New comparative research report ” Effects and Outcomes of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme”

22 March 2022

RAY Network has just launched the Report Effects and Outcomes of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme (RAY MON). The comparative research report (transnational analysis) explores the effects and outcomes of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme for the period 2014-2020.

The report compares the three RAY monitoring survey cycles (2015/2016, 2017/2018, 2019/2020) between 2014 and 2020 and analyses the development of Erasmus+ Youth in Action for the whole programme period across different effects as well as the implementation of the programme. A total of 53.144 project participants and a total of 10.789 project leaders were included in the project research.

Key findings & conclusions

Competence development

  • The development of key competences and skills is very high for project participants project leaders alike.
  • Project leaders are slightly more affirmative and self-confident about the improvement of their competences than project participants.
  • Project leaders assess the learning outcomes/development of key competences of project participants slightly higher than the responding project participants themselves.

Participation & active citizenship

  • 96% of responding project participants improved their ability to get along with people who have a different cultural background, and 90% their ability to achieve something in the interest of the community.
  • 37% of respondents report that they actually became more active as citizens as a result of their participation in the programme, compared to their engagement before the project.
  • Youth workers and youth leaders report that they learned better how to foster participation of young people in the preparation and implementation of (youth) projects (between 82% and 94%).
  • The involvement (and therefore active participation) of participants in the preparation and implementation of the project lies by 86%.
  • Organisations became more open with regard to the participation of young people, the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities and the involvement in European issues.

Learning organisations & communities

  • The effects of projects on organisations – and communities – are assessed to be positive by project participants and project leaders alike (the effects are less strong than the ones on the individual level –  in part because they are less immediate)
  • The most highly rated effects (from 69% to 91%) on organisations are increased appreciation of cultural diversity, more contacts/partnerships with other countries and more networking at European level (international dimension of youth work)
  • Over 80 % of project leaders stated that the project was positively perceived in their local communities as well as the intercultural dimension was appreciated.

Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities

  • 70% of responding project leaders stated that young people with
    fewer opportunities or with special needs participated in their projects
  • 61% of responding participants reporting confirmed that they are working with young people with fewer opportunities or with special needs.
  • 65% of responding project participants report that they are faced with at least one obstacle in society. The main obstacle, from the perspective of project participants themselves, is gaining access to work and employment (57%), followed by active participation in society and politics (34%), mobility (27%) and accessing education (23%).
  • There are strong differences between the self-assessment of project participants concerning obstacles they are faced with and the project leaders’ perception. Project leaders believe that next to not having enough money (64%), other major obstacles for project participants are living in a remote area (45%), social background (39%), low educational attainment (31%) and living in a deprived (sub-)urban area (30%).
  • 88% of project leaders agree that their project contributed to supporting the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities or special needs in the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme (some aspects need to be researched further).

Respondent profiles & trajectories of project participants and project leaders

  • 60% of project participants and 81% of project leaders have a tertiary degree (university, polytechnic or post-secondary/tertiary level education).
  • 14% of responding project participants indicated that they belong to a cultural, ethnic, religious or linguistic minority, whereas 19% of responding project leaders define themselves as belonging to a minority.
  • 33% of responding project participants had never participated in a similar project before & 67% had participated in a similar project before (from these, 21% indicated that they had participated once before in a similar project & 34% had participated 3-5 times in a similar project)
  • 81% of responding project leaders had participated in a project supported by the programme before (male respondents had more frequently participated as project leaders, female respondents had more frequently participated as participants)

Implementation of the programme

  • Overall, project leaders are largely satisfied with the application procedure and administrative project management of projects within Erasmus+ Youth in Action.
  • Four aspects are seen more critically (the complexity of the application procedure, the administrative management and reporting, and connected with this, the use of online tools).
  • According to 92% of project leaders, Youthpass is widely used within Erasmus+ Youth projects. And 90% ‘agree’ and ‘strongly agree’ that Youthpass was integrated throughout the project and its methods.
  • 89% of project participants who have been involved in a reflection or self-assessment related to issuing a Youthpass certificate, stated that this helped raise their awareness of their development through the project.


RAY Network

RAY research activities aim to apply an interdisciplinary approach, in particular referring to sociology, political science and educational science. In this respect, RAY research activities can apply diverse social and educational research methods – quantitative, qualitative as well as a mix of different methods and instruments: multilingual surveys with project participants, project leaders and key staff of beneficiary organisations; case studies of selected projects; interviews and focus groups with different actors involved in Erasmus+ Youth in Action and the European Solidarity Corps. For a wider public and academic discourse of the research results, RAY aims at an exchange with policymakers and other researchers. The RAY Network is committed to disseminate the research outcomes and results in an adequate and effective way to (potentially) interested audiences. The RAY Network - Research-based Analysis and Monitoring of European Youth Programmes - is an open and self-governed European research network. Currently, 34 National Agencies of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action & European Solidarity Corps programmes and their research partners are involved.