Creating synergies and evidence-based interventions is one of the characteristics of quality youth work. And this is why today we are presenting three practices – Community Building through Youth Work in Rural, Post-Communist Romania, Youth Work-Research Connection, and Everyday Life of LGBTIQ+ Individuals – which deal with research and needs analysis in order to create meaningful activities for young people.

The first step in every intervention is, as you already know, to start with a good needs analysis, preferably at local level. The topic of needs assessment to create an intervention model was discussed in the workshop “Community Building through Youth Work in Rural, Post-Communist Romania”. In his workshop, Cosmin Catană presented the intervention model used in Curba de Cultura association and youth centre to help build youth supportive communities in Izvoarele commune and its surrounding area in Prahova County, Romania. The presented example is a rural youth work intervention model. His workshop included the presentation of tools and the practice of combining international cooperation with very local needs, interests and issues in order to work on community building. You can find more information in the workshop report and presentation below.

Secondly, it is important to empower young people in the youth dialogue process, in order to create good intervention. The workshop “Everyday Life of LGBTIQ+ Individuals: Connecting Research and Youth Work” by Nina Perger and Mateja Morić focused on the research done as a part of the youth dialogue project for all LGBTIQ+ young people between the age of 16 and 30 and implemented in 2017. By participating in a youth dialogue process, young LGBTIQ+ people were empowered with the skill of creating joint proposals needed to tackle and solve problems they face, as well as with the know-how needed to present and defend their proposals. The main objectives of the workshop were to understand the use of research in youth work, and how the youth sector can benefit from it, to recognise LGBTIQ+ youth as a competent political actor and to gain knowledge of LGBTIQ+ specifics and needs in youth work. If you are interested in how to ensure the participation of marginalised groups and their voices being heard, how to approach them and how to truly live the principle of „nothing about us without us“, please do consult this workshop report and presentation below!

Last but not least, using research for practice is an important step to create quality interventions and quality youth work. What is the framework for practitioners to approach research as a part of their everyday practice and internalise research, from needs analysis to evaluation and impact analysis of their work? This was one of the questions participants tried to answer in the workshop called “Youth Work – Research Connection: It’s Not Really Rocket Science” held by Dr. Ozgehan Senyuva. The aimof the workshop was to strengthen the practice-research link in order to contribute to the overall quality of the youth work practice. This practitioner-researcher link represents the innovative approach for youth work: to encourage practitioners to integrate research into the planning, design and implementation of their practice and not to externalise it, leaving it to the research field only. If you are interested to find out more, reading the workshop report is your way to go!