1.6 Evidence-based youth policy
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The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth has been promoting youth surveys ever since Slovenia started to develop its youth policy (1991). The evidence-based policy will therefore constitute an important part of the youth policy development in Slovenia. It is envisaged that the national youth programme will be revised every 3 years based on the research of the social position of youth in Slovenia.
There is no direct reference to evidence-based youth policy in the Act on Public Interest in the Youth Sector, although the act defines the role of administrative body responsible for youth in Slovenia (Office of Republic of Slovenia for Youth) in its Article 7. Among other things the competence of the Office of Republic of Slovenia for Youth is to provide for and execute supervision for the implementation of regulations and measures in the youth sector and monitor the situation of youth and the impact of measures in the youth sector.
Act on Public Interest the in Youth Sector identifies the need to develop the National Youth Programme. The programme includes a reference to an evidence-based approach to youth policy to fully achieve the objectives of youth policy and the national youth programme (Resolution on the National Programme for Youth 2013 – 2022) also envisages establishment of a national institute for youth research or rather identifying one of the existing institutions already working in the field of research as a reference organisation for youth research and evidence-based policy development. It also introduces a set of measurable indicators and explains their desired values to facilitate solid evidence-based assessments of the performance of individual policies.
In 2011, the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth funded two analyses of the situation, which were carried out by the Network of Youth centres MaMa and the Pohorski Bataljon Foundation; they examined the functioning and impacts of the youth centres and youth field organisations in Slovenia: 'Youth Centres in Slovenia' (Mladinski centri v Sloveniji) and 'Analysis of the Situation and Potentials of Non-governmental Youth Field in Slovenia'.
Beside the Office for Youth, there are also other public and semi-public bodies gathering data and knowledge about youth. These bodies inform the government about key youth developments related to their field of operation or their professional domain.
The Social Protection Institute complies and maintains a variety of databases for social assistance and social services including development and experimental programs. It monitors the implementation of a number of government programs by establishing specialized systems of indicators and provides informational support for them by collecting and analysing data. The government has supported and promoted cross-disciplinary research relating to children and young people up to 18. There is a child observatory for children up to 18 years established within the Institute; its operation is supported by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
The Institute was established in 1965 as an institute devoted to the study of education. It implements various programmes, projects and evaluations on youth matters from an educational perspective.
The data and information collected by the Institute are the basis for the decision and action of individuals, professionals and health policy. It identifies key public health challenges in the population including the determinants that affect health, and propose measures to improve health.
The National Education Institute is important factor in the education system’s development process. It proposes new curriculum solutions, develops methods for the successful transfer of modifications into the education system and helps integrate new curriculum elements into practice. Within its line of competences, the Institute collects and processes data relevant to policy making in the field of education of the children and the youth.
An efficient, user-friendly and user-oriented Employment Service. The aim of all ESS activities is to contribute to the growth of employment and employability of the population in Slovenia. In cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, the Institute actively contributes to the development of employment policies in Slovenia also by collecting and analysing data related to youth employment and employability. The Institute participates in the creation of several policy measures developed for young people as the main target group.
There are no national research networks on youth in Slovenia, but the Office of Republic of Slovenia for Youth cooperates with different groups of researchers. In the period between 1993 and 2000, the Office for Youth had a long-term contract with the Centre For Social Psychology at the Faculty of Social Science, which provided the necessary financial support for research on the youth and which resulted in several studies on the status of the youth (e.g. Mladina v devetdesetih (Youth in the nineties); Mladina 2000: Slovenska mladina na prehodu v tretje tisočletje (Youth 2000: Slovenian Youth in Transition to the Third Millennium)). In 2009–2011, the Office for Youth signed a contract with the Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, with the aim of promoting evidence-based youth policies.
The basis for defining the appropriate strategic objectives of the National Youth Programme was the study of Youth 2010: The social profile of young people in Slovenia (Mladina (2010): družbeni profil mladih v Sloveniji), which was conducted in 2010 and published in 2011. The study was carried by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Maribor. It covered demographic changes and intergenerational cooperation, education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, participation, creativity, culture and leisure time, the virtualisation of daily life, health and wellbeing, the financial status of young people, housing and living conditions, globalisation and youth mobility, values, sustainable social action plans and visions of the future, personal characteristics and the religiosity of young people.
The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth is closely cooperating with the Erasmus Programme, the Youth in Action National Agency and its research partner in an effort to identify emerging issues in the youth field. As a result, an initiative called Key to inclusion (Ključ do vključenosti), which deals with the problem of youth radicalisation and promotes youth inclusion, has been established. It resulted in a series of intra- and cross-sectorial consultations with relevant stakeholders in 2016 and shall be continued in 2017 with activities that focus on transnational consultations.
Statistical Office of Republic of Slovenia publishes regular thematical reports on youth, usually on International Day of Youth (12 August); In 2009 the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia prepared an extensive statistical report on the situation of young people in Slovenia. Employment Service of Slovenia monitors the situation of young people in the labour market; and the Institute of Public health has been involved in the Health Behaviour and School-Aged Children (HBSC) research since 1983.
The government does not have a line of funding for research on the youth, which explicitly supports evidence-based youth policy making, apart from resources allocated to the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth for the conduct of periodic youth studies and for contract evaluations of the National Youth Programme. In line with the former, the Office has contracted the Faculty of Arts of the University of Maribor to conduct a study on the situation of young people in Slovenia Youth 2010 (Mladina 2010). The amount allocated for the study was 66.580 EUR.