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Education and Culture
Youth, Sport and Citizenship Youth in Action
STRATEGY FOR DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE « YOUTH IN ACTION » PROGRAMME (2007-2013)
INTRODUCTION One of the main features of the Youth in Action programme is its capability to reach citizens directly by supporting thousands of small and medium-sized projects every year. Projects supported through the programme have a direct impact on the individuals (young people and youth workers) who take part in these activities, as well as an indirect impact on those civil society and government actors (organisations and other bodies that benefit from the multiplier effect of these projects). Furthermore, the large number of projects receiving financial support through Youth in Action constitutes a critical mass enabling the programme to potentially have an impact on policymaking processes affecting young people, as well as on the design and implementation of programmes and initiatives aimed at young people at national, regional and local level. Based on these considerations, this strategy addresses the challenges of "impact" and "visibility" in the overall context of the Youth in Action programme; it aims to provide a consistent, co-ordinated and strategic approach to dissemination and exploitation measures carried out by different actors in the programme, with a view to maximising the value of Youth in Action in Europe.
BACKGROUND The final evaluation of the YOUTH programme has shown that it was able to provide a contribution to the construction of the European Union and had a significant impact on young people, youth workers and organisations. However, the findings of the evaluation underlined the fact that this impact could have been even more effective if the results had been disseminated and used in an optimal manner. In preparing the new-generation Youth in Action programme the Commission therefore placed strong emphasis on issues relating to dissemination and exploitation of the results of the various projects and programmes. In this vein, one of the key innovative elements introduced under the Youth in Action programme was the explicit reference in the legal basis of the programme to dissemination and exploitation measures, as well as the establishment of a specific measure – sub-Action 4.8 "Adding value to the programme".
AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY The dissemination and exploitation of results strategy (hereinafter "DEOR Strategy") is aimed at adapting the principles and practices of dissemination and exploitation of results devised by the European Commission's DG for Education and Culture to the specific “design” of the Youth in Action programme. This adaptation takes into account the nature of the expected results and the intended users of these results; it also considers how the eventual results are likely to benefit the users and, finally, how those users are most likely to be reached. This aims of the approach introduced in this strategy are to: – optimise the value of Youth in Action projects;
– improve the sustainability of results; – strengthen the impact of the projects; – transfer results; – enhance the impact and visibility of the programme; – feed policy-processes and programming with results from the programme. 4. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION OF RESULTS 4.1. What do we mean by "dissemination and exploitation of results"?
From a content point of view, a distinction has to be made between dissemination and exploitation measures: • “Dissemination”, is derived from the Latin for "abroad" (dis) and "seed" (semin). To disseminate simply means to “spread widely”. Dissemination is a planned process of providing information on the quality, relevance and effectiveness of the results of projects – and the programme - to key actors. Dissemination occurs as and when the results of projects/programme become available. • "Exploitation", in its positive meaning, is considered as “making use of and deriving benefit from (a resource)”. The Commission divides exploitation measures into two distinct categories: mainstreaming and multiplication. Mainstreaming is “the planned process of transferring the successful results of projects and programmes to appropriate decisionmakers in regulated local, regional, national or European systems”. Multiplication, on the other hand, is “the planned process of convincing individual end-users to adopt and/or apply the results of programmes and initiatives.” 4.2. What are the main layers of the strategy?
The Commission strongly believes that the Youth in Action programme – by virtue of its objectives and supported measures - is a potential carrier of models, practices and experiences that are likely to have a profound impact on various segments of European society, and in particular on the new generations of young European citizens. This potential needs to be translated into an effective maximised impact by establishing a DEOR strategy based on three levels of intervention:
1. Micro level – basic projects Consideration: the programme supports thousands of projects every year; dissemination and exploitation of the results of measures is an essential component of each supported project. DEOR measures at micro level: optimising the value of Youth in Action projects o all promoters are required to reflect on dissemination and exploitation measures to be carried out during their project o the quality of dissemination and exploitation of project results is systematically taken into consideration within the project assessment process strengthening the impact of the projects: o under certain actions of the programme, additional financial support is granted to those projects that include additional measures on dissemination and exploitation of project results
2. Intermediate level – structuring measures Consideration: specific sub-actions of the programme, and the possibility of combining basic projects, may lend added value and increased impact to the programme. DEOR measures at intermediate level: strengthening the impact of the projects o Multi-measure projects o New generation of European Voluntary Service o Call for proposals on Partnerships (optimising the participation of public bodies and European Youth NGOs in the programme) transferring results and improving their sustainability: o Call for proposals on Thematic Networks o Call for proposals supporting information activities for young people and youth workers optimising the value of Youth in Action projects o Call for proposals encouraging innovation and quality strengthening the impact of the projects/improving the sustainability of results: o National Agencies' Training and Cooperation Plans
3. Macro level – impact of the Programme Consideration: By means of a systemic collection, analysis and synthesis of measures developed at micro and intermediate level, the results of the Programme are disseminated and used with a view to enhancing the impact and visibility of the Programme, as well as to feeding policy processes at European and national levels. DEOR measures at macro level: enhancing the impact of the Programme: o showcasing project results during the European Youth Week o showcasing project results in the European Youth Portal o producing project compendia and success stories to be disseminated through websites and other channels Feeding policy processes and funding schemes at national level o labelling: the Programme as a model to foster policy and programming interventions at national, regional and local level o supporting capacity-building for bodies (NGOs) supporting youth affairs in the national, regional, local political agenda Feeding policy processes at European level o evidence-based contributions to the reflection under the European Policy Framework on youth o mainstreaming youth (European Youth Pact) and promoting recognition of non-formal learning (Youthpass/Europass) o supporting bodies (ENGOs) that encourage greater consideration of youth matters in the EU political agenda
INSTRUMENTS TO ACHIEVE THE AIMS OF THE STRATEGY The three layers of the strategy are underpinned by the following set of instruments: 1) the regulatory framework for dissemination and exploitation of results measures as described in the main implementing documents of the programme, 2) the web, audiovisual and IT tools and 3) the activities/events organised by the different actors involved in the programme. 5.1. Regulatory framework 5.1.1. Legal basis of the Youth in Action Programme
The Decision of the Council and the European Parliament establishing the Youth in Action Programme states that: "The actions implementing the general and specific objectives of the Programme support small-scale projects promoting the active participation of young people, while ensuring the European visibility and impact of projects". Further references to impact, dissemination and exploitation of results are made in various paragraphs of the text and relate to: – Sub-Action 4.8, "Adding value to the Programme"
“The Commission may organise seminars, colloquia or meetings to facilitate the implementation of the Programme and undertake appropriate information, publication and dissemination actions as well as Programme monitoring and evaluation...” – Sub-Action 3.1, "Cooperation with the neighbouring countries of the EU" “This measure also supports activities promoting cooperation in the field of youth with the neighbouring countries, e.g. promoting cooperation in the field of youth, as well as other promotion and dissemination measures regarding the results of the projects and activities supported in the countries concerned in the field of youth.” – Sub-Action 5.1, "Meetings of young people and those responsible for youth policy" “The activities include, in particular, promoting cooperation and the exchange of ideas and good practices in the field of youth… and other measures to exploit and disseminate the results of the projects and the results of the Community’s activities in the field of youth.” 5.1.2. Guide to the Youth in Action Programme
The Guide to the Youth in Action Programme takes into account the DEOR dimension at three different levels: (1) First level - minimum publicity requirements
The Programme Guide underlines an obligation of a minimum level of publicity for each granted project. Beneficiaries must clearly acknowledge the European Union’s support in all communications or publications, in whatever form or whatever medium, including the Internet, or on the occasion of activities for which the grant is used. This must be done by way of using the Youth in Action Programme logo, accompanied by the sentence: "This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein." If these provisions are not fully complied with, the beneficiary’s grant may be reduced. (2) Second level – DEOR activities as essential component of all Youth in Action projects
Apart from measures ensuring publicity of the European Commission in the project, the Programme Guide further lays down the principle that DEOR activities - as well as all kind of activities aiming at increasing the impact and visibility of the project and the Programme - are an essential qualitative component of each project receiving support from Youth in Action. The objective is to systematically increase the visibility and the long-term impact of the projects, giving added value to the resources spent.
With this regard, promoters of Youth in Action projects are encouraged to take into account the principle of DEOR when planning their activities. They are asked to pass on the experience
gained to other groups, as well as to their local communities, to local, national or European representatives, to the media and to other multipliers, and also to create websites, ‘press releases’, articles for local papers, newsletters other initiatives suggested in the section "how to develop a good project?" of the Programme Guide. The quality of DEOR activities of each Youth in Action project is assessed against a specific award criterion that relate to the "quality of project's reach". (3) Third level – Additional DEOR activities
Under some Actions or sub-Actions – and namely under sub-Action 1.1, 1.2 and 3.1, as well as under Action 2 - the Youth in Action Programme grants a specific extra support to projects setting up additional DEOR measures in view to spread and highlight the value of their project's results. Additional dissemination and exploitation measures may consist on: organising public events (presentations, conferences, workshops…); creating audio-visual products (CD-Rom, DVD...); setting up long-term collaboration with media (series of radio/TV/press contributions, interviews, participation in different radio/TV programmes…); developing information material (newsletters, brochures, booklets, best practice manuals…); creating an Internet portal, etc… 5.1.3. Calls for proposals
Within the Youth in Action Programme, the following specific calls for proposals are likely to bring an additional dimension to DEOR measures: • Call for pilot projects - Thematic networking in Action 1 This call for proposals will target youth organisations, structures, networks and other youth actors wishing to carry out projects linking Action 1 projects in a thematic way in order to give them a structure, to increase their impact and sustainability, and to pool experiences in a specific thematic field. These projects must ensure high visibility and provide for dissemination of the results to a wide audience at local and regional level and possibly at national and/or European level. • Call for proposals – Cooperation with Other Partner Countries of the world The aims of this call for proposals implementing Action 3.2 of the Youth in Action Programme are to exchange experience and best practice in the field of youth and to contribute to the development of youth policies and youth work in the countries targeted by the call. Projects funded under this call will need to demonstrate a multiplier effect and a sustainable impact on the largest possible number of young people, ensure high visibility and provide for dissemination of the results to a wider audience. • Call for the submission of projects encouraging innovation and quality This call for proposals, which targets the introduction, implementation and promotion of innovative and qualitative elements in non-formal education and youth work, is used to enhance and strengthen the transferability of projects' results to a wider public. Projects funded under this call must contribute to European cooperation in youth matters and lead to the creation or consolidation of strong partnerships between youth organisations and regional or local authorities.
• Call for proposals for projects supporting information activities for young people and youth workers The aim of this call for proposals is to provide funding for projects that support information activities for young people and youth workers. The specific objectives of this call include: to support projects which promote information and communication actions with a European dimension; to enhance the dissemination of quality information and increase young people’s access to information and to various channels of communication; to encourage the participation of young people in public life and to facilitate the achievement of their potential as active, responsible European citizens. Projects funded under this call will have a strong potential for dissemination and exploitation; they could help to improve the quality of youth information within the EU and stimulate activities at European level. Information products and activities are naturally based on the sharing of experiences and best practices at trans-national level and they stimulate dialogue and co-operation across national and cultural boundaries. • Call for proposals - Partnerships This call involves the funding of partnerships in order to enhance the visibility of the Youth in Action Programme and to develop long-term projects which combine various measures included in the Programme. Projects funded under this call have a positive and wide impact in terms of dissemination and exploitation at Programme level. They foster and develop the full potential of the results already achieved under the Youth in Action Programme by creating a virtuous cycle of influence, making outcomes more sustainable, maximising the impact of the Programme, optimising investment and pooling knowledge. 5.1.4. Work plans of National Agencies
National Agencies envisage dissemination and exploitation of results activities on an annual basis in their work plans. Work plans are based on Terms of Reference, which have been recently updated in order to better integrate the dissemination and exploitation of the results dimension. 5.2. Tools 5.2.1. Websites
The websites of the Commission, the Executive Agency and the National Agencies and the SALTO website are essential instruments for promoting the Programme and its results. Up to 2007, the focus was on the Programme's content and the administrative procedures. From 2008 on, the websites will be used more systematically to disseminate project results, methods and best practices. The European Commission's youth website has been completely revamped to give it a more user-friendly look and approach. Success stories and best examples of successful projects and best practices are part of the new website and are regularly updated. Compendia of successful projects should be included wherever possible 5.2.2. European Youth Portal
The European Youth Portal will continue to play an important role in informing young people and youth organisations, in particular, about the Commission’s activities in the field of youth. It can be used to increase the linkage between the Youth in Action Programme and political cooperation in the youth field.
Youthlink is an important tool providing accurate data and figures about the Programme. The mandatory general use of Youthlink provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the implementation of the Youth in Action Programme in all Programme and Partner Countries, and thus makes a strong contribution to the effective implementation of the DEOR strategy. 5.2.4. EVE
DG EAC is developing an electronic tool EVE which is the multilingual, interactive, public platform for the dissemination and exploitation of results of all actions and projects supported by DG Education and Culture (DG EAC). Its aim is to facilitate access to the results of programmes and projects. Making the results easily accessible is most important for developing them further and increasing their impact and visibility. EVE encompasses all fields of action in DG EAC: education, training, culture, youth, civil society, multilingualism and sport. EVE is addressed to all actors involved in DG EAC fields of action, as well as the wide or specialised public looking for information, like: Project promoters or beneficiaries like students or young people; Educational and training bodies, teachers, trainers, enterprises, researchers, youth and cultural organisations, artists, NGOs, sport or language specialists; National, regional or local authorities; DG EAC programme managers; Decision- and policy makers; European citizens and the wide public. EVE is supposed to be a virtual meeting place for European citizens to exchange and share best practice, experiences and innovative outcomes from Youth in Action Programme and from all Programmes managed by DG EAC. 5.2.5. SALTO toolbox
Under the YOUTH Programme, SALTO Resource Centres have developed a toolbox database offering methods and tools to support youth workers and trainers and to make the successful instruments developed during YOUTH projects available to the public. This database will be maintained and extended under Youth in Action. 5.2.6. Youthnet
The extranet system, Youthnet, developed by the SALTO Information Resource Centre, is used as a dissemination tool for the National Agency staff to inform each other on best practice amongst project promoters and on project results. 5.2.7. Youthpass
The learning achievements of programme participants are recognised by means of a Youthpass. By means of the Youthpass the Commission ensures that the learning and education experience gained through the Youth in Action Programme is recognised. This document also serves to enhance the value and visibility of the learning achievements and, as such, to make project results more sustainable. The Youthpass can therefore be considered as one of the principal instruments for dissemination and exploitation of results of the Programme.
Activities 5.3.1. European Youth Week
A European Youth Week is organised every 18 months in cooperation with National Agencies, the SALTO Resource Centres, the Eurodesk network and the European Youth Forum. Its thematic focus is on social inclusion and diversity of young people in the EU. It further serves to raise awareness of the Youth in Action Programme and to promote best practices supported by the Programme. 5.3.2. Staff trainings
Staff training for heads of National Agencies and staff training sessions on all Actions of the Programme are organised by the Commission on a regular basis. During these staff training sessions, dissemination and exploitation of results workshops are offered in cooperation with the Communication Unit of DG Education and Culture. Information Officers of the National Agencies and of the Eurodesk Network were informed by the Commission at their annual meeting in November 2006 about the priority importance of dissemination and exploitation of results. Annual training of Information officers of National Agencies is organised on a regular basis by the European Commission and SALTO Resource Centre Information. Dissemination and exploitation of results will be the main feature on the agenda of these training events. These sessions also provide an important platform for exchanging and sharing best practices and experiences of dissemination and exploitation of results activities among National Agencies. 5.3.3. Events organised by National Agencies and SALTOs
National Agencies and SALTOs are invited to organise evaluation, monitoring and networking seminars aimed at the dissemination and exploitation of project results. They are also encouraged to share and exchange experiences and best practices related to the dissemination and exploitation of results mechanisms. 5.3.4. Training and Cooperation Plans (TCPs)
The Training and Cooperation Plans (TCPs) of the National Agencies are an important instrument providing quality support for the Youth in Action Programme. National Agencies will be asked to systematically include activities (training courses, seminars, other events) that focus on dissemination and exploitation of results.
DIVISION OF TASKS In order to make the dissemination and exploitation of results successful, the relevant strategies have to be implemented at different levels.
DG Education and Culture
DG EAC offers guidance, advice and support to the National Agencies implementing the dissemination and exploitation of results strategy at decentralised level. 6.2. Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency
The Executive Agency will be in charge of the dissemination and exploitation of the results of projects selected centrally. The Executive Agency may also cooperate with DG EAC in offering guidance, advice and support to National Agencies. 6.3. National Agencies
National Agencies are essential actors of the DEOR strategy. Being called to implement the Programme at national level, they have a key role in: – optimising the value of Youth in Action projects, by selecting projects that are likely to have the greatest reach in terms of impact and visibility ; – improving the sustainability and transferability of results, by facilitating contacts between project promoters (partnership-building activities or seminars organised in the framework of their TCPs); – enhancing the impact and visibility of the programme through series of DEOR events organised at national, regional and local level; – transferring results, from micro and intermediate level to the macro level; – feeding policy-processes and national/regional granting schemes with results from the Programme. National Agencies are asked to plan, and describe in their annual work plans, their national measures aimed at the dissemination and exploitation of results covering relevant stakeholders in the youth sector, as well as those measures that are aimed at increasing the Programme’s visibility. 6.4. SALTO Resource Centres
The SALTO Resource Centres are well equipped to implement the new approach to dissemination and exploitation of results. Their aim is to help improve the quality of projects in the priority fields. They organise training courses, forums and partnership-building activities and develop training and youth work methods and tools, as well as publications and a website; they also provide databases of the trainers, other resource persons and tools in the field of youth work. SALTO Resource Centres are invited to focus their different activities on dissemination and exploitation of results. 6.5. Eurodesk network
The Eurodesk Network supports the dissemination of information regarding the Youth in Action Programme. The Eurodesk national partners deliver a range of public European services and they can contribute to increase the awareness and participation to the Programme.
Like National Agencies, promoters involved in Youth in Action Projects are key actors of a successful DEOR strategy. The Programme stresses the fact that each promoter should reflect, at its level - on how to disseminate and exploit the results of its project whether it be simply at
local level, or to a wider audience and greater number of targeted actors. With this regard, the Commission, the Executive Agency, the National Agencies and the SALTOs will offer monitoring, advice and guidance in view to making these DEOR activities effective and of good quality .
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