1.6 Evidence-based youth policy
On this page
On this page
The Ministry of Youth and Sport implemented four framework programs every year, until 2021:
- a programme supporting Youth Centres
- a programme supporting youth work and youth projects
- a programme supporting student projects
- a programme for youth research.
From January 2022, the same programmes are implemented by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities.
This last programme is meant to inform national youth policies. Every two years, a Youth Barometer (a representative survey in order to have a diagnosis of the youth situation) have been commissioned by the Ministry. However, the budget available for other research doesn’t allows large-scale research and most of the policies developed and drafted are based on secondary 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. Therefore, there is not an official understanding of how the research will contribute to policy making.
Until 2020, the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), 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 2021).
Based on a general framework partnership between the Romanian Government and UNICEF, the later provided 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 in 2014-2018. The initial research supporting the Youth Law revision 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 have 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, 2018 and 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 between 2012 and 2020. The responsible body/organisation/institute to 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 2018 and 2020, a different questionnaire has been used, as presented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports representatives.
The most recent statistics published, dating from 2020, 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 and Eurostat.
According to data published on the website of the Ministry of Finances, budget allocations for the Youth Research Programme dropped from 1 million lei (about 222 000 Euro) in 2006 to 150 000 lei (about 31 500 Euro) for the Youth Research Programme for 2019 and 400 000 lei (about 84 000 Euro) for the Youth Research Programme for 2020. However only 150 000 lei have been used in 2020 for youth research by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In 2021, the budget dropped again to 150 000 lei and the budget for 2022 allocates 200 000 lei (about 40 000 Euro) for the Youth Research 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) and there is not possible to isolate the budget allocated only for youth research.
There is no specific line of funding aimed at the evidence-based evaluation of Government and/or the Ministry youth activities and policies.