Bilateral support measures and activities
Bilateral support measures are activities specifically tailored to the needs and requests for support in the area of youth policy by (mostly governmental) actors of the youth sectors in individual States. They are offered to assist public institutions, especially governmental authorities with responsibility for youth issues, to address their youth policy tasks and challenges.
Capacity building activities
Seminars, training courses or study visits can be organised in line with the needs of the requesting member state. The Youth Department developed the format of 50/50 activities with participants from both the governmental and non-governmental sectors. These activities have proven most apt to develop common solutions and to produce sustainable results.
As its name suggests, this support measure is intended as a ‘quick and easy fix’ to a specific question or set of questions. Governmental authorities and other actor of the youth sector often have questions regarding youth policy issues for which they find it challenging to find an answer. They might be in the process of establishing new programmes, procedures, legislative measures or any youth policy related activity, for example, establishing a new financing system for youth NGOs, or revising the country’s current youth law, or establishing a qualification process for youth workers, to name just a few.
Peer-advice and peer-coaching
Governments often need more than a rapid response to address their youth policy challenges, especially in the phases of youth policy development and evaluation, and when developing specific programmes. The Youth Department will accept requests for advice and expertise in a specific youth policy field over a longer period of time (12 months plus). The Youth Department will help a requesting country to develop a support process involving 2-3 other countries that can provide relevant advice over a longer period of time for their specific issue.
Youth policy advisory missions
Sometimes the Council of Europe and its international experts are best placed to provide the expertise and advice that a government requires regarding youth policy. In such cases, the Youth Department can be asked to organise a youth policy advisory mission. A youth policy advisory mission provides the requesting country with an assessment of their youth policy situation relative to a specific developmental question or issue of concern. The Youth Department establishes a team of up to maximum five independent experts with special expertise in relevant issues, and organises one or maximum two short visits to the country to conduct the assessment and prepare their recommendations in line with accepted norms and standards current in the Council of Europe Youth Sector.
Independent expertise or assessment
Sometimes a government or governmental institution requires specific advice in the development of a new programmatic document, strategy or youth related piece of legislation. To respond to such needs, the Youth Department can commission an assessment by an independent expert on said document at an early stage of its development to ensure that international perspectives and standards can be effectively taken into account as the document is developed. In such cases, the Youth Department identifies a suitably qualified independent international expert to conduct an assessment of the document concerned in line with a mutually agreed upon framework for analysis considering international standards and perspectives current in the Council of Europe Youth Sector. The expert develops their assessment based on textual analysis, and should that be necessary, may be requested to conduct some remote discussions with key stakeholders to gain additional understanding of context.
International reviews of youth policies
An international review of national youth policy is the most complex and comprehensive of measures fostering youth policy evaluation and development available under this package. Undertaken this process involves wide ranging commitment, from political to financial, for both the requesting country and the Council of Europe. The main milestones include the preparation of a national report about the youth policy and youth situation in the country, an expert team assessment of the report followed up with up to two intensive field visits around the country to study the particular perspectives, the finalisation of the international report further to input from the requesting government, and its presentation at a public hearing.