proMENTE AVSO research - impact of youth voluntary service in EuropePresentation Transcript
Shaping policy for voluntary service through research The impact of long-term youth voluntary service in Europe Steve Powell & Esad Bratović proMENTE social research, Sarajevo
In the headlines Lifelong learning Intercultural competence Compulsory service? Can volunteers fill more gaps in social services? Social cohesion Social inclusion Social capital European citizenship
Why research the impact of youth voluntary service?
Reason 1: voluntary service is increasing in popularity
Reason 2: feed into hot debates on youth policy
Voluntary or compulsory service?
Should volunteers play a major role in provision of social services?
Reason 3: help to improve quality
Reason 4: check claims
Reason 5: how to use the voluntary service toolbox
Vision Golden rules for „matchmaking“ volunteers to placements Voluntary service makes young people more tolerant than language study or gap years 5 out of 10 inter-cultural leaders were volunteers Girls benefit more from voluntary service than boys: what to do about it Voluntary service worth 4 Billion EUR in EU Social scientists agree that voluntary service is proven to produce more mature, tolerant young people EU adopts proven EVS model to encourage inter-religious dialogue in inner cities
unpaid or only for expenses
Voluntary service : a special form of voluntarism
+ intense (time-limited & full-time)
Youth voluntary service
+ youths: older than 15 - 18 and younger than 25 - 30
+ focus on personal growth
Impact studies …
… on long-term service…
… in Europe
The spirit of voluntary service
Long-term youth voluntary service is special
Has a long history
Now more than ever: rites of passage
It’s about values
What do we know about voluntary service impact
What do we still need to find out
Studies review ed
Over 300 documents analysed: published and unpublished research and evaluation studies
50 directly relevant to the impact of youth long-term voluntary service in Europe.
About 7 with acceptable research design
… a lot of anecdotal evidence …
Overview of findings Decreased career indecision active citizenship Future volunteers life-long learning Improved organisational climate? Reduced costs? less wasted time at schools better education & career choices
Value of services delivered
Personal growth interest in social studies broadened horizons Social & communication skills … Tolerance / intercultural competence / Improved staff skills? job creation? employability generic skills and work experience bridging social capital? improved discipline? Basic European identity intention to continue to volunteer? Potential to involve disadvantaged groups employment?
You get the impact you program for.
Voluntary service regularly produces those kinds of impact for which voluntary service by definition provides the input:
Personal growth, independence
Voluntary service can impact
Voluntary service reduces career indecision ????
… plus, with the right kind of service, placements, pre-departure training and mentorship, voluntary service can impact:
Social & communication skills and teamwork; networking; sense of belonging
Active citizenship / civic values / social activism
Tolerance / intercultural competence / bridging social capital
Basic European identity; attitudes to Europe / EU
Intention to continue to volunteer
Improved discipline; decreased crime and risk taking
But: "Ceiling effects"
Impact on community: social capital
Understanding between regions
Integration of less advantaged young people
Impact on community: economic capital
Preliminary analyses show that EVS probably does at the very least pay for itself in terms of the value of work done in relation to the cost of the program – and maybe much more
Good news …
Voluntary service works for everyone!
… but not everyone is doing it
3 models of how voluntary service can impact volunteer lives
Traditional volunteers – easy to find
Non-traditional volunteers – value for money
Volunteers with disadvantaged backgrounds – good results & social inclusion
Be aware of the extraordinary impact and future potential of voluntary service
Toolbox for social change – but we need more knowledge about what works
Program for specific goals
Minimum standards generally and for additional components
Mainstreaming other policy issues
Crossing the new borders: more cost-effective, more challenging, more relevant
Role of voluntary service in regional understanding
We only have anecdotal evidence
Stop wasting money on traditional evaluation approaches!