1.6 Evidence-based youth policy
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Strategic programmes and projects implemented for the benefit of young people are evidenced by research reflecting the situation of young people in Poland. The authors of those documents rely on available research and analyses prepared by public, private and non-governmental institutions.
In August 2011 the Office of the Prime Minister issued a report entitled “Youth 2011” (Młodzi 2011) which (so far) may be regarded as the most extensive and multidimensional analysis of Polish youth. Apart from the report “Youth 2011” no other governmental paper (diagnosis) concerning Polish youth has been published. Emphasis should be put on the fact that young people’s situation has always been analysed for the purposes of programmes created for youth.
Cooperation between policy-making and research
There is no single state-run centre which would deal exclusively with research in the youth field. It is impossible to indicate one body which is responsible for cooperation with centres and institutions conducting youth research. The Youth Research Institute (Instytut Badań nad Młodzieżą) as an organisation operating in Poland from 1972 to 1991.The Institute was supervised by the minister responsible for education and upbringing. When the Institute ceased to operate, it was transformed into the Youth Research Centre at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences of the University of Warsaw (Ośrodek Badań Młodzieży w Instytucie Stosowanych Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego). The Centre “does not work for political parties but is open to the needs of the State administration, local governments, non-governmental organisations, schools, parents and other youth educators (...) The Centre also conducts research and professional evaluations in cooperation with other domestic and international institutions.” In 2005, together with the Ministry of National Education and Sport, the Centre prepared the “White Paper on Polish Youth" (Fatyga, 2005). Two truths about active participation. Conditions and opportunities for young people’s active participation in local communities from the perspective of the youth policy of the Council of Europe” (“Biała Księga młodzieży polskiej. Dwie prawdy o aktywności. Uwarunkowania i możliwości działania młodzieży w środowisku lokalnym w perspektywie polityki młodzieżowej Rady Europy”) which is a valuable document describing the situation of young people in Poland in the period when the country began its membership of the European Union.
Authors of youth programmes rely on reports and analyses from various centres and research institutes such as the Central Statistical Office (Główny Urząd Statystyczny), Centre for Public Opinion Research (Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej), the Educational Research Institute (Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych) private and public entities, non-governmental organisations (e.g.: The Field of Dialogue Foundation – Fundacja Pole Dialogu, “Stocznia” The Laboratory of Social Research and Innovations - Pracownia Badań i Innowacji Społecznych “Stocznia”).
The Central Statistical Office (GUS) is a public administration body which is accountable to the Prime Minister. GUS collects and publishes statistics and conducts research into various aspects of public and private life. Data related to Poland’s economy, society and environment is collected in the Local Data Bank (Bank Danych Lokalnych) which is run by GUS. Thanks to the Atlas of Regions (Atlas Regionów) data relating to a specific thematic area is spatially visualised to show distribution in regions or local areas. The Area-specific Knowledge Bases (Dziedzinowe Bazy Wiedzy) present data illustrating demography, education, the labour market and people’s living conditions. The "Statistical Vademecum for Local Government" (“Statystyczne Vademecum Samorządowca”) contains information on the social, economic and financial situation of local governments, a.o. the labor market, social services, infrastructure, public safety.
The Educational Research Institute (Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych) is an institution conducting interdisciplinary research concerning the functioning and effectiveness of the education system in Poland. The Institute main researches areas include i.a. lifelong learning and national qualifications framework, new core curriculum and subject teaching methods, psychological and pedagogical foundations of school achievement. IBE realize in Poland e.g. the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Monitoring The Professional and Educational Pathways of Vocational School Graduates (Badanie Losów Absolwentów. Monitorowanie losów edukacyjnych i zawodowych absolwentów oraz młodych-dorosłych), Integrated Qualifications System (Zintegrowany System Kwalifikacji).
The Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS) organises, prepares and publishes public opinion polls and submits their results to central government bodies, public institutions and society. CBOS receives funds from the State budget which are intended to meet operational costs and task implementation as well as finance non-commercial publications.
The National Centre for Research and Development (Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju (NCBR) is an executive agency implementing tasks relating to science, technology and innovation policies operated by the State. NCBR manages the implementation of strategic scientific research programmes and development work.
In 2021 the Batory Foundation (Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego) published a report "Youth 2020 - in search of identity" (“Młodzi 2020 – w poszukiwaniu tożsamości”), in which described factors shaping the identity of the young generation in Poland. The chapters of the report refer to the following issues: characteristics and values of the young generation, entering adulthood, emancipation of youth, mobility and work, state policy, climate.
In 2020 The Union of Associations Polish Council of Youth Organisations realizes a nationwide research “How do young people want to live?” (Jak chcą mieszkać młodzi ludzie?). The aim of the research is cumulate answers the questions – “How?” and “Where?” - young people (between 17 and 35 years old) would like to live in the next 5 years and longer.
At the request of the Ministry of Education and Science researchers from the Youth Research Center at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences of the University of Warsaw prepared the report “Work with youth and youth in Poland - diagnosis of the state in 2019” (“Praca z młodzieżą i dla młodzieży w Polsce – diagnoza stanu w roku 2019”). The report presents definitions of basic terms (i.a. youth, youth work and work for youth, youth worker) and the main strategic goals of youth work in Poland and in the European Union.
In 2018, following a request from the National Center for Addiction Prevention (Krajowe Centrum Przeciwdziałania Uzależnieniom) (before 2022 the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (Krajowe Biuro ds. Przeciwdziałania Narkomanii), CBOS conducted research and prepared a report Youth 2018 (Młodzież 2018). The report addresses the following spheres of young people’s lives:
- family home, parents and peers,
- standard of living of upper secondary school leavers,
- school relations,
- aspirations, aims and life plans,
- political choices of young people and their presence in democracy
- civic activity abd pro-social attitudes
- faith and religion (also in school)
- attitude towards abortion
- interests and leisure
- young people and psychoactive substances.
In 2013 and 2016 similar research into the situation of young people was conducted by CBOS.
In 2018 the report “Youth 2018” was been issued (this report is not official document of the Office of the Prime Minister), which contains the following areas:
- introduction: Introduction. Why young, why education?, World development trends – challenges and risk for young people,
- framework conditions: Internet and communication environment, Europe for young people, Young people in the age of migratory change, polish and european labor market. For young?,
- differences and divisions: Different educational and life opportunities of young people. Periphery casus, Children’s and youth worlds – life in the enchanted territories of Polish cities, (un)visible differences. Gender,
- engagement: School as a place of anti-civic education, Young people about themselves, Young intellectual elites and their civic message,
- culture: Culture environment of unicorns – a few notes about youth and popular culture, In the mirror of recent literature, Reforming education,
- ending: Recommendations.
In 2020 and 2021 the British Council Poland organized the “Next Generation. Poland” research on attitudes, moods, views and visions of the world of Polish women and Poles aged 18-30. “Next Generation” is a research series on young people carried out by the British Council around the world. The survey results are organized into three main themes:
- Experience and attitudes - ambitious optimists in the face of new emotional and generational challenges,
- Engagement and perspectives - citizens of the world, who can use digital technologies and who have mixed feelings about Poland and the rest of the world,
- Voice, Views and Values - disillusioned democrats with extreme views.
The Empowering Children Foundation (Fundacja Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę) has issued reports on children and youth, i.a. “Influence of social media on perceptions of bodies in teenagers” (2021, “Wpływ korzystania z social mediów na postrzeganie swojego ciała przez nostolatki_ków”), “Patostream in the Internet” – “Patotreści w internecie” (2019, a nationwide sample of teenagers aged 13-15), “Nationwide diagnosis of the scale and conditions of child abuse” – “Ogólnopolska diagnoza skali i uwarunkowań krzywdzenia dzieci” (2018, youth aged 11-17), “Contact of children and adolescents with pornography” – “Kontakt dzieci i młodzieży z pornografią” (2017, a nationwide sample of students aged 11-18).
The Children and Youth Council of the Republic of Poland in 2019 issued a report “About school councils” (“O samorządach uczniowskich”), wherein described the cooperation between pupils, between pupils and teachers and school authorities. Moreover were presented the role of the keeper of the school council, school elections, activities and problems of pupils.
In 2011 the Office of the Prime Minister published The report “Youth 2011” (“Młodzi 2011”). The report presents the first generations of Poles “brought up in an independent, democratic and free-market state, but living in families and adult communities which had to find their place and reorganise their lives in new political and economic circumstances” (Odorzyńska-Kondek, 2011). Young people were regarded as one of the basic “resources on which the strategy of building a modern society and country can rely”.
In 2011 the Laboratory of Social Research and Innovations “Stocznia” published the report “Youth in rural areas” (“Młodzież na wsi”) where it presented the everyday life, lifestyles, opportunities and aspirations of young people living in rural areas and small towns.
The report “Youth 2011” remains the only youth diagnosis published by the Office of the Prime Minister. It is impossible to indicate one (exclusively governmental) line of funding for research on youth. The research discussed was conducted as part of tasks performed by ministries, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations.