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 a 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) was established with L. 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.
Cooperation between policy-making and research
At a national level, the cooperation between policy makers and the research community is also developed on specific subjects.
Recently, the Department for Youth Policies and the Universal Civic Service financed the following studies:
In 2019, the study “Condition of Italian youth”, which was conducted by the private research institute Ipsos, was aimed at orienting the €16 million call for proposals “Fermenti”, which was then launched by the Department;
In 2017, the national civic service programme was the subject of two studies conducted by two private research companies CLES Ltd. and Eulab consulting Ltd.. The studies analysed the strengths and weakness of the national programme, its impact on youth, with particular reference to the skills acquired through informal education. They were conducted in preparation of the reform of the universal civic service, which was approved at the end of 2017.
At a regional level, theRegional 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 theregional 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), is the public authority that deals with general censuses of the population, sample surveys on families and economic surveys at a 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;
Health and life styles;
Culture, leisure and use of media;
Social and economic conditions;
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 Government finances all the above-mentioned public research institutions that institutionally carry out research in the youth policy sector.