In 2013, youth monitoring focuses on the evaluation of impact and effectiveness of youth policy and youth work. The evaluation of policy can help improve the quality of decisions, explain the need to include interest group, include involved parties and apply more efficient policies.
Youth policy and youth work are designed for certain goals. The evaluation of impact consists in identifying the relationship between the designed activity and the desired change.
However, evaluating the impact of youth work is complicated because:
the development of young people is influenced by various factors: education, media, domestic environment, etc. Distinguishing the impact of youth policy and youth work among these factors is complicated.
a momentary assessment by a young person and bystanders (parents, youth workers, etc.) collected by a questionnaire does not confirm effectiveness in the long term.
the change for a young person might not be noticeable on the societal level.
- A complete overview of the societal value of youth work must involve different methods (evaluation of impact, self-assessment and monitoring) and levels (individual, organization, local government, state).
Youth studies should be more systematic. Although the amount of studies is high, the networking of youth researches is underdeveloped. Systematic youth studies could be a foundation for evaluating youth work. Youth monitoring contributes to achieving this goal.
Youth Policy Council at the direction of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research could act as an evaluation panel. Studies conducted within youth monitoring would contribute to the work of the evaluation panel.
- Monitoring the implementation of the Youth Domain Development Plan 2014–2020 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2014–2020) is the next phase in evaluating the impact of youth work. However, since the development plan is not designed to include youth work as a whole, it is not sufficient for evaluating the societal value of youth work. Therefore, purposeful activity for identifying, understanding, evaluating and reinforcing the influence of youth work must continue.