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Mid-Term Meeting Updates on MIYO Project in Skopje, North Macedonia

In the historic and vibrant setting of Maynooth University, a significant moment unfolded between 8th and 10th June 2022, marking the commencement of an ambitious project in the realm of youth empowerment.

Welcomed warmly by the university, representatives from a diverse group of organisations came together to breathe life into this initiative. The partners, hailing from across Europe, included the European Scout Bureau, YMCA Europe, Scouting Ireland, Les Scouts, Scouterna, Junak, the Scout Association of Macedonia, and YMCA Netherlands.

This meeting wasn’t just a formal gathering; it was a melting pot of ideas and experiences in the field of impact measurement. The partners delved deep into the project’s framework, dissecting the five work packages to understand every role, responsibility, task, and deliverable. This comprehensive approach ensured that everyone was on the same page, setting the stage for effective collaboration.

A critical part of the discussion revolved around refining research methodologies. The group critically evaluated past studies, pinpointing limitations like sample sizes and the validity of results. Breaking new ground, they decided to blend quantitative and qualitative research methods, focusing on the experiences of NGO members. This approach prioritises the self-perceptions of young people regarding the impact of youth programs on their personal development. Surveys will be complemented by focus group discussions, adding layers of depth and insight to the data.

Budget and project management tools were also reviewed, with bilateral Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) being signed to solidify the partnership framework. The workshop was also an opportunity to map out the project timeline, ensuring that all activities align with the planned schedule. Running from April 2022 to March 2024, the project is on track, with no adjustments to the timeline necessary.

Key conclusions from the meeting included:

  1. Refining the existing methodology to address identified limitations in sampling and survey design.
  2. Targeting studies at the 14-17 year age group, without using comparison groups.
  3. Complementing quantitative methods with qualitative studies to ensure a robust and academically sound approach.
  4. Measuring impact at personal and community levels through the self-perception of young people, considering time and budget constraints.
  5. Involving youth workers and youth leaders in pilot studies.

This meeting was just the beginning of what promises to be a transformative project. Stay tuned as we embark on this journey to redefine youth empowerment through impactful research.