Is there a need for establishing a national pool of researchers who are experts on youth-related issues? In order to answer this question, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and PERFORM organised a focus group discussion on 14 September 2017.
The focus group gathered experts from the research field and youth policy organisations in order to draw on their rich national and international experience and give their opinions on whether a national network of researchers dealing with youth issues is needed, and if so, who would be the members of such a network, what would be its mandate, and above all, what will be the benefits for researchers and other members to join such a community.
National Youth Strategy 2015-2025 recognises the problem of missing systemic support to the development of youth-oriented researchers and conducting research on youth-relevant topics, on their position, needs and interests. Information on youth based on evidence is a precondition for high quality planning and policy making in all segments of society and at all levels of the government. It is, therefore, necessary to improve the systemic approach of acquiring knowledge on youth, monitoring and reporting on the youth policy indicators.
The focus group was an initial step in continued collaboration of MoYS and PERFORM, after a successful cooperation on the pilots in 2016. As one of the activities envisioned in MoYS implementation of the National Youth Strategy is establishment of a national network of researchers who deal with youth issues, PERFORM will support the Ministry in the implementation of the Strategy’s Action Plan.
PERFORM is ready to provide capacity building training for the researchers on some concrete tools, such as systemic reviews that could be used in policy-oriented research and to facilitate the dialogue between the Ministry and social science researchers on issues that should be part of the research agenda when it comes to the position, needs and interests of the youth in Serbia