The World Scout Youth Programme Policy, points out the need to regularly evaluate the Youth Programme, as a step prior to its update:
“The Youth Programme of an NSO should be evaluated regularly. The World Scout Youth Programme Policy strongly recommends regular and systematic programme development to ensure these programmes remain up-to-date and in tune with the interests of young people, while remaining faithful to the fundamentals of Scouting, which are timeless and universal. This reflects the unity of Scouting. The diversity and flexibility of the Youth Programme is required to respond to a wide variety of social, geographical, economic and other situations. A major review should be carried out at least every 5–10 years. Ideally, such a review should take into account current academic and practical research by formal and non-formal education experts and institutions, as well as the views of young people, to ensure a valid and relevant review. Regular interim reviews (e.g. every 3–5 years) are also recommended to allow for periodic adjustments to the Youth Programme.”1
We understand evaluation as a systematic procedure that aims to understand and diagnose the situation of the Youth Programme within the scope of your NSO.
The evaluation provides your NSO with reliable and valid data, analyses, and interpretations that will give an accurate idea of the situation and status of its Youth Programme.
The diagnosis of the Youth Programme that you build from the evaluation will help you to take action in the future, for example, to decide on its updating. For this, your National Team must ask about the pertinence and relevance of its Youth Programme.
- Is your Youth Programme pertinent? Does it respond to some of the needs and interests of the children, adolescents, and young people to whom it is addressed?
- Is it relevant to society? Is there a relationship between the objectives you pursue as an NSO and some of the social, economic, political, and cultural demands of the society you serve?
To carry out a systematic evaluation of your NSO’s Youth Programme, we recommend using the Self-Evaluation Tool of the Youth Programme published by WOSM.
Types of evaluation
Monitoring is a continuous process that tries to analyse what is happening regarding the implementation of the Youth Programme in an NSO.
Impact evaluates the effects of the Youth Programme on the target population and if it is achieving the purpose for which it was created.
Unlike monitoring, which must be continuous, the impact evaluation is carried out at discretionary times and usually requires a perspective from external experts.
Who carries out the evaluation?
Internal: performed by the NSO itself, for example, promoted by the Youth Programme National Commissioner or Team.
External: performed by WOSM organisations or by other organisations, such as universities, international agencies, or consultants.
NSOs require a style of evaluation that
- is democratic, i.e., both the methods applied and the information generated in the evaluation process are open, known, and possible to be discussed and reworked.
- becomes a habitual practice, i.e., it serves us to make explicit the foundations of all those decisions that have to be made in the organisation.
- encourages commitment to the quality of the programme and to the improvement of our educational practices.
- allows you to “realise” the actions and procedures that you use, in order to introduce improvements and highlight the achievements.
- promotes institutional autonomy so that your NSO acquires an evaluative culture with a more critical and reflective view, which allows it to know what is best.
The Youth Programme Self-Assessment Tool will help your NSO to assess the level of alignment and consistency of the Youth Programme with the World Scout Youth Programme Policy.