Super Youth Worker

Super Youth Worker
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Development of a youth center management model

Udruga mladih ''Mladi u Europskoj uniji''

Prilaz tvornici 41, 22000 Šibenik, Croatia

  • Participation of young people in decision making

A practice of processes and methods

This project proposal aimed to involve young people, civil society organizations, and decision-makers in a consultative process to define the management model of the Youth Center that was planned for construction. The goal was to develop a management model for the Youth Center based on participatory governance, with the active involvement of young people, representatives of civil society organizations, and decision-makers.

Through consultative activities with young people, decision-makers, and associations, participants discussed and proposed mechanisms and structures for managing the Youth Center. The objective was for the local government, based on the suggestions from young people and civil society organizations, to establish a management model for the Youth Center. This management model would include mechanisms to ensure the participation of young people and civil society organizations in the preparation and implementation of future Youth Center programs.

The specific objectives of this proposal were:
– Enhanced synergy among civil society organizations.
– Strengthened cooperation between civil society organizations and decision-makers.
– Increased involvement of young people in democratic processes.

It’s important to mention that the idea for this project was made during national EGL training where were participated representatives of the City of Šibenik.

The youth organization ”Youth in the EU” implemented the project in partnership with the City of Sibenik from June 2022 till October 2023.

This project has involved 9 focus groups 37 institutions, 30 high school students, and 16 university students.

At the beginning of the project, it was made an application form where individuals and representatives of institutions could apply to participate in the project. In the application form, we were collecting data as an institution or individual, contact, field of interest, or work (culture, sports, science, leisure time, youth, etc.). This data was used to map all NGOs and other stakeholders in the city of Sibenik and to group them regarding their field of interest.

All applicants were added to the project mailing list and with them was shared Google Drive where during the implementation of the project, all minutes from the focus groups, analysis of focus groups, and online questionnaire. The application was opened until the last focus group which was held in May 2023 so everyone could join the project during its implementation.

There were focus groups divided by the field of interest/work:

Focus group with pedagogues and psychologists

Focus group in the field of culture

Focus group with young people

Focus group in the field of sports

Focus group with professors and students of technical high school

Focus group with professors and students of Gimnasyum

Focus group with the students from the Polytechnic of Sibenik

In all focus groups were present representatives from relevant institutions for every single theme/field, young people who in the application form had mentioned their field of interest, and representatives of the City of Sibenik.

Also, there was an online questionnaire that was opened from February to June 2023. A questionnaire was divided into two one part was for the institutions and the other for young people.

The final document regarding the future management model was presented during the final conference held on 23 OCT 2023. The Mayor of the City of Sibenik will sign a Memorandum of understanding which will be a foundation for the future management model of the youth center. The start of construction of the new youth center is in 2024/5.

Thanks to the activities of this project, young people as well as representatives of civil society organizations were directly involved in the creation of a management model for the future youth center that the city plans to build by 2027. This showed that young people can directly influence the management of an institution in which they will be the users. Through the implementation of the project during focus groups in which the architects of the future center also participated, we managed to detect in time the redundancy of certain spaces that, thanks to the project, we will be able to repurpose in time.

Organisation and practice