire is representative of the group as a whole. For the non-participants, it should be taken into account that this questionnaire used a selection of countries (the country case countries), but that this is still seen as representative for the decentralised Actions. As the interviews cover almost all NAs, the outcomes are representative. When interpreting interviews with the National Authorities, organisations and youth workers, these cover country case studies only. Again, it is considered that the outcomes are representative as the selection is spread across Europe. The outcomes of the focus groups with young people are only illustrative, as they cover a small proportion of the total population of participating youth. Results The intervention logic has improved in comparison to the previous YOUTH Programme. However, the Programme shows weaknesses and a lack of coherence in the inter-linkages between the hierarchy of objectives and between the objectives and (sub-)Actions. Given that the specific objectives differ in scope (some are broad others more specific), there are opportunities to group and revise the objectives. Furthermore, linking the indicators to specific objectives and (sub-) Actions would allow for better monitoring and measurement of effectiveness. The 26 specific objectives under the five general objectives, four permanent priorities and annual priorities, aims per Action and many sub-Actions do not help the readability of the Programme. The Programme loses some focus and internal coherence as a result. Relevance The YiA Programme is well embedded in the wider EU strategies and policy objectives
that were in place at the time of developing the Programme. Furthermore, the YiA
Programme is generally complementary to other EU programmes and to national
initiatives, although there is some variation between countries.
In relation to the needs of the target groups, the results are also positive. The Programme
is relevant to the needs of young people. The problem analysis made for YiA is still valid,
and the employability needs are becoming more important. For youth workers, YiA
remains relevant as it contributes to the further strengthening of quality in youth work and
its recognition, as well as the quality of the non-formal learning opportunities. There are
different opinions as to whether the Programme should focus more on youth
organisations and youth workers to be more effective. However, the possibilities for more
young people in participating in YiA through a multiplier by increased focus on youth
workers and youth organisations seem limited.

Effectiveness and sustainability
YiA is successful in achieving objectives regarding young people. The Programme also achieves the objectives regarding youth workers and young people with fewer opportunities are actively targeted. Although all Actions contribute to YiA objectives, there are differences in the extent to which the different sub-Actions contribute to different objectives. Youthpass is a useful tool in defining and scoping learning activities and objectives. It is potentially also a useful instrument to improve chances in the labour market, but for this, an increase in visibility, awareness and recognition of this relatively new tool is needed. The influence of the Programme on national legislation is limited, but is greater in relation to national youth policy and practice. There is evidence that YiA has broader societal impacts and effects beyond non-formal learning and youth work. These impacts relate to personal confidence, widening social networks, and future participation in related activities. The YiA Programme contributes to the objectives of the White Paper and the European Youth Pact. Furthermore, YiA contributes to improving the key competences for lifelong learning and interest in pursuing formal, non-formal, vocational education. YiA ultimately reaches a limited proportion of the total youth population and there is room for improvement in the visibility of the Programme. YiA has a sustainable impact on participants and youth workers in terms of participating in events after their participation in the Programme, including continued work for NGOs and increased mobility. Sustainability in terms of partnerships and networks varies, whilst networks of young people appear to be more sustainable. YiA is important in terms of continuing YiA-type activities. If YiA is reduced or terminated, it is felt that activities will probably not be financially supported by other sources. Possibilities for increasing the co-financing level in the current economic climate are considered to be difficult which does not mean that no effort should be put into increasing the level of co-financing. Efficiency The Programme is on track in terms of spending. The high absorption rate and the strong increase in the number of grant requests submitted show that there is interest across different Actions. At first sight, management costs of the Programme as a whole appear relatively high. However, an explanation for these higher costs is that the Programme, according to the legal basis, insists on the choice of supporting small scale projects, furthermore, it involves a high proportion of inexperienced grass root youth organisations who are often applying for the first time. The division of budget is appropriate and there is some flexibility for the NAs to shift budget between sub-Actions, so that allocations are adapted to actual needs. Although the division of tasks is clear, youth organisations and NAs both experience a relatively high administrative burden. In general, the NAs consider themselves to be sufficiently staffed for the tasks, although most NAs would like to accomplish more and would welcome more staff and means. In general, the application process appears efficient. The management tools have been considerably improved when compared to the previous YOUTH Programme. YouthLink has also been improved, but there is still scope for improvement. There is high participant satisfaction and the implementation structures are considered to be efficient. These results lead to the following recommendations: 1. Improve and streamline the rationale of a future programme and create more measurable indicators regarding the results of the programme. Consider an increased focus on employability for the next generation programme, taking into account the complementarity to other programmes. Keep the mix of support to youth organisations and youth workers and direct grants for young people. Better promote and define the costs covered for ‘youth with fewer opportunities’. Improve the targeting of youth, via additional communication strategies. Consider measures and improvements to reduce the administrative burden and possibly management costs. Reduce the administrative burden for applicants. Improve the monitoring system (YouthLink) and establish a user-group that provides input on the needs and design of the system.


Address by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Heritage Council Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa at the Graduation CeremonyFort Hare University – AliceMay 12, 2011 Introduction My invitation here requested that I address myself on the subject of social cohesion and its relationship to heritage. Iguess the Office of the Vice-Chancellor would like me to answer the question: How do we harness

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