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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.6 Evidence-based youth policy

Last update: 28 March 2024

Political commitment to evidence-based youth policy

In Italy, a number of public and private bodies deal with research and statistics on young people. At public level, the Government benefits from the following state-funded bodies:

The National Observatory on Childhood and Adolescence (Osservatorio Nazionale per l'Infanzia e l'Adolescenza), established with Law 451/1997. It consists of about 50 members, representing the various central Administrations responsible for childcare policies, the Regions and Local Autonomies, ISTAT, other relevant institutions, as well as of eight associations and eight experts. 

Every two years, the Observatory drafts the National Action and Intervention Plan (Piano d'Azione Nazionale) for the protection of the rights of children/young from 0 to 18 years old, and the Report on the Condition of Children in Italy. Every 5 years, it drafts the United Nation Report for the Convention on the rights of the child.

The Observatory includes the National Centre for the Documentation and Analysis for childhood andadolescence (Centro Nazionale di Documentazione e Analisi per l'infanzia e l'adolescenza), which carries out studies and publications, organizes seminars and training courses on juvenile issues.

The National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies (Istituto Nazionale per l’Analisi delle Politiche Pubbliche - INAPP) is a public research institution (supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies), which monitors and evaluates public policies on labour, education, training and welfare.

According to Art. 99 of the Italian Constitution, the National Council of Economy and Labour (Consiglio Nazionale dell’Economia e del lavoro - CNEL) is the Parliament and Government advisory body. The Council has also legislative initiative powers. The main topics of its research and studies on young people include welfare, employment, education, training, immigration.

The Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies, which is part of the National Research Council (CNR), carries out studies on demographics and migrations, welfare, social policies, sciences, information technology.

In addition, the National Youth Council collaborates with the Government in the collection of information useful for guiding public policies.

Some Regions set up Observatories on Youth with a view to develop, monitor and evaluate their policies.

The main Observatories are in the Region Campania, developed in collaboration with the University of Salerno (Regione Campania), and in the Region Emilia-Romagna (Regione Emilia Romagna).

Cooperation between policy-making and research

At national level, the cooperation between policy makers and the research community is also developed on specific subjects.

In particular, the National Youth Council conducts several research on youth, such as the “National Youth Plan 2024 - eight key chapters for investing in the future of young people” or the “Survey on the Condition of Youth in Italy: Youth 2023: The Balance Sheet of a Generation”.

The Department for Youth Policies and the Universal Civic Service drafts periodical analysis on the placements of the civic service volunteers, including total number of placements available and utilised both in Italy and abroad as well as the type of activities performed. The last report available is dated December 2023 and analyses data from 2015-2022.

At regional level, the Regional Youth Policy Observatory operates at the Directorate General for education, training, work and youth policies of the Campania Region and carries out, on the basis of the political priorities of the Region, the following tasks:

  • collection, analysis of data relating to the social, economic and historical-cultural aspects of youth situations;
  • monitoring the characteristics, expectations and needs of young people from Campania in relation to the rest of the country;
  • information and communication on issues relating to youth policies;
  • creation of a database of services offered to young people.

In addition, the Childhood and Adolescence Observatory of the Emilia-Romagna Region carries out support and orientation activities for regional actions. The Observatory elaborates specific data at the request of the regional Guarantor for childhood and adolescence, of local authorities, provinces, districts, the third sector and researchers, for the orientation of the planning, programming and elaboration of regional legislation, monitoring and evaluation of the offer of services.

National statistics and available data sources

The National Institute for Statistics (Istituto nazionale di statistica, ISTAT), is the public authority that deals with general censuses of the population, sample surveys on families and economic surveys at national level.

Data and indicators on youth, in the age range from 15 to 34, are collected annually by ISTAT and are available on-line in the dedicated information system “Youth” (#GIOVANI).

The key areas that are the subject of data collection are the following:

  • Population and families;
  • Education and training;
  • Employment;
  • Health and life styles;
  • Culture, leisure and use of media;
  • Social and economic conditions;
  • Participation;
  • Juvenile delinquency;
  • Welfare and social protection.

Ad-hoc indicators by different age groups are produces on NEETs and youth unemployment.

Budgetary allocations supporting research in the youth field

The central and regional Governments finance all the above-mentioned public research institutions that carry out research in the youth policy sector. Every institution is financed directly by public funding. Therefore the total amount devoted to research is not easily available.