Implementation and adaption of
new strategies in specific youth contexts
In many countries, youth work strategies are an integral part of the national educational and social system, implemented by professional youth workers. In other countries, youth work is practiced without it being formally incorporated into these systems, mainly performed by youth organizations and paid workers/volunteers who have experience or are educated in a field close to work with or education of young people. In another set of countries, youth work is a combination of these two forms.
The purpose of this module is to underline the necessity for implementing and adapting new strategies for work with young people, and to provide youth workers with knowledge that can help them in adapting and implementing their strategies for youth work in their specific youth contexts.
- to help youth workers better understand the process and steps of implementing a new strategy for youth work;
- to prepare youth workers for possible challenges in the implementation or adaptation of a new strategy for youth work;
- to introduce youth workers to the EU Youth Strategy, as a key youth strategy that sets priorities in youth work at European level;
- to provide youth workers with an opportunity to learn from previous experiences in implementing and adapting a new strategy for youth work.
Upon completion of this module, participants/learners/youth workers are expected to:
- be able to successfully implement and/or adapt a new strategy for youth work in their community;
- be better prepared for potential challenges that might affect the implementation and/or adaptation of a new strategy for youth work in their community;
- be better acquainted with the priorities of the EU Youth Strategy, which their specific youth work policies and goals can be based on.
1. Steps of implementing a
new strategy for youth work
Strategy implementation is the translation of a certain strategy into organized action in order to achieve strategic objectives. The success of youth workers and the strategies they develop largely depends on the youth workers’ capacity to implement their plans and decisions in an effective manner. To facilitate this crucial process, it is useful to divide and observe the implementation of the strategy in several steps.
Key Steps in Implementing a Strategy for Youth Work
1. Preparing an action plan and identifying potential obstacles
2. Defining roles and responsibilities and assigning tasks
3. Monitoring performance and progress
4. Adjusting and correcting action
5. Closing and reviewing implementation
The first step in implementing a new strategy is preparing a detailed action plan with concrete and clear description of timelines, activities, approaches and resources to be used. If you do not have a clear image of what you are attempting to achieve and how to achieve it, realizing your strategy can be difficult.
It is of outmost importance to define an action plan that is achievable and that correspond to your capacity, resources and circumstances. Engaging into a plan and goals that are not realistic can lead to disappointment, lack of energy and motivation for work of your team.
Another important point when preparing the action plan is to analyze what potential obstacles may take place in one or several stages of the project and jeopardize the achievement of the project objectives, and prepare possible solutions to these risks. The better prepared you are, the more successful the implementation will be.
2. Challenges in implementing
a new strategy for youth work
2. Challenges in implementing a new strategy for youth work
The implementation of a new strategy may often be hindered by a variety of challenges. Understanding the most common and biggest potential challenges to the process of implementing the strategy listed below will help you avoid or be better prepared for overcoming these obstacles.
The strategy should have clear and achievable objectives, well-planned timelines, an appropriate division of roles and responsibilities, detailed analysis of resources available and resources needed. These are the foundations of the strategy and they need to be carefully prepared in order for the strategy to deliver the desired results. Therefore, work on outlining a stable and realistic strategy as long as necessary. Try not to set objectives and milestones that are hardly manageable. Do not delegate unclear responsibilities or an overwhelming amount of work to be done too fast and in narrow deadlines. Envision the process of implementation of the strategy before it starts.
3. Review of key youth strategies:
EU Youth Strategy
According to the United Nations, young people aged 10 to 24 account for one quarter of the world’s total population today, making it the largest generation of young people in history. It is the competences, ambitions and achievements of these 1.8 billion people that will shape the future. Considering the importance of the personal and professional development of young people for the development of societies, work with youth and for youth has become a priority at national, European and global level, resulting in the creation and implementation of different youth policies in different countries.
In the section below, you can find information about the main features and the essence of the the EU Youth Strategy, as one of the most relevant agendas aimed at youth development.
Based on a resolution adopted by the Council of the European Union in 2018, the EU Youth Strategy is the framework for EU youth policy cooperation for 2019-2027. It is a plan aimed at encouraging youth participation in democratic life, supporting social and civic engagement and ensuring that all young people have the necessary resources to take part in society.
In particular, the EU Youth Strategy focuses on the following 11 European Youth Goals, proposed by and reflecting the views of European youth:
1. Connecting EU with Youth
2. Equality of All Genders
3. Inclusive Societies
4. Information & Constructive Dialogue
5. Mental Health & Wellbeing
6. Moving Rural Youth Forward
7. Quality Employment for All
8. Quality Learning
9. Space and Participation for All
10. Sustainable Green Europe
11. Youth Organisations & European Programmes
The Strategy is centered around three key forms of action: engage, connect, empower.
4. Case study
In 2015, following a decision of the Council of the Municipality of Bitola, the Local Youth Council of the Municipality of Bitola was formed, together with its Youth Strategy for the period 2014-2019.
The goals of the Youth Strategy of the Local Youth Council of the Municipality of Bitola were as follows:
– Fostering active cooperation with and engaging young people in local policies;
-Establishing an institutionalized dialogue between the Municipality and the local youth through;
– Fostering youth activism and participation of young people in society;
– Increasing the availability of non-formal education in secondary schools;
– Supporting the employment of young people.
In order to implement the Youth Strategy, the following steps were undertaken:
– Participation of members of the Local Youth Council in a series of trainings organized by OSCE in Macedonia aimed at building capacities of local youth council in Macedonia;
– Setting up an annual action plan in collaboration with the Municipality, defining timeframes, priority fields of action and forming teams heading each of the five priorities;
– Organizing meetings with local non-governmental organizations, secondary schools, the University of Bitola and representatives of the youth of the dominant political parties;
– Monthly meetings of the Local Youth Council for reporting about the realization of the action plan and intervening when necessary;
– Final analysis of the results of the implementation of the Youth Strategy and reporting to the Council of the Municipality of Bitola through a public presentation and debate.