It is those who wear the shoes who know best where it presses.
In close collaboration with the young people and those around them, "Young inclusion" through a new and positive approach will find out what works and where we find the good solutions.
The Young Inclusion project in the Kongsvinger region was established on the basis that a far too large proportion of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 are out of work and school.
- There was a need to do something. We know that youth projects around the country almost "abound". Despite national reforms and measures, the results have so far been limited. Both the municipalities and NAV express that they are unable to find new solutions. Through HiNN, we gained knowledge of a methodology that has been used elsewhere in the world, and which seems to work well. This method is called «Positive deviation», PD, which is translated to «positive deviations» in Norwegian. It is about finding out what makes some young people manage against all odds, what is it that makes them succeed despite, says project manager Marianne Grøndahl Pedersen.
The project Young Inclusion is a development and innovation project, and is a collaboration between the six municipalities in the Kongsvingger region, NAV, the State Administrator, Innlandet County Municipality and Høgskolen i Innlandet, HiNN. The project lasts until the end of 2023 with follow-up research from HiNN.
Dialogue with enthusiasts and resource persons
It is those who work and live in the municipality who know the challenges and can say something about what we succeed at. The project therefore conducted seven digital dialogue meetings with around 120 different professionals around the municipalities at the end of January. The participants came from volunteering, schools, kindergartens, business, health nurses, SLT coordinators, employees in culture, NAV supervisors, PPT, nurses, FAU, psychologists in addition to other important resource persons for children and young people. Many are passionate people who know a lot about young people who do not succeed in school and working life with a burning desire to find good solutions to make more people succeed. - One of the challenges that is pointed out is the lack of a common arena to work together in to take care of the young people who need it. We need cooperation across units and municipalities, so that we can play each other well, emphasizes Grøndahl Pedersen.
The voice of young people is important
It is the young people themselves who know what it is like to be young. They are the ones who have the experiences we want to learn from. Through interviews, dialogue meetings, workshops and close collaboration with the young people in the young people's arenas, their experiences will be given great weight in the work.
The project manager says that the feedback after the first meetings has been very positive. There are many who have a great commitment to the youth, and who see that they have an important role in their lives. The project will follow up the dialogue meetings in January with separate working meetings, workshops, in early April. - We arrange municipal and physical work meetings with enthusiasts and various professionals. Then we must together find out how we - overall - can contribute to more young people succeeding, which is the goal of this project, says Grøndahl Pedersen.
The PD approach has so far not been widely used in Norway, but the method has been used in over 65 countries to solve a wide range of social and organizational challenges. The starting point in PD is that there are always some individuals or groups who find solutions and who succeed, despite equal access to resources. These "some" are the positive deviations. This means that you have to look for, and focus on, solutions rather than the problems, Grøndahl Pedersen explains.
To learn more about the PD approach, watch this video in 3 minutes: What is the Positive Deviance Approach?
Interesting to follow from research
- To be closely followed by the research is both interesting and useful. We receive method guidance, assistance with network analyzes and many other good advice and tips that we actively use in the project work, says Grøndahl Pedersen. The collaboration with HiNN contributes to us working more knowledge-based and we have access to researchers with different expertise who have worked with different professional approaches and methods, so this is incredibly exciting, concludes Grøndahl Pedersen.
The way forward
Many have already signed up for workshops in April, but we have room for more. Do you have thoughts and experiences about what works well in your work, in your professional environment and in your workplace? What do you find challenging? Do you have ideas on what can be done better? Do you want more collaboration within the municipality and in the region? Do you have a belief that together you can come up with better solutions that in the long run prevent young exclusion? Do you have a desire to make a difference in this work? Da er debt et cooperation you will be a part of.