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LAST MODIFIED ON: 7/08/2020
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Political Commitment to Evidence-Based Youth Policy
The National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2019 emphasised the importance of a strengthened and robust evidence base on the impact of youth work which is vital to inform and drive the development of a more consistent and high-quality national youth work offer across Wales. Better evidence is necessary to allow those responsible for youth work (in the statutory and Third (voluntary) sectors) to successfully compete for resources.
Youth Work in Wales: Principles and Purposes(2018) sets out the key principles which underpin youth work in Wales, states that all organisations engaged in youth work are expected to assess the outcomes and impact of their work and to have systems for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of their work with young people.
In developing and evaluating their work, providers are expected to take account of the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Youth Work (search for 'youth work' in the NOS database), the National Participation Standards (Welsh Government, 2016) and the Information Standards.
HM Treasury’s Green and Magenta Books together provide detailed guidelines, for policy makers and analysts, on how policies and projects should be assessed and reviewed. The two sets of guidance are complementary: the Green Book (2011) emphasises the economic principles that should be applied to both appraisal and evaluation, and the Magenta Book (2011) provides in-depth guidance on how evaluation should be designed and undertaken. Neither is specific to the development of youth policy.
A broad framework for public sector bodies in the UK is provided by the Treasury’s Green Book: Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government (2013) which models the policy making process as a cycle with the following stages (page 3):
- implementation (monitoring)
Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force across Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) in 2011 under the Equality Act 2010. It means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.
It also requires that public bodies have due regard for the need to:
- eliminate discrimination
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.
The Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011 came into force in 2011. They require Welsh ministers to report on how devolved public authorities in Wales are meeting the Equality Duty.
Cooperation between policy-making and research
The Welsh Government and local authorities are working to introduce a strengthened and robust evidence base on the impact of youth work to inform and drive the development of a more consistent and high-quality national youth work offer across Wales.
National Statistics and available data sources
The Welsh Government produces an annual youth work report. This is used within the Welsh Government, and by local government and practitioners, to monitor trends in the membership, finance and staff of Youth Work provision in Wales. Data is collected as part of the Youth Work provision in Wales survey, which is undertaken in the summer of each year by the 22 local authorities (LAs) in Wales during the summer.
There are also a number of youth specific indicators which are of relevance:
- Statistics on the number of young people not in education, employment or training are compiled by the Welsh Government and published quarterly with an annual statistical report. The sources for the data in the release are education data sources, the Annual Population Survey and Office for National Statistics population estimates.
- StatsWales also produces statistics on the participation of adults and young people in education and the labour force. See also ‘Preventing Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET)'.
- The characteristics and attributes of children receiving care and support are collected via the children in need census and published annually by the Welsh Government.
- The Social Mobility Commission, an independent statutory body, publishes an annual report setting out its views on the progress made towards improving social mobility across the UK. Its most recent annual report, State of the nation 2018-2019 was published in April 2019.
- The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales collects data on the young people in the youth justice system. Annual statistics cover the flow of young people through the youth justice system, while general statistics cover offences resulting in a disposal, court remands, disposals, intensive supervision and surveillance programmes, and custody.
There are also a number of surveys which provide information about the health and well-being of young people. They include the Student Health and Well-being Survey, which aims to provide an in-depth understanding of young people's health and well-being, including the social determinants of health. The research in Wales forms part of an international study of adolescent health.
The Well-Being of Wales report considers progress against 46 national indicators (whose data is available on StatsWales) and is not specifically focused on young people, but contains statistics regarding participation in the labour market, education, training and participation in the arts. You can read the 2019 report here.
The Children and young people's wellbeing monitor Wales is a report to assess progress and design policies to improve outcomes for young people. It is an ad hoc series (the first was published in November 2008). It presents a multi-dimensional picture of children and young people (aged 0 to 25) using a variety of well-being indicators and other statistical and research sources. See also ‘Main Trends in the Health Conditions of Young People’. The latest publication is from 2015.
Budgetary Allocations supporting research in the youth field
No information on budgetary allocations supporting research in the youth field is available.