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The Ministry of Youth and Sport implements 4 framework programs every year:
- a programme supporting Youth Centres
- a programme supporting youth work and youth projects
- a programme supporting student projects
- a programme for youth research.
This last programme is meant to inform national youth policies. The Ministry of Youth and Sports commissions every two years a Youth Barometer (a representative survey in order to have a diagnosis of the youth situation). However, the budget available for other research doesn’t allows large-scale research and most of the policies developed and drafted are also based on other sources. National statistics and the Eurobarometer have been extensively used to inform and support the National Youth Strategy drafting process.
According to the Youth Law one of the principles of the youth policy is: drafting and promoting a global and integrated youth strategy based on results of social research. The existence of an annual programme that is systematically repeated each year is an indicator of the Romanian Government commitment for research-informed youth policy. However, the programme is not defined in details, stating just that different kind of research methods and approaches (quantitative and qualitative etc.) are eligible. As a result, there is not an official understanding of how the research will contribute to policy making.
The Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), (Institutul de Științe ale Educației – ISE) has been a national research institution functioning as a unit of the Ministry of Education. The Institute had been implementing national and international projects in the field of youth and education, developed national educational curricula and training modules for teachers and piloted highly innovative learning methodologies. One of the main departments of the Institute of Educational Sciences was the Youth Research Laboratory, but the cooperation of the Ministry of Youth and Sport with the youth research community in the Institute was rather reduced. In November 2019 the Institute of Educational Sciences merged with the National Evaluation Centre under the same Ministry of Education. However, in 2020 researchers form the National Evaluation Centre cooperated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the design of studies to support the development of a new Youth Strategy (post 2020).
Based on a general framework partnership between the Romanian Government and UNICEF, the later provides research input for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to support the youth strategy drafting in 2014 and the preparation of the action plan of the youth strategy in 2016. The revision of the Youth law has been an emerging issue for the research in the field of youth. The initial research was undertaken by the Romanian Youth Forum, through the project the Teenagers’ Initiative Network, in partnership with UNICEF Romania. The project generated the analysis of the legal framework in the youth policy field in Romania in 2016 and proposed a set of recommendations that had been integrated to the revision process of the Youth Law.
Beside the input for youth policies resulted from the cooperation with UNICEF, the Youth Report/Barometer commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and Sport every two years is meant to support any emerging policy, being a comprehensive analysis of the situation of young people in Romania. The Youth Barometer Report has been published for 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018and 2020.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports contracted an external evaluation of 3 (out of 4) of its programmes in October 2016 and the results have been published at the end of December 2016.
Specific statistics on youth are collected through the Youth Barometer, commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and Sports every two years. The responsible body/organisation/institute to actually carry out the research is selected every time by the Ministry through public procurement procedures. Data for the youth barometers from 2012, 2014 and 2016 have been collected by different market research institutes, but using the same questionnaire. In 2018and 2020 a different questionnaire has been used, as presented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports representatives.
The most recent statistics published, dating from 2016, includes information on life quality, employment, entrepreneurship, mobility, education, support for democratic and European values, youth values, health and sport, public participation, political participation, volunteering, tolerance, opinion on environment, youth services.
A separate national youth report is not drafted in Romania.
No specific indicator has been established precisely for the youth population by the National Institute of Statistics. The most important data source on youth being the above mentioned Youth Report/Barometer.
According to data published on the website of the Ministry, budget allocations for the Youth Research Programmedropped from 1 000 000 lei (about 222 000 Euro) in 2006 to 150 000 lei (about 31 500 Euro) for the Youth Research Programme for 2019 but 400 000 lei (about 84 000 Euro) for the Youth Research Programme for 2020. Data on spending are not available per programme.
The Ministry on Youth and Sports was not operating any budgetary allocations for the research activities of the Laboratory on Youth Research of the Institute for Education Sciences (until November 2019 when the Institute was reorganised). The Institute for Education Sciences was entirely financed by the Ministry of Education and by other non-reimbursable funds for projects (European and national grants for scientific research).
There is no specific line of funding aimed at the evidence-based evaluation of Government and/or the Ministry activities and policies.