10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work
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The main criteria used to evaluate the quality of projects’ proposals submitted for funding under the “Youth Initiatives” Funding Scheme, described in section 5.6, are the quality of the design and implementation, the relevance of the proposed activity with the priorities of the specific action, the expected impact and the level of participation of young people in the design and implementation phases of the project.
According to the Programme’s Guide, the Youth Board reserves the right to carry out on-the-spot checks verifying that the activities are being carried out according to the approved proposal and request a refund of the entire funding or part of it, if the project does not meet the established criteria.
In order to support better knowledge and understanding of current situation and needs of young people, the Youth Board of Cyprus established in 2020 the large-scale quantitative survey Youth-Barometer, described as well in section 1.6. The YouthBarometer collects, among others, the needs of young people and their satisfaction regarding specific aspects of their life. However, the first two editions of the Youth-Barometer, conducted within 2020, haven’t looked at issues related to youth work per se.
There is no specific budget line in Youth Board’s budget dedicated to youth work. The overall budget of research can be used for any kind of research in the field of youth, including youth work.
As described in section 5.4, in the framework of the National Youth Strategy, the Youth Board organises consultations with young people, in which young people can take part and express their views and suggestions on several policy initiatives and youth work programmes.
Social media are widely used by the Youth Board of Cyprus in order to reach out to young people. In addition to these, the top-level initiative to make digital infrastructure available to youth work projects is OPIN. OPIN is an online tool which is used by the Youth Board of Cyprus in order to engage young people into a consultation.
Another programme that uses the technology and digital media is Eurodesk Cyprus. Eurodesk’s main purpose is to provide information on European policies and opportunities that interest young people or youth workers, such as mobility, volunteering, exchanges, work, internships, non-formal learning and much more. Eurodesk, is the main source of youth information on European policies, mobility information and opportunities in the country. It answers enquiries and provides guidance for mobile young people across Europe. Eurodesk updates and manages digital content and also answers enquiries coming from youth.
As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for digitalization of youth work, the Youth Board of Cyprus organized online youth counselling for career issues and a series of workshops “Let’s go digital”. Online career counselling services are still provided through the Career Service of the Youth Board.
Trainings aiming at equipping youth workers and young people with digital skills are organised within the Erasmus+ programme by the Youth Board of Cyprus which acts as the Erasmus+ Youth National Agency. An example is the training “Digital youth work & Steam” for youth workers based in Cyprus, that was organized by the National Agency of Erasmus+ Youth in 2022.
Moreover, through the National Funding Scheme of the Youth Board "Youth Initiatives", youth organisations can apply for funding for the purchase of hardware and other technological equipment for their youth spaces/centers. The funding scheme “ReCOVer2020” which ran during the covid pandemic provided funding for the purchase of digital platforms as well.
There are no top-level initiatives aiming at facilitating cooperation and partnerships between youth work providers and actors in the fields of education, innovation, research and development, and business, in order to support the transmission of digital practices and technology to youth work.