proMENTE AVSO research - impact of youth voluntary service in Europe
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    proMENTE AVSO research - impact of youth voluntary service in Europe proMENTE AVSO research - impact of youth voluntary service in Europe Presentation 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
    • Definitions
      • Voluntarism:
        • freely chosen
        • unpaid or only for expenses
        • structured
        • benefits strangers
      • 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
        • + non-skilled
        • + 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
    • Survey purpose
      • 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      • Over 300 documents analysed: published and unpublished research and evaluation studies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?
    • Main result
      • You get the impact you program for.
    • So …
      • Voluntary service regularly produces those kinds of impact for which voluntary service by definition provides the input:
        • Personal growth, independence
        • Career orientation
    • Human capital
      • Voluntary service can impact
        • Employment ?
        • Employability
    • Voluntary service reduces career indecision ????
    • Social capital
      • … 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
    • Recommendations
      • 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
        • Recognition
        • 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!
      • We need an impact measurement framework
        • Generic enough for voluntarism as a whole
        • Improve volunteer/placement fit – matchmaking
        • This research was funded by the Ford Foundation!