YouthPact is the Quality and Impact body for the EU Peace IV Children & Young People’s Programme.
YouthPact is a cross border partnership of four regional organisations: Co-operation Ireland (CI) (Lead Partner); Ulster University (UU); National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and Pobal. The role of YouthPact is for an impact support role and quality assurance role working with the projects directly working with young people, aged 14-24 years, across the 12 Northern counties.
The Children and Young People’s programme is a four-year programme, managed by the Special EU Programme Body (SEUPB) with the following specific objective:
To enhance the capacity of young people to form positive and effective relationships with others of a different background and make a positive contribution to building a cohesive society.
The programme will work with 7,400 young people who are most marginalised and disadvantaged completing programmes that develop their soft skills and a respect for diversity.
YouthPact will provide a series of activities to support, train, advise and signpost staff from the delivery projects. The purpose of the work is to maximise the impact of the programme by supporting a high-quality youth work approach, and nurturing a strong change and outcomes focus.
Support, development and enhancing delivery
3 development officers will work as a team to offer support and training for projects delivering to children and young people.
Development officers will be matched with delivery agents based on need. They will meet with delivery agents on average 4 times a year, with a minimum of 3 support meetings per year. Support meetings may be thematic, small scale training events; skype or on-line support; tracking progress of participants; identifying issues or barriers to progress; signposting and further participant opportunities discussed; problem and solution focused.
In the first four months development officers will have meetings with delivery agents to establish SWOT analysis, needs analysis, strengths and priorities. At these meetings individual tailored support plans will be created to establish learning needs and priorities for staff. The information gathered will feed into individual support plans tailored to each delivery agent. From these training calendars will be devised – one for Phase 1 and one for Phase 2 detailing learning events to cover the following themes:
- Good relations and peace-building
- Facilitating growth for and with young people
- Engagement with hard-to-reach groups
- What is youth work?
- Citizenship and building social activism
Further themes can be added depending on the needs of staff and direction of delivery agents.
Youth Participation and youth-led approaches
To support the development of youth participation mechanisms across delivery agents, YouthPact will run 6 Young Voices events for young people from each delivery agent to interact and input into the programme.
Practitioner support will also include the creation of online youth work resources by Ulster University and Maynooth University for sharing of information and best practice. This includes a new suite of online training materials through an Erasmus+ partnership 2017-2019. These support, development and enhancement activities will build the capacity and confidence across staff to deepen sustainable outcomes and impacts for young people.
Supporting, monitoring and measurement actions
Within four months development officers will establish what monitoring and measurement tools are being used by delivery projects.
Information gathered will feed into a co-designed monitoring framework for all projects. This will take account of the measurement tools and monitoring practices already in place by project deliverers, while also considering how to maximise the robustness of data captured.
YouthPact will identify ways to gather data to illustrate good practice from phase one, identifying good practice opportunities to be incorporated into stage two. Delivery barriers will also be identified and extra support measures put into place for specific project deliverers.
YouthPact will work with delivery agents to enhance their data collection methods to include measurement scales of distance travelled, with interviews, focus groups, case studies and stories.
The project manager and UU development officer will gather global evidence-based practice on youth work, peace-building and good relations through literature review and analysis.
These interventions will differ from the Programme evaluation as they will inform the development of best practice intervention models rather than impact assessment.
YouthPact will produce the ‘8 steps to inclusive youth work’ and 6 short practice and policy papers. These will capture emerging evidence-based practice from delivery agents and the depth of participant outcomes and change and will emerge from the materials generated through learning events.
3 large events will be run for all delivery agent staff. Each event will have a different focus, with quality and measurement in mind. The first will develop and disseminate the co-designed monitoring framework to all delivery agent staff.
The second will explore impact and models of practice from Stage One, with a view to adjusting the approaches of delivery agents for maximum impact.
The third, towards the programme end, will offer observations on impact, models of practice, distance travelled and policy perspectives.
Signposting and dissemination
All events will have signposting resources and people available with information stands from external organisations.
These will be delivery agents and from the networks of the four partners in YouthPact.
Signposting will be towards citizenship, personal opportunities, further development of personal and social capabilities to support long-term change.
An electronic dissemination point will be created to house all electronic resources and signposting information for project participants and delivery staff.
In accordance with the phased structure, a 2- phased reporting plan will be adopted:
A report on stage 1 outcomes/impacts detailing key recommendations on the direction for Stage Two delivery; Project Delivery patterns of concern or interest; illustration of stage 1 distance travelled; support and development priorities for Stage Two.
A report on stage 2 outcomes/impact to disseminate project methodologies which maximise transformational outcomes for targeted young people.
These monitoring, research and measurement actions will build consistency of approach, outcome and measurement across delivery projects to provide robust evidence-base for project results.
Sharing of resources and disseminating good practice will include establishing an electronic dissemination point; a project launch event; online resources; social media channels for practice and policy dissemination and sign-posting content; a project e-zine; profiling events through print media.