Youth work – empowering the changemakers of tomorrow

Super Youth Worker
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The Logbook

KEKS

www.keks.se

Linnégatan 21, 413 04 Gothenburg, Sweden

jenny.haglund@keks.se


  • Documentation
  • Follow up/evaluation
  • Research

We wanted to support knowledge based development of, and advocacy for, youth work. We therefore saw the need for a system for continuous documentation and follow up:
– That gathered the information needed for quality development
– That was user-friendly and not time-consuming
– That provided both quantitative and qualitative information
– That supported a reflective practice
– That worked regardless of where and in what form youth work was delivered
– That had an easy-to-handle report function to be used for continuous follow up
– That could combine quantitative and qualitative information into annual reports
– That created a common, European, ground for exchange of knowledge and good practices
– That provides a basis for further research on youth work

So, together with partners from Romania, Ireland and Estonia we created The Logbook, a European web-based system for documentation and follow up of youth work, today used by youth workers in Sweden, Slovenia, Finland, Ireland and Romania.

Please describe your good practice based on the above given information (Explain your practice as such, in ‘technical’ terms and as clear and simple as possible.)

The Logbook is a web-based system for documentation and follow-up of youth work. It is a user-friendly system designed by youth workers, for youth workers.

The purpose of The Logbook is to support youth workers and youth work providers in their everyday documentation through gathering information and creating the reports needed to analyse and report the work being carried out. The Logbook can be used from computer, tablet and smartphone.

Through using The Logbook you can record information on:

  • Statistics (ex. number of young people taking part and active participants divided on boys/girls/non-binary, number of activity hours, etc.)
  • Descriptions (ex. Diary for reflection, planned outcome of activities, qualitative information of the work carried out)
  • Results from surveys to young people (ex. questions on level of participation, learning, safety, etc.)
  • Key-figures (ex. number of people in target group, costs, etc.)

You can create your reports for any period and activity and at the end of the year it is easy to compile a total report for the whole year consisting of all information gathered. This is to be used for follow up of your aims and to make plans for the future.

Please describe eventual challenges and problems related to the creation, implementation, and/or running of your good practice? (Explain the eventual difficulties that you have come across, so that others know what to think about if they want to implement your practice.)

We have found that it is very important to give a through introduction to the system, making clear the purpose of it and how it is supposed to be used. Equally important is that you need to have time to use the system and to have reflection as a priority. It is very important that the information that is recorded in the system is used for discussion on how to improve your work. If nobody uses the information gathered, the motivation to use the system will decrease and become mechanical instead of being a means for development.

Please give the names, roles and tasks of eventual partners involved in the creation, implementation and/or running of your good practice. 

The first version of The Logbook was created within a Erasmus + Strategic Partnership between: KEKS (Sweden), CDYSB (Ireland), Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres (Estonia) and Hunedoara County Direction for Sport and Youth (Romania) The project was based on KEKS system for documentation “Loggboken”. As of 2020 The Logbook is used by organisations in Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Slovenia and Romania. KEKS is the owner of The Logbook and supports the users, either directly or, in some countries, by coordinating organisations (that are in turn supported by KEKS).

Please give an overview of the resources needed in order to establish and run your good practice. (Please describe the human, financial and other resources that are needed. Please also explain if you have got external financing from sources available for others, and if so, from what funding scheme(s).)

The Logbook is available through an annual fee, calculated on a few different variables depending on the form and size of the organisation. The fee gives organisations access to the system and web-based support in using it plus a one day introduction to the system. The amount of time needed to use it varies depending on the amount of activities that are to be documented, but for example a youth center normally needs about 15 min per day to do the documentation. How much time that is spent on analysing the material varies, but this is (or should) nevertheless be done, and using The Logbook only makes it more knowledge based and efficient.

For young people:

The surveys give young people the possibility to give their perceptions on the youth work provided. Since the analysis of the information gathered should be done together with young people it also gives them direct influence on the further development of youth work. If The Logbook is properly used, the added value for young people will be higher quality of the youth work provided.

For youth workers:

In addition to what has been said above;

  • The diary function makes communication between youth workers easier.
  • Web-based documentation also functions as a common memory, enabling youth workers to store knowledge and ideas for future use.
  • The Logbook constitutes a common platform and ‘routine’ that contributes to professionalization.

For your organisation as such:

The Logbook gives structured information on both quantitative and qualitative aspects of their work. This means that using it over time have made it possible to show concrete improvements and to get a ‘receipt’ on the work done. In this way it has provided us with a solid ground for both development and advocacy. This has in turn strengthened the recognition of youth work and its position in relation to other actors in the field of youth.

For youth work in general:

We can see that using the same system in many municipalities creates a common language for youth work. It also strengthens the sector that we can see overall trends in youth work and are able show the outcomes of youth work, such as for example young people developing their skills as a result of participating in youth work activities. The Logbook also provides managers with reliable information that can be used as a tool for advocacy showing the value of youth work in conversations with politicians or other stakeholders.

For society/your community in general:

See answers above