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The decision-making process rests to the central authorities – Ministry on Youth and Sports. At the local level, the Counties’ Structures on Youth and Sports are the decentralized services of the central authority that cooperates with the central administration bodies for organising and promoting the activities for young people.
According to Government decision regarding their organisation, Counties’ Structures on Youth and Sports have the following responsibilities in the field of youth:
- implementing the national programmes in the field of youth and sports,
- monitoring the implementation of the legislation in the field of youth and sport,
- cooperating with other local and central structures to organise cultural, artistic, leisure, educative, touristic activities for youth, both local and international,
- offering specialized support to other public bodies to create programmes for youth,
- offering counselling and information services for young people,
- creating a data-base of youth NGOs in the county,
- organising activities, seminars, camps and trainings based on non-formal education methodologies
- organising social programmes for vulnerable young people and children.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports was initially funded in 1990, but reorganised several times. After the last reorganisation on January 19th 2013, according to the Government Decision on the organisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, in the field of youth, the ministry has the following responsibilities:
- ensures the implementation of the governmental programme in the field of youth and sport,
- initiatives or approves legislative initiatives that aim at ensuring the achievement of the strategic objectives of the Ministry,
- ensures the representation of Romania to the national and international events in the field of youth,
- monitors the implementation of the legal framework in the field of youth,
- cooperates with the other ministries or public bodies, at the central or local level,
- ensures the implementation of the international agreements on youth.
While the National Youth Strategy covers a very large set of themes, only five of the main priorities of the strategy are in the direct responsibility of the main decision making structure in the field of youth in Romania: the Ministry of Youth and Sports. These themes are:
- Non-formal learning
- Youth volunteering
- Youth public and political participation
- Youth sport
- Youth leisure
Other themes of interest for the youth policy are employment, education, entrepreneurship and social-inclusion. However, in none of these fields the youth is not central and there are very few policy measures directly dedicated to young people, as presented in the following chapters.
For all these teams, as for the other in the Youth Strategy, the main information sources are the Youth Barometers commissioned by the Ministry every two years.
In 2010 the National Agency for Youth and the National Agency for Youth and Sport merged and become the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as provided by the Government Ordinance on the measurements to reorganise some activities in the field of youth and sport no. 15/2010.
According to the Youth Strategy, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has to draft a monitoring and evaluation plan of the Strategy. However, such plan is not in place in December 2019. As a result, an evidence-based monitoring/assessment/evaluation of the implementation of the national Youth Strategy has not been conducted until December 2019. An evaluation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Programmes for Youth, including actions implementing the Youth Strategy have been commissioned in 2016 and published by the December 2016.
Monitoring of projects and actions under the Ministry of Youth and Sports Programmes for Youth is only done from the financial/budget point of view. Records are not centralised for evaluation purposes, this practice creating difficulties for the subsequent evaluations, as experienced in 2016 when the prgrammes evaluation has been conducted. In the absence of a monitoring and evaluation plan of the Youth Strategy, all evaluations made until December 2019 by the Ministry of Youth and Sports are ad-hoc and not periodical. Moreover, the results of the only evaluation available have not been used for the design of future Youth Programmes, as their framework remained unchanged in 2017 and the following years.
On the other hand, The Ministry of European Funds conducted evaluations regarding the European programmes targeting young people:
- an evaluation report on the European Social Fund interventions targeting youth was commissioned by the in 2014 and delivered in 2015;
- the first evaluation report on the Youth Employment Initiative implementation until the end of 2015 and lessons learned from European Social Fund projects targeting NEETs was commissioned by the in 2015 and delivered in 2016. The second evaluation report on the Youth Employment Initiative has been conducted and published in 2019.
However, until December 2019 these reports where only used in programming and organising the implementation of the European Social Fund programme on human capital for the period 2014-2020 and for programming the future use of the European Social Fund 2021-2027, and not by other policy makers. The Ministry of Youth and Sports is not citing or quoting these reports when publishing decisions on policy activities, its annual programmes or its own projects. However, the reports have been used by the Ministry of Youth and Sports when planning new initiatives targeting young NEETs in 2020.
The culture of monitoring and evaluation public policies is rather week in Romania. As a result, among the different policy fields relevant for the young people evaluations are only common for the European funded programmes supporting financial a policy or public project and in this case they are used for the programming of European Operational Programmes, rather than for the design of national policies.
All evaluations carried out in the field of youth are commissioned research papers providing empirical evidence to the decision makers. Consultation of young people targeted by policies and programme is carried out to ensure empirical data, but this consultation is not the only information source for the evaluations carried out, including the Evaluation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Programmes for Youth or the European Programmes targeting young people (solely or among other target groups).