Studying the impact of international youth work. Towards developing an evaluation tool for youth centres

Anu Gretschel (ed.), Tina Cupar, Merle Linno, Tomi Kiilakoski, Noora Hästbacka & Antti Korhonen

Studying the Impact of International Youth Work – Towards developing an evaluation tool for youth centres focuses on the international youth work of youth centres in three European countries.


Studying the Impact of International Youth Work – Towards developing an evaluation tool for youth centres focuses on the international youth work of youth centres in three European countries. By studying the impact of international youth work, this publication offers a comprehensive evaluation tool that can improve how youth centres engage in international activity.
The origin of the publication lies in youth centres and their national associations in Finland, Estonia and Slovenia, and in the jointly implemented Erasmus+ funded research project: Boost Your Possibilities! – Youth Centres for Youth Mobility and Intercultural Learning: Impact of Internationality (2015– 2017).
The aim of the project was to investigate the competence gained by young people via international youth work enabled by the youth centres. An important aspect of the project involved participatory ways of working collaboratively with young people in order to obtain detailed information on the issues they consider important. In addition to participatory methods involving young people, members of the youth centres’ personnel were interviewed to discover what they think constitutes successful international youth work.

ISBN 978-952-67766-4-4 (nid.)
ISBN 978-952-67766-5-1 (PDF), ISBN 978-952-67766-6-8 (EPUB)
Ulkoasu: nidottu
Kieli: englanti
Sivumäärä: n. 75
Helsinki: Finnish Youth Centres Association. Suomen nuorisokeskusyhdistyksen julkaisuja, 1/2017. Finnish Youth Research Society/Finnish Youth Research Network, Internet Publications 113.

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Table of contents

Summary 5

Introduction 6

Part I Defining what international youth work is and why it is important by storytelling

1. Telling stories and mapping the content with the IDYW cornerstones of youth work 11
1.1 The results of the workshop: analysing the meaning of the ’key-story’ together 13
1.2 Analysing seven stories on what constitutes international youth work 14
1.3 Summary of the storytelling process: youth work in international contexts 20
Part II Young peoples’ experiences of the impact of international activity offered by youth centres – results of the pilot survey in Finland, Estonia and Slovenia

2. How international activity has affected young people 22

2.1 The content of the survey 22 2.2 Project selection criteria in the study 25
Case: Youth Banks on the Move 27
2.3 Profiling the young people who responded to the survey 27

3. Evidencing competence growth in international youth work: results of the pilot survey 30

3.1 The importance of international activity on different aspects of life 30
3.2 Impact on competence development 32

4. Communicating the ongoing and the future 35

4.1 Young people were active in sharing their experiences with others 35
4.2 Committed to further participation 37

5. What young people tell their peers: importance of becoming friends 38

6. Meaningfulness of international activity as perceived by young people 40

7. Summary of the results of the pilot survey 42
Part III More on the impact of youth work and what is required of youth centres and beyond 8. Interviewing youth centre personnel 45 8.1 Youth work results 47

8.2 Promoting youth work expertise in internationality 50

8.3 Economic impact: distribution of benefits in euros 52

8.4 About previously used evaluation methods 52

Part IV Multivoicing the understanding of development needs of international youth work practices in the youth centres

9. Including young people and decision makers in discussion: Deliberative Discussion Day 56

Part V 59 Completing the jigsaw: what type of evaluation tool do youth centres need?

10. All youth centre roles must be covered by the evaluation tool 60

Appendices 1–3 64