This audit, published in 2013 with the generous support of theOpen Society Foundations, evaluates the impact of public policies on young people in Estonia, analysing not only specific youth policies, but the wider policy dossiers affecting young peoples’ lives and rights.It is part of a pilot series of six audits reviewing public policies affecting young people in the following countries: Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Serbia, and Uganda.
This audit, published in 2013 with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations, evaluates the impact of public policies on young people in Estonia, analysing not only specific youth policies, but the wider policy dossiers affecting young peoples’ lives and rights.
It is part of a pilot series of six audit reports reviewing public policies affecting young people in the following countries: Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Serbia, and Uganda. The pilot project consisted of research teams on the ground to conduct analyses based on a specially developed evaluation matrix, assisted and supported in the research process by international advisors. An International Editorial Board supervised and evaluated the pilot process.
The Open Society Youth Initiative provided funding for the pilot project. The Youth Initiative supports young people in their efforts to be agents of positive change and advocates for the full and effective participation of all young people in the political, social, and cultural life of their communities.
The pilot project had the following objectives:
Estonia, with its eventful recent history and the presence of a significant Russian-speaking minority, is an ageing society: In 2011, young people between 7 and 26 years of age made up 22 percent of the total Estonian population, a percentage which is going to drop considerably in the coming decades because of a consistently low birth rate and further losses through youth emigration.
There is a wide range of legislative acts and government programs concering young people, using a variety of age brackets and words referring to young people, showcasing that policies pertaining to youth are not rigidly structured across different policy fields. Moreover, consensus exists among all stakeholders that Estonian youth policy must be both horizontal (reflecting different aspects of young people’s lives in connection with all relevant policy fields) and integrated (taking a young person’s actual state, interests, and needs as starting point). Accordingly, Estonian youth is seen as a diverse and heterogeneous population, with different groups having dissimilar needs.
Against this backdrop, a number of gaps in Estonia’s youth policy realities have been identified by this study:
The full audit report can be downloaded as a pdf document here:
English: Youth and Public Policy in Estonia (2 MB, pdf)
We will turn the English version of the report into an online format so it can browsed and read—in its entirety—online.
We extend our thanks to Liisa Müürsepp, Ilona-Evelyn Rannala, Marti Taru, Maarja Toots, Simon Bart, Yael Ohana and Milosz Czerniejewski for their hard work on the report, to all the persons we were able to interview and discuss the situation of young people and the impact of public policies on youth in Estonia, as well as to the teams of the Open Society Youth Initiative, iDebate Press and Demokratie & Dialog.