1.6 Evidence-based youth policy
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There is no specific policy commitment to Evidence-Based Youth Policy in the Czech Republic.
The National Youth Strategy 2014-2020 included only a measure to reflect the outcomes of Research on Youth Policy and to support the research in the field of Leisure-Time of Children and Youth. (Measure no. 2, DCB, Strategic goal no. 3). However, there is neither a public strategy on Youth Research nor a state institution devoted to the Youth Research nor a specific budget allocation for Youth Policy or Leisure-Time Research.
Independent Researchers can thus only compete in general Research schemes for basic or applied research support. The research needs are not primarily linked to Youth Policy directly, and the Youth policy can thus only react to the outcomes of this independent research.
National Policy on Research, Development and Innovation for the Years 2016 - 2020 does not reflect Youth Policy needs. However, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Social Affairs defined own sectoral needs including also particular Youth matters as issues linked to Juvenile offenders and child care.
The research policy also reflects the need of young people in their desires for knowledge and also open problems solving skills development by supporting them in their own research activities. It also focuses on supporting young researchers and their mobility.
The collection of data about young people is thus managed on the state level as other statistical services by the Act on state statistical service; there is no particular target group of Youth nor Youth Policy.
The evaluation and monitoring of the Youth Strategy 2020 describe subchapter 1.3 as well as information about the Audit report of the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic from February 2018.
The collaboration between youth policy-making and research takes place in an ad hoc manner. Usually, the Ministry has some connection with actual youth researchers or youth research projects and their representatives. Youth Chamber meetings offer a place for presenting the research findings when appropriate.
Masaryk University in Brno also has a unique Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family. However, their activities are not linked primary to Youth Policy and are rather academically and social sciences focused.
Private and marketing surveys and research studies/reports on youth or relevant topics are also used from time to time but also somewhat on the ad hoc manner.
Cross-thematic youth researcher working group was expected within the implementation of the Youth Strategy 2014-2020, but the operation was complicated, and thus the connections run more on needs and ad-hoc bases.
The process of preparation of Youth Policy indicators was initiated by the Ministry several times since the Strategy came into force, however, there are no satisfactory outcomes yeat. One of the side effects of the process is the creation of a project Youth in numbers (Mládež v číslech) within the National Register of Research on Children and Youth bringing on one online place basic time series about young people and youth policy issues. From the content side is the project Youth in numbers operated by the Analytical section of the Czech Council of Children and Youth and from the technical by the National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic. Since 2020 the project has been postponed for further evaluation of suitable approaches.
There is no specific national statistical system on Youth or Youth Indicators. The only relevant data source in the Youth Policy is thus the National Register of Research on Children and Youth which is a non-systematic and non-obligatory collection of various researches and studies without any other systematic connection to Accademia, research organizations or research outcomes register of the Czech Republic. The publically available time series about young people in relation to the Youth Policy are presented on the project Youth in numbers within the Register as well, however, since 2020 the project has been postponed for further evaluation of suitable approaches.
Relevant data are collected within the system of the State Statistical Service among state Authorities and the Czech Statistical Office. Youth Policy is not directly included in the State Statistical Service (based on the Act No. 89/1995 Sb., on State Statistical Service). Most of the data are publically available on the Czech Statistical Office websites, archives and Library. Czech Statistical Office publishes data, time series, analyses, reports or even scientific journal on Statistics and social matters.
There existed an institute of National Youth Reporting, which is usually issued during the preparation of a state Youth Policy strategy, to evaluate and monitor it. For details see Chapter 1.3 on the evaluation of the National Youth Strategy.
The following reports are publicly available:
- Annual Youth Report 1998
- Annual Youth Report 2013
- Mid-term evaluation of the Strategy 2008-2009
- Mid-term evaluation of the Strategy 2010-2011
- The Mid-term Report 2017 discussed by the Government on 3rd of May 2017 is no publicly available.
- the 2020 Youth report was prepared and discussed internally within the state execution in 2021.
In February 2018 also The Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic published its outcome report on the funding in the Youth field and Youth Strategy issues were also partially tackled.
Relevant are also the education statistics collected and presented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Also the Ministry of Social Affairs has employment related statistics and data about social-legal protection of Children.
Also in statistical yearbooks and registers of various sectors we can find relevant data, especially about criminality and health.
In 2014, the Ministry also supported a popular publication promoting the evidence in the youth sector 'Without rose-tinted glasses' ('Bez růžových brýlí').
In 2014, the Open Society Fund Praha and Youthpolicy.org carried out an independent Youth Policy Review in the Czech Republic in accordance with the international standards of Youthpolicy.org. This study, 'Youth and Public Policies in the Czech Republic' ('Mladí lidé a veřejné politiky v České republice'), brings other perspectives and also compares international and national data in many areas and evaluates the impact of public policy in the youth field in the Czech Republic.
In 2017 an independent Survey on Youth Political Participation and Relations to Democracy among young people in the Central European Countries (so called V4 countries) was also carried out by the Czech Council of Children and Youth in cooperation with the Slovak Youth Council and the Hungarian independent association of sociologists Rubeus.
In 2020 and 2021 the Czech Council of Children and Youth and the Slovak Youth Council run project "Youth Values" supported by the Erasmus+ Programme and its strategic partnerships which focus on researching values and value patterns among young people in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and 18 youth organizations (12 from the Czech Republic and 6 from Slovakia).
In the youth Health field, the WHO HBSC research is carried out regularly at the Palacky University in Olomouc.
Also, civil society including religious organizations are active in researching particular issues of young people in the Czech Republic.
Of special importance is the NGO People in Need and its Programme 'One World in Schools' which has been carrying out a survey among Czech high school students regularly every three years since 2009. Comparability of the results allows for development to be easily seen. Due to its long-term engagement, the data are often used by the state or other public Authorities. The surveys are mostly focused on upper-secondary pupils and students.
There is no specific annual budget allocation for research in the Youth field. The Youth department can within its scope support semi-budgetary organizations or NGOs within the State subsidy programmes for Youth work. The ministries can acquire research when ask through the system of sectorial research needs in cooperation with the Technologic Agency of the Czech Republic. As of February 2022, 16 research needs are identified to be proceeded within this scheme with the impact on youth and related policies research, however, there is no direct topic for youth policy and youth work field.
All research activities in those fields can compete for support within the research, development and innovation budgets.