1.7 Funding youth policy
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How Youth Policy is funded
Initiatives and measures directed at youth are integrated within the overall national policy measures across different sectors. This is reflected in the annual budget proposals by each ministry. In Norway, the youth population is often described as those aged 13-26, but this may vary according to the issues being addressed, or by sector. As many services, initiatives and measures target children and young people as one group and because young people over the age of majority enjoy rights and access to welfare services as adults it is not possible to report on a separate budget/public expenditure for youth specifically.
Local youth policy is also funded at the county or municipal level. Norway has 356 municipalities with a considerable degree of autonomy. The municipalities are responsible (partly in some policy areas) for youth policy issues such as schools, employment and training, health care, social care and services, culture and leisure.
What is funded
Ministries may allocate grants to municipalities to carry out projects targeting the child and youth population.
The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs allocated approximately NOK 572 million in 2022 to various projects through the national grant scheme for inclusion of children and young people. NOK 340,9 million has been allocated for 2023.
Support to youth organizations provides another indication of the overall commitment to youth. In 2022 the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs spent approximately NOK 162 million for youth organizations and NOK 222 million for organizations representing persons with disabilities. In addition, 13 of 15 ministries provide grants to voluntary organizations annually, many of them youth organizations or organizations with projects aimed at or run by youth.
The Norwegian Agency for Public and Financial Management (DFØ) has developed a website called tilskudd.no where voluntary organizations can find a comprehensive overview of government grant schemes as well as how funds have been allocated. The website works as a reach engine so that organisation can find grants suited for their purpose. It is also meant to contribute to better targeting of public funding as it is easier for organisations to find schemes for their sector and target groups, and because an overview of schemes, target groups and recipients can contribute to better coordination and targeting of grants across sectors. Tilskudd.no shows how government grants to voluntary organizations are advertised and awarded to recipients from all ministries and grant managers. The service thus provides insight and the opportunity to compare and analyse data on grants in a more holistic way than before. The overview of allocations and recipients also provides a basis for follow-up and control, among other things to avoid double funding and to ensure that the funds are allocated in accordance with the regulations on public support, which follow from the EEA Agreement.
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) provides the parliament with a comprehensive and independent audit of the government. The tasks of the OAG are to:
audit the central government accounts
carry out systematic performance audits of the finances, productivity, achievement of goals and effects based on parliamentary decisions
monitor the management of the state's proprietary interests in companies
contribute to the prevention and detection of irregularities and errors
advise the government administration to prevent future errors and omissions
The Parliament can instruct the OAG to initiate special audits.
Use of EU funds
There is no information on EU funds that have been used for youth policy at top-level. Norway does take part in several EU programmes relevant to the youth sector such as:
- Horizon 2020
- EU program for Employment and Social Innovation – EaSI
- Connecting Europe Facility – CEF 2014-2020