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The most important channel of research informing youth policy is the large scale youth research carried out every four years since 2000. In each cycle, the youth research related to 15-29 year-olds is carried out on a representative sample of 8 000. Since 2009 the conduction of the research is regulated by the National Youth Strategy (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia). This priority is reinforced in the youth policy report Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Ifjúság 2020), which was published in 2013. In the framework of the EU project of the National Youth Council (Structured Dialogue) there are important research results which are incorporated into the decision making process in the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma).
Institutionalised mechanisms and actors
As noted before, there are no institutionalised mechanisms of channelling youth research to policy making, but the role of the large scale youth research is central here.
Researches related to youth policy were carried out in the National Institute for Family, Youth and Population Policy. Due to the restructuring of background institutions in 2016, these professional functions were assigned to the Ministry of Human Capacities, which in the end of 2017 founded the Maria Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS). In 2020, the Minister without Portfolio Responsible for Families took over the leadership of the Institute. Research management belongs to the Minister without portfolio in cooperation with KINCS, regarding the following topics:
- developing the family and population policy of the Government,
- developing the tools for family and population policy and the system of family benefits,
- coordinating the tasks related to the cooperation among generations,
- coordinating the tasks related to family social and health programmes, and
- coordinating the tasks relatated to the equality of men and women.
Informal/ ad-hoc cooperation
Besides the youth researches taking place in every fourth year as the above-mentioned Magyar Ifjúság Kutatás (for detailed information see sub-chapter 1.3. National Youth Strategy), there is no regular research, only ad hoc cooperation and secondary analyses. The main strategic documents contain an overview with data, on which the priorities are based. However, in the latest action plan of National Youth Strategy for 2016-2017 [1535/2016. (X. 13.) Korm. határozat], there is not any reference to data.
Policy themes informed by research
The results of the youth research are often referred to in the decision making processes and public speaking of government officials (especially in the context of family policy). The most explicit reference to the results of the 2016 research was related to introducing the measure of refunding the price of the first successful language exams for young people under 35 years. The official communication (hivatalos közlemény) underlined that according to the research larger proportions of young people reported appropriate language competence than the proportion of those with language exams.
Evidence-based evaluation of youth policies
Since several youth programmes are financed by EU funds, where there is a formal requirement of related monitoring activities, a relatively high number of empirical data sources can be reached. Besides that, market researchers also deal with topics related to youth from time to time. Significant examples include researches on Internet use and its dangers, the examination of the migration will and potential, but the findings of these surveys have not been officially referred to in state documents.
The most significant document of the evidence-based evaluation of youth policy is the above-mentioned document called Hungarian Youth 2020, which analyses the second action plan of NYS in light of the governmental actors’ involvement and the data collections.
Monitoring of the specific project funded by the Government is regular and happens through the System of Electronic Tender management and Cooperation (EPER). Evaluation and reporting on these tenders are created from the data provided through the system. Smaller-scale projects’ evaluation may differ; the evaluation of the previously mentioned Petőfi Sándor Programme is a publication (publikáció) that consists of reports of the participants.
The existence of national youth statistics
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (hereinafter referred to as HCSO) collects statistics on youth. Besides the basic demographic data, detailed age-specific information is available for education, income, culture, info-communication. HCSO also publishes regular data on the situation of youth in the labour market (A fiatalok munkaerő-piaci helyzete, 2011), most recently about the year 2010. The HCSO published the latest detailed data for 2014 (Munakerő-piaci helyzetkép, 2014) in August 2015 as part of the general labour market overview. Youth unemployment and the NEET-rate of 15-24 year-olds is regularly monitored (monitorozva) and data on unemployment by age groups is also accessible (elérhető).
Specific youth indicators
Besides the aforementioned aspects, the HCSO has regular data collection on aspects regarding education (mostly numbers of students in different levels of education, but budgetary data is also published), farming (young farmers are defined as those under the age of 40), and there is one specific indicator regarding books published in youth and children’s literature.
National youth report
No general youth reports are published by the HCSO, but specific reports and publications often analyse the topics of family and population, and labour market, where the situation of young people is described. Besides the analyses published connected to the regular large sample youth researches often present statistical data too.
Other data and analysis
As mentioned previously, ad hoc researches focusing on certain policy fields or topics under the ministry are frequent. A detailed analysis on the situtation of young people on the labour market is published in 2020.
There is no separate, allocated budget line for youth research. The 2016 large-scale research was financed through the budget (using EU-funds) allocated to the New Generation Centre (Új Nemzedék Központ).