The impact of the European youth programmes – News from the RAY Monitoring surveys
On 12 September, we hosted a panel discussion on first findings from the RAY Monitoring surveys and live streamed it directly from our annual RAY Network Meeting in Oslo.
The main aim of this panel discussion was to explore the newest findings from the RAY monitoring surveys which are conducted with beneficiaries and participants of the European youth programmes (Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps). First insights from data on European and transnational level as well as from national and regional contexts were the pillars of the discussion. Developments over time, main messages from the current surveys as well as transnational and national specifics along programme priorities were discussed. Going beyond a mere description, a discussion on the potential impact on and perspectives for practice and policy was also initiated.
The panel discussion can be re-watched here:
>> RAY YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYXhoBJm_AI
>> RAY Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/215389354851630/
Our panelists were:
>> Erlend Sand Bruer (RAY researcher for Norway)
Erlend Sand Bruer has been the Norwegian National Agency contact person for the RAY Network for several years, and also does many of the analyses of RAY Monitoring for Norway. He has experience in the youth field as a youth leader and organizer of several national and international events, especially using games to further the development in civil society in Norway and other countries. He has also worked with statistics about youth with fewer opportunities for several years as part of the Norwegian NA’s analysis department. He contributed to the panel with the Norwegian perspective on how they are using RAY-data and findings.
>> Stefan Georgiev (RAY researcher for Bulgaria)
Stefan Georgiev is a freelance trainer and a researcher in the field of youth, with a specific focus in the area of democratic processes, youth participation and youth policy. As a trainer, he is involved in a long term capacity building training program for the youth workers in the “National network of youth centers” in Bulgaria. Currently, his research focus in on the Bulgarian youth policy and how stakeholders’ hidden dynamics, powers and symbolic capitals influence the reproduction of the field. He contributed to the panel discussion with sharing his first insights from the monitoring surveys with a specific focus on participation both from Bulgarian and European perspective.
>> Ashley Pitschmann (RAY transnational research team)
Ashley Pitschmann is a Researcher at Youth Policy Labs, a small research agency and think tank in the youth sector. Her work with the transnational research team of the RAY Network have focused on a number of projects including the impact of the Corona pandemic on youth work in Europe, the monitoring of the effects and outcomes of the Erasmus+ Youth Programmes for project participants and leaders, and development and capacity building in Erasmus+ Youth in Action. In her contribution, she provided the transnational perspective on trends and insights from the renewed RAY Monitoring surveys.
>> Friedemann Schwenzer (RAY transnational research team)
Friedemann Schwenzer is a researcher at Youth Policy Labs, a research agency and think tank in the youth sector. He works at the intersections of youth work and research and focuses on European youth work. He is part of the RAY transnational research team. On the panel, he contributed with a transnational perspectives on the (renewed) RAY Monitoring surveys.
In 2008, the RAY Network was founded with the aim to contribute to quality assurance and quality development in the implementation of the European Union’s Youth in Action Programme (2007–2013). To that end, the initial network partners developed a framework for the first and core research project of the network: standard surveys for project participants and project teams. These standard surveys were further developed at the start of the next programme generation, Erasmus+ Youth in Action (2014–2020), resulting in this core research project on the research-based analysis and monitoring of Erasmus+ Youth in Action (RAY-MON), and subsequently to the research-based analysis and monitoring of the European Solidarity Corps (RAY-SOC). The studies are implemented in cooperation with all our RAY partner countries.
In the last programme period (2014-2020), a total of 53.144 project participants and a total of 10.789 project team members all over Europe and beyond fully responded to the RAY Monitoring surveys for Erasmus+ Youth.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic the RAY Network is surveying project participants and project team members of the Erasmus+ Youth and the European Solidarity Corps programmes. The surveys have been launched in June 2023 and will remain open until September 2023. The multilingual online surveys aiming at analysing the impact of the European Youth Programmes and their effects on individual, organisational, community and European levels. Project participants and project team members who were part or implemented an Erasmus+ Youth or European Solidarity Corps project within the current programme period are invited to reflect on the effects of the projects and activities (e.g. on participation and citizenship, digitalisation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion) and their own learning pathway and competence development. Furthermore, the effects on learning organisations and communities, the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, the recognition of youth work, the European dimension as well as the implementation of the programmes are thematised.
 Effects and outcomes of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action programme: RAY Comparative Research Report (2014-2020), Transnational Analysis: https://researchyouth.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/RAY-MON_Research-Report-20142020.pdf