Estonia was the first country in the world to develop and publish a national concept of smart youth work in 2016 to ensure continuous innovation in the youth sector and readiness to offer modern solutions at the times of technological changes and digital development. Smart youth work is a broader concept that bases its activities on the principles and general goals of youth policy and youth work and supports their achievement. Smart youth work is necessary in the modern world to diversify both the content of youth work and the way youth work services are offered and activities are carried out.

The aim of the research The best foreign practices in the field of smart youth work and their applicability in Estonia is to provide a comparative overview of smart youth work solutions in use in five countries, analyse the applicability of foreign practices in Estonian context, and give policy recommendations to ensure the further development of smart youth work services in Estonia. For this purpose, in addition to document analysis, we will conduct several interviews with youth work policy-makers and practitioners, and together with those active in the Estonian youth work sector, we will investigate which foreign practices could be introduced in Estonia and why and how to do it. As a result of the project, a final report will be prepared, which describes the institutional organization of smart youth work in Estonia, Finland, Norway, Germany and Ireland, followed by a mapping of the best practices of foreign countries and an analysis of their applicability in Estonia. In addition, we summarize the most important results of the project in a format of a brief summary.

This research project is commissioned by the Education and Youth Board. The activities are implemented within the framework of the support measure “Smart solutions in youth work”, which is financed from the project “Digital leap in the field of youth” approved by the Minister of Social Affairs and implemented by the Education and Youth Board, co-financed by the European Economic Area and Norway.