Duração: 01-10-2021 a 31-01-2024

Financiamento: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants

Parceiros: Ana Sofia Ribeiro (ICS- ULisboa), Tatiana Ferreira (ICS – ULisboa), João Sousa (ICS-ULisboa), Isabel Roque (ICS-ULisboa), Ana Nunes de Almeida (ICS-ULisboa), Francisco Simões (ISCTE), Leonor Bettencourt (ISCTE), Miriam Rosa (ISCTE), Nadine Correia (ISCTE), Ricardo Borges Rodrigues (ISCTE), Claudia Petresco (ISCTE) e restantes membros das instituições que fazem parte do projeto.

Rede: ISCTE, ICS, South-West University, University of Tartu, University of Heidelberg, Naples Parthenope University, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Vilnius University, Universidad de Málaga, University of Girona, ILO

Sumário: Our aim is to deliver an evaluation model of the effectiveness of Public Employment Services (PES) tracking support types (digital, human-mediated or mixed) in improving employability among rural NEETs aged 25-29.

Our project is submitted under support Area 3 – Analysis and Research, based on interdependent management, engagement & dissemination, and scientific work packages to fulfill three contributions. Our aim is to broaden knowledge of the effects of employment initiatives targeting rural NEETs, by creating a cross-country model of how policies influence PES tracking deliverance. Another goal is to enlarge the capacity of evaluating effects of employment initiatives for NEETs in rural areas, by validating impact assessment protocols for the most replicable programs of on-the-ground PES tracking support types, considering overall and specific groups of NEETs. A further target is to increase transnational use of impact studies among policymakers and researchers, by supporting their participation in developing/incorporating evidencebased impact methods for PES tracking evaluation.

We address the Fund call vision by focusing on rural NEETs. These youths are ignored by research, hard to engage with, and challenged by multiple structural risk factors. We will concentrate on their vulnerabilities in the short-term by establishing a baseline for PES support types’ effectiveness in their employability indicators and, in the long-run, by setting an evaluation framework for effective PES tracking development.

The consortium will rely on a sound multidisciplinary, theoretical and methodological approach, by concentrating on Baltic, South and Southeastern States with disparate rural NEETs’ proportions and different degrees of PES digitalization, adding meaningful variability to comparative analyses. Our outputs will be streamed into a working group dedicated to PES tracking impact evaluation to tie in with a parallel initiative, the Rural NEET Youth Observatory, by 2024.


Rural PES tracking programs mapping and validation

Coordination: ICS (Portugal) – Ana Sofia Ribeiro, Tatiana Ferreira

Co-coordination: UCSC (Italy) and VU (Lithuania); ILO.

Specific goal: To have mapped and validated the most replicable program of each PES tracking support type in improving rural NEETs’ employability, in all beneficiary countries, bY M28. Theoretically, this WP operationalizes an examination of the risks/opportunities for personal development in the mesosystem (formal support) described by the bioecological model. This WP addresses Challenge 2, the lack of studies about PES tracking support dedicated to vulnerable youths, including rural NEETs. This challenge requires systematic research efforts because vulnerable youths are expected to benefit more from public employment initiatives (Kluwe et al. 2017). However, rural NEETs have a record of poor connection with official services, due to a combination of factors. For many of them, schooling was a collection of negative relational and performance experiences with a long-lasting harmful effect on their engagement with public services (Simões 2018). In addition, some reports show that NEETs remaining in rural areas are mostly youths combining multiple risks (poverty, school failure, and low skills). PES tracking of rural NEETs is also complicated by these youths’ overreliance on informal support networks and suspicion about formal services’ capacity to satisfy their needs (Simões et al. 2017).

Methodologically, this WP includes Study 2, a comparative case study of different PES tracking support types programs (n=21; 7 per PES tracking support type; 3 per beneficiary partner country), in 5 steps: (1) Mapping: identifying all rural PES across the beneficiary countries, using Eurostat Labor Force Survey (2018) collapsed by degree of urbanization to delimit the territorial research scope; (2) Screening: through a short survey, to target rural PES tracking practices fitting the project; (3) Data collection: in-depth analysis of selected cases using a multi-informant approach (PES administrative data; program documentation analysis; interviews with PES managers; world-café sessions with NEETs); (4) Data analysis: combining qualitative data thematic analysis with its quantitative examination (e.g. descriptive and reliability statistics; correspondence analysis) to identify similarity/difference patterns among studied cases for each PES tracking support type; and (5) External validation of practices: most promising, replicable practice of each PES tracking support type validated by a panel of experts and stakeholders, for subsequent impact analysis.

WP learning results will uphold knowledge of the effects of employment initiatives targeting rural NEETs and increased use of impact studies among policymakers, by enabling the spread of knowledge about the most promising good-practices of different PES tracking support types. Findings will be streamed to one peer-reviewed paper and a manual of PES tracking implementation, supported by the activities described below.