RAY MON » Research project on the evidence-based analysis and monitoring of Erasmus+ Youth in Action
This research project aims to explore a broad scope of aspects of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme in order to contribute to practice development, to improving the implementation of Erasmus+ Youth in Action and to the development of the next programme generation. This project is a further development of the ‘Standard Surveys’ conducted with participants and project leaders/teams within Youth in Action (2007-2013) and is a joint activity of all RAY Network partners.
Aims & Objectives
The aim of this project is to contribute to quality assurance and quality development in the implementation of Erasmus+ Youth in Action, to evidence-based and research-informed youth policy development and to a better understanding of learning mobility in the youth field.
The objectives of this project are to explore
- the effects of projects funded through Erasmus+ Youth in Action on the actors involved, in particular on project participants and project leaders/team members, but also on their organisations and on the local environments of these projects;
- the access to Erasmus+ Youth in Action at the level of young people (in particular of young people with fewer opportunities) as well as at the level of organisations, bodies and groups in the youth field;
- the profile of participants, project leaders/team members and organisations/groups/bodies involved in Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects;
- the development and management of funded projects;
- the implementation of Erasmus+ Youth in Action.
General research questions:
- What are the effects of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects on participants, project leaders/team members and their organisations/groups as well as on the local environments of these projects?
- What is the environment of Youth in Action projects, in particular with respect to the access to Erasmus+ Youth in Action, the development of projects, the profile of actors and organisations involved in the projects, the management of the projects and the support provided by the funding structures?
- How could the findings from this study contribute to practice development, in particular in view of the implementation of Erasmus+ Youth in Action and future Youth Programmes of the European Union?
- What are the effects of participating in Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects on the development of competences participants as well as of project leaders/team members involved in Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects? In particular, what are the effects of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects on their knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and behaviours?
- What are the effects of participating in Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects on educational and professional perspectives of participants as well as of project leaders/team members involved in Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects?
- What are the effects of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects on youth workers and youth leaders involved – either as participants or as project leaders/team members – with respect to the development of (international) youth work competences?
- To which extent are Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects in line with the objectives and priorities of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme? In particular, how do they contribute to participation of young people in democratic life, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, social inclusion, solidarity and participation in the labour market as well as to the development of youth work, international cooperation in the youth field, recognition of non-formal and informal learning and youth policy development?
- How do these effects differ depending on the types of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects, the type of experience (going abroad for a project or being involved in a project at home with participants from abroad) and the countries of residence of participants and project leaders?
- What is the profile of participants, project leaders and projects involved in Erasmus+: Youth in Action projects, in particular with respect to their educational or professional status, socio-economic and demographic background, educational attainment and previous experience with learning mobility? What does this say about the access to the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme?
In order to explore the research questions above, the research design is based on multilingual online surveys with project participants and project leaders/team members for the following reasons:
- Actors involved in projects funded through Erasmus+ Youth in Action will be surveyed two months or longer after the end of their project in order to provide for a more reflected and distant view at their experiences and the perceived effects. This implies that in case of international activities the actors involved in a project will have returned to their countries of residence and would be difficult to contact for face-to-face interviews or group discussions.
- Multilingual online surveys allow a large majority of actors to complete the questionnaires in their native language (or in a foreign language which they understand sufficiently).
- Surveying both project participants and project leaders/team members of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects through two different but coherent and interrelated questionnaires provide for a triangulation of responses, in particular with respect to the perceived effects on the participants by comparing the self-perception of participants and the external perception of project leaders/team members.
These surveys will be conducted on a regular basis during the programme duration (2014-2020) at least every second year, starting in 2015. In order to provide for comparable views on experiences and perceived effects of Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects, participants and project leaders/team members are invited to participate in these surveys between two and ten months after the end of their project. Each survey cycle will cover a representative sample of a full year of funded activities. The first cycle of surveys will cover projects ending in 2015. A transnational analysis of the data collected will be published in 2016, appended by national analysis reports. These surveys will provide data for effects as perceived by participants and project leaders. Further studies as to measure actual effects are envisaged during the course of Erasmus+ Youth in Action. They might also be complemented by qualitative research methods at national level and/or, at a later stage, also at transnational level. As far as possible, existing research instruments will be adapted and used.
The analysis will provide various differentiations, in particular
- by (sub-)Actions (in particular new project formats)
- by ‘sending’ and ‘hosting’ experiences (sending = going to another country for a project; hosting = participating in a project in one’s own country of residence)
- by socio-economic, education-related, demographic and biographical characteristics of respondents
- by countries for selected aspects for which country specific contexts and background information is available
A standardised sampling procedure should ensure that the responses are comparable by country and between surveys. Smaller countries might need larger samples than bigger countries in order to arrive at meaningful results at national level. Different sample sizes need to be weighted for a transnational analysis.
The mechanism of sampling should also try to avoid that the samples for the three RAY research projects are overlapping, i.e. that the same persons are surveyed for more than one RAY research project.
In order to be able to analyse the representativeness of the response data with respect to the profile of respondents (gender, age, educational and/or professional status, educational attainment, socioeconomic background, previous experience with learning mobility etc.) it is planned to develop an instrument to survey the actual profiles (anonymous survey on location of a representative sample of projects). This research instrument will be developed in 2016 in order to be implemented for the second survey cycle in 2017/18.
In order to be better able to analyse a comparison of the response data by country a special study is envisaged for 2016/17 in order explore country specific characteristics that might have an influence on the findings of this study, e.g. youth work, youth mobility, youth policies, governmental/political system, educational system, labour market etc. This could provide for the development of a theoretical model for youth work and learning mobility of young people in Europe.
At the end of the third survey cycle a longitudinal comparison between the three survey cycles will be produced.