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Research approach and activities

The research-based analysis and monitoring of Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative social research methods and instruments: pre-studies, pre and post surveys with project participants, project leaders and key staff of beneficiary organizations, as well as with applicant organizations that were rejected; case studies of selected projects; interviews and focus groups with different actors involved in the Youth in Action Programme, as well as with youth leaders and youth workers not participating in the programme (control groups).

Based on the experience gained during the previous years the RAY Network continues and extends this research in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme (2014 – 2020) through three research Projects:

  • Research-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 (E+/YiA) in order to contribute to practice development, to improving the implementation of E+/YiA 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.

Download project description: Eplus_YiA_Monitoring

  • Research project on competence development and capacity building in Erasmus+: Youth in Action

The proposed study aims to explore processes, outcomes and impact of training activities for youth workers and youth leaders in Erasmus+: Youth in Action (E+/YiA), in particular training activities funded within Key Action 1 (Youth Worker Mobility), Key Action 2, Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCA) and other support mechanisms for the development and implementation of E+/YiA projects. In particular, the study aims to explore how these activities contribute to the competence development of youth workers and youth leaders, how they contribute to youth work practice, and how they affect the organisations involved in E+/YiA. This should lead to a better understanding of the systemic impact of training and support activities within E+/YiA. Furthermore, the study should also contribute to the quality development and strategic planning of Transnational Cooperation Activities (TCA) within E+/YiA.

Download project description: Eplus_YiA_Capacity

  • Research project on long-term effects of Erasmus+: Youth in Actionon participation and active citizenship

“How did it change my life?”- Looking back at their participation in an international youth mobility project at a later stage, participants are frequently quoted to have said: “it has changed my life”. In line with this quote, this study aims to explore long-term effects of participation in Erasmus+: Youth in Action (E+/YiA) on participants and project leaders, in particular with a focus on active citizenship and participation in society and in democratic life.

Download project description: Eplus_YiA_LongTermEffects


RAY in the Youth in Action Programme (2007-2013)

Based on concepts and research instruments created by a research team at the Institute of Educational Science of the University of Innsbruck in Austria (the research partner of the Austrian National Agency of Erasmus+: Youth in Action), two multilingual online questionnaires, currently in 18 languages, were developed – for participants and for project leaders of Youth in Action-funded projects.

In the context of the Youth in Action Programme (2007 – 2013) two standard surveys have been conducted on a regular basis from 2009 to 2014. Complementary ‘special surveys’ have focused on special issues related to the Youth in Action Programme. A special survey on learning in Youth in Action projects – in particular on conditions, contexts, methodologies and methods fostering learning – was developed in 2011/2012 and implemented in May and November 2012 in 15 countries and in 14 languages.

Additionally to the special surveys in May and November 2012, a joint approach and methodology using qualitative methods at national level (interviews with project leaders and focus groups with participants), aimed at validating the results of the surveys and further exploring the research questions, have been developed and were implemented in 2013.

Also in 2013 a special survey explored the effects of participation in projects funded through Youth in Action Programme on the level of competences.

Between October 2009 and November 2014, more than 132,000 participants and project leaders of Youth in Action projects were addressed to take part in RAY online surveys and nearly 41,000 persons completed the respective questionnaires.

The surveys have been implemented by the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Innsbruck in Austria in cooperation with the National Agencies and their research partners in Austria, Belgium (Flemish-speaking Community), Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and Turkey.