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First findings of the RAY Corona research project out now!

The impact of the Corona pandemic on youth work in Europe

In the first phase of this research project, RAY has conducted a literature review & an initial survey.

Update! Policy Brief – Youth work and corona pandemic in Europe

We have now published a first policy brief with key findings from the initial survey and literature review.

Key findings/content

  • The pandemic has shaken youth work to the core
  • The economic effects of the pandemic are severe
  • Youth work is experimenting and adapting quickly
  • Youth work helps young people to navigate the crisis
  • Marginalised young people are too often out of reach
The policy brief can be found in the section reports‘ and here


Literature review

The aim was to map the main directions of literature on young people in pandemics, generally, and as far as that is already possible, first key insights from literature on young people during COVID-19.

Key recommendations

Emerging from the literature, some key recommendations include

  • the need to recognise the massive toll the pandemic has had on the mental health of young people,
  • ensure adequate funding and support through youth policy for these young people,
  • incorporate young people in policy development and decision making for the recovery process,
  • as well as develop innovative solutions that ensure youth work can fulfil its function as an essential service for young people.

The literature review can be found in the section ‘reports‘ and here

Initial survey – a data snapshot

In June and July 2020, RAY ran a first initial survey (in English) on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on youth work in Europe.

Some facts: 1.718 responses over a duration of six weeks were collected, of which 938 responses were considered as valid. 560 valid respondents opted for the strand youth workers and youth leaders, whereas 378 respondents opted for the strand for young people participating in and contributing to youth work

Key findings

  • 74% of responding young people agree that being involved in youth work (during the pandemic) gave them something meaningful to do and something to look forward to
  • 70% of responding youth workers and youth leaders stated that the coronavirus pandemic has affected their own youth work majorly and for 23% moderately.
  • 54% of responding young people stated that the coronavirus pandemic has affected heir access to youth activities or projects majorly and for 25% moderately
  • Almost all aspects of youth work have been affected majorly: youth work spaces (69%), youth work methods (52%), youth work timing (47%) and youth work tools (46%).
  • Most organisations have seen delays and interruptions to much of their youth work; 74% of organisations participating in the survey had to close their office temporarily.
  • 84% of responding youth workers and youth leaders say that they are addressing the pandemic and its effects in their own youth work.
  • A key aspect of youth work’s response across Europe is striving to transfer its work to online environments. 17% of respondents say that all of their youth work has been transferred online already; 7% say that none of their youth work has been transferred yet. The vast majority of the sector lies in between these two points.

The report of the initial survey can be found in the section ‘reports‘ and here 


What’s next?

  • Conducting a second, more detailed main survey (multilingual) (open from end of September)
  • Expert interviews etc. on transnational research level
  • RAY partner countries have also the possibility to implement some national modules, e.g. case studies during this and next year
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