10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work
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There is no quality assurance system that is specific to youth work programmes. The system which was closest to it was the monitoring process of the Complex Youth Developments – New Generation Reloaded (Komplex ifjúsági fejlesztések – Új Nemzedék Újratöltve) HRDOP project. (For more information, please see sub-chapter 10.3 Support to youth work. The relevant indicators of the project were the following:
- number of participants younger than 25 years of age (20 000),
- number of local communities served (570) ('Indikátorok').
The monitoring of the second indicator included the reports of mentors.
Besides this, probably the most elaborate quality assurance of youth work (which overlaps with research) relates to Erasmus+ Youth, the Hungarian implementation of RAY (Research-based Analysis of Erasmus+/YiA) carried out by Rubeus Foundation (Rubeus Egyesület) with the coordination of the Tempus Public Foundation.
There is no specific research on youth work and as such youth work policies are not regularly evaluated on the basis of research. In general, it is difficult to obtain data on youth work as the concept is often mixed with volunteering and youth participation. However, the regular large sample youth researches (see sub-chapter 1.6 Evidence-based youth policy) include questions related to youth services. This enables practitioners and policymakers to estimate the accessibility of and needs for youth services.
Besides, the professional website of the Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap) has a knowledge repository which lists good practices, mainly of municipal governments and NGOs ('Jó gyakorlatok').
As mentioned before, a typical way of how youth work is organised is based on organic grassroots initiatives. (Please see sub-chapter 10.2 Administration and governance of youth work for details.)
Top-level approaches often focus on youth participation (see sub-chapter 5.3 Youth representation bodies and 5.4 Young people's participation in policy-making). Besides this, the only top-level authority related to youth policy is currently the Board of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alapprogram Tanácsa) and the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács) is involved in channelling the interests of youth organisations. The Council has 2 plenary meetings per year and consultations in the capital and in the countryside on a project basis where local decision-makers and young people can have a dialogue on specific issues. Targeted consultation specifically to youth work policies do not exist.
The most relevant elements of top-level approaches to digital youth work are the websites operated by Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap).
The webpage 'http://www.unp.hu/' works as a professional site targeted for youth workers and youth experts. It functions as a knowledge base, and a networking tool has been developed, where a database of youth experts and a resource map of local youth services is published.
On the other hand, the webpage 'http://www.futournet.hu/' mainly targeted young people and provides information on programmes and services carried out through the HRDOP project. The website also offers online career guidance support.
These websites still operate but are not any more updated regularly in 2023 because of the termination of the role of the Fund. (See sub-chapter 10.2 Administration and governance of youth work for details.)