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Evaluating and supporting progress in increasing environmental social action by young people (aged 10-24) - BE0152

This research aims to evaluate progress towards Government’s goals, deliver greater insight into how volunteering service providers can overcome barriers to increase youth environmental social action, consolidate learning and identify future opportunities for increased youth participation in England.

The project is intended to help identify effective practice in improving provision of opportunities for young people to take action to protect and improve the environment, in support of Government’s long term vision of improving the environment within a generation. It aims to deepen our understanding of the barriers to increasing opportunities for youth participation in environmental social action and identify successful strategies pursued by social action service providers to improve uptake. The project will inform our understanding of ‘what works’ and aid future efforts to increase youth environmental social action.
• To undertake a brief review of the current available evidence base to describe what is already known on:
a) Barriers and challenges to this target group participating in environmental social action and the extent to which recommendations from previous work undertaken with young people to understand how to make opportunities more attractive and relevant for young people have been addressed by volunteering service providers.
b) Barriers and challenges for social action service providers in the environment and youth sectors in the provision and management of quality environmental social action opportunities for this target group.
c) What has worked effectively [over the past 5 years?] in other sectors to increase participation in social action by this target group, such as learning from SUTS 2018 #NHS70 campaign to increase social action in health and social care.

The project should review academic and other literature, key data sources, and liaise appropriately with the social action sector and other stakeholders to address the following objectives:
• To evaluate what progress has been made in the scope and quality of opportunities offered to the target group by social action service providers since the launch of the 25YEP and with the development of the Year of Green Action and #iwill campaigns.
• To evaluate progress in the level of involvement of young people in leadership and decision-making, including their involvement in delivering the #iwill campaign environment theme and in the campaign partners’ programmes and opportunities.
• To gather insights from #iwill campaign partners and other youth and environmental NGOs, young people and other intermediaries in order to:
a) Explore systemic issues, challenges and barriers to provision of high quality, sustainable and attractive environmental social action experiences for this target group.
b) Explore opportunities to further improve the current environmental volunteering ‘offer’ to support sustained participation by the target group.
c) Explore ways to more effectively monitor participation by this age group over time.
• To share successful strategies amongst social action service providers to maximise provision and uptake by the target group.
• To consolidate learning from the evidence review, assessment and insights gathered over the course of the Year of Green Action campaign to report on progress towards increasing environmental social action by the target group.
• To identify how data on participation by this target group in environmental social action is currently collected, reported and monitored to recommend how this could be done more effectively and consistently in future to measure progress.
• To recommend future actions which would help achieve our goals focusing primarily on those which could achieve the most significant impact, including specific actions for Government, as well as the voluntary sector, educational institutions, and local government.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2020

Cost: £64,313
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Renaisi Ltd
Social Research