Participatory evaluation of youth empowerment in youth groups. Cases analysis

Xavier Úcar, Anna Planas, Ana Novella, M. Pilar Rodrigo Moriche

Abstract


Interpretations made by young people about their own realities are key to understand their actions and behaviours. Also for adapting to new social dynamics socio-educational programmes and projects. This article focuses on the analysis of those interpretations. What do youth understand by youth empowerment? Which specific indicators do they consider to identify it? In which spaces, moments and processes do they think that it could happen? In order to respond to these questions, 4 evaluation participatory processes with 42 young people from 14 to 25 years old in 4 Spanish cities were developed. The sample that sets the participatory evaluation groups for every case is intentional. This paper contextualizes cases, presenting the followed methodology in the participatory evaluation’s development and provides the main findings of each case. The results show that youth from the analyzed cases consider the empowerment to be related with a personal or group enrichment or improvement that is normally associated with a personal process, although its social influence is recognized. The most relevant indicators for youth empowerment are autonomy and self-esteem. Young people relate youth empowerment to spaces linked to family, school and friends. The extracurricular space, the street and the associative world appear to be significant to some of them. Youth empowerment processes have to do with overcoming experiences that made young people to have a perception of success, to overcome, being important to someone or eventually, to feel well being. Participatory evaluation has proved to be a very adequate socio-educational intervention strategy to help participants building different perspectives on their own lives.

Keywords


social pedagogy; participatory evaluation; youth empowerment; evaluative research

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7179/PSRI_2017.30.05

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