The network „Research an Practice in Dialogue – International Youth Work“ (RPD)
RPD has been founded in 1989 and is an interdisciplinary network active at the national level.
The network aims to promote and support the exchange of knowledge, competences and practice between researchers and institutions in the field of youth work and learning mobility. Current trends and issues are addressed in a collaborative approach. Innovative concepts are created through research and evaluation, which leads to a continuous development of practice. The synergies formed between the two perspectives aim to foster the German discourse on youth policies and the structural implementation of international youth work.
The network is coordinated by transfer e.V., on the part of academia several universities and universities of applied sciences are part of the network. Different subjects, fields of research and methodological approaches are integrated. The part of practice is represented by several youth association and institution active at a regional and local level as well as umbrella associations like the International Youth Service of the federal Republic of Germany (IJAB). Financing bodies, local administration and departments complement the network, which is funded by the Federal ministry for Family affairs, Senior citizens, Woman and Youth (BMFSFJ).
The research project: access study
Between 2016 and 2018, the network initiated and coordinated a research project in order to collect data regarding the access and participation of young people in international youth exchange programs. This study has been funded by the Federal ministry for Family affairs, Senior citizens, Woman and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the Robert Bosch foundation.
The study “Why not? Study of International Youth Exchange Programs: Access and Barriers” was initiated and monitored by RPD. Four research institutes implemented the project conjointly:
- SINUS Institut
- IKO (Insitut für Kooperationsmanagement)
- Forschungsverbund Freizeitevaluation,
- University of Applied Sciences Köln
Each of the four research Institutes conducted a part of the research, focusing on different but complementary perspectives. In an interdisciplinary approach qualitative, quantitative as well as mixed-methods have been used.
The outcomes of each partial study were then put into perspective in order to highlight and identify the issues concerning accessibility of young people in Germany to international exchange programs.
The main findings are explained in a factsheet, which you can download here.