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The quality of youth work refers to the achievement of the goals of youth work, as well as incorporating its values and characteristics into the planning and implementation of youth work programs.
The criteria for the quality of youth work in North Macedonia are defined on the basis of recommendations received through consultative meetings organized by the Union for Youth Work, taking into account existing quality standards from other European countries.
Union for Youth Work in 2019 published “Youth work quality standards” (Стандарди за квалитет на младинската работа). According to this publication, the quality of youth work in North Macedonia will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- The goals of youth work correspond to the rights and needs of young people
- Youth work is based on active and voluntary participation of young people
- Youth work offers opportunities for learning and personal and social development of young people
- Youth work promotes equality and inclusion of all young people
- Youth work is carried out in appropriate spaces by professionals
- Youth work is based on processes of continuous monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement.
The level of fulfillment of the criteria for quality youth work is assessed using a set of indicators that can compare reality with the vision of youth work and identify specific areas for improvement.
Research and evidence supporting Youth Work
There is hardly any information available on possible support for better understanding of youth work, provided by national authorities. In 2013 the Agency of Youth and Sport supported the first Youth Work Fair organized by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. The Agency also supported the fair organized in 2014 by the same CSO. This fair included 70 youth organizations from North Macedonia and Europe, who presented their work to the audience. The fair included presentations of the latest trends in youth work and contemporary ways of functioning of youth organizations throughout Europe. The fair was attended by representatives of the Agency of Youth and Sport, National Agency of European Educational Programs and Mobility, the Council of Europe's Youth Department, the European Commission, the EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership, the European Youth Forum, SALTO Resource Centers, as well as 70 youth organizations from North Macedonia and Europe.
There is no other available information on this topic, and also there is no specific top-level budget or funds for supporting research on youth work.
Participative youth work
Information can be found in section 5.4.
Currently (February 2021), with financial support from the Agency of Youth and Sport, the Union for Youth Work is organizing training for Youth Workers. This will be the first generation of official certified youth workers in North Macedonia. The training is followed by 14 participants from throughout the country, and it’s expected to be completed by the middle of April 2021. Due to the conditions with pandemic, the training is conducted online.