The Corona pandemic had a strong impact on children’s and young people’s everyday lives, opportunities for participation in society and their mental and physical health. Young people currently feel that they are hardly noticed or taken into account socially and politically. At the same time, there is a great need to catch up in many different areas of life – for example, in the fields of exercise, culture and health. The German Children and Youth Foundation (DKJS) is responsible for the programme section “Child and Youth Participation in the Future Package” – part of the nationwide Future Package for Physical Activity, Culture and Health of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).

Through this programme, children and young people from kindergarten age up to 26 years of age are supported directly and indirectly (via public/independent organisations and municipalities) in designing and implementing participatory projects in the thematic fields of “physical activity, culture and health”, and thus in actively shaping their living environment. On behalf of the DKJS, the nexus Institute is implementing a qualitative evaluation, which is embedded in the overall evaluation of the programme component.

The DKJS itself evaluates the effectiveness of the funded child and youth participation projects by means of quantitative surveys and project monitoring – this is supplemented by the qualitative evaluation and activating participation of the nexus Institute. Nexus includes a sample of 12 to 18 funded projects in the participatory evaluation, in which children, adolescents and young adults of all age groups are represented. Through a qualitative mix of methods (including creative workshops, focus groups, interviews, participatory observations), the projects of the different groups are evaluated in an age-appropriate manner. In addition to the children and young people, (project) leaders, full-time/voluntary actors and other persons involved in the project implementation are also included in the evaluation. In order to involve the participating children and young people even more in the evaluation and the assessment of the results, nexus is conducting an ideas competition parallel to the surveys. Representatives of the projects whose submissions win the competition will be invited to a workshop in Berlin, where the recommendations for action derived will be reflected upon and validated.

Duration: 04/2023 – 12/2023
Client: Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung GmbH (DKJS)
Team: Tzvetina Arsova Netzelmann (Project Manager), Dr. Katja Aue, Dr. Barbara Wagner, Amy Winkler