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Ongoing project

Including children and young people in the voluntary service

Project period 2020 - 2022
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10440 / NFR: 309850
Project leader Daniel Arnesen

Photo: Colourbox

Project Background – Young volunteers are important

Volunteering and leisure activities are an important source of community, belonging and mastery for children and young people. Active participation can help improve the conditions for growing up, learning about democracy and countering poverty, exclusion and loneliness. Research shows that people who volunteer in their youth engage more often as adults. Therefore, it is important to gain knowledge about differences in children's and young people's participation.

The authorities and the voluntary community have joined forces in order to enable children and young people to participate in organised leisure activities, regardless of their parents' social and financial situation. This is also central to voluntary policy. 

Project Aim – How are young people included?

The purpose of this project is to look into how well different groups of young people are included in the volunteering, and what tools organisations and authorities use to include these young people. The project consists of three subprojects:

Subproject 1: Differences in participation among different groups of young people (2020–2021)

Using existing and new surveys, we will analyse changes in participation among different youth groups by asking: How do inequalities in participation among young people develop, and how can these be explained?

In this project, we will look into why some groups of young people participate more or less than others, delving especially into explanations for variations in social and economic conditions, and differences between the majority and young people with immigrant background.

Subproject 2: Voluntary organisations work to include children and young people in the voluntary service (2020–2021)

Structural factors can prevent recruitment of underrepresented groups. For young people, barriers can be about costs, while the organisations lack resources and knowledge about diversity. In this project we ask: How do voluntary organisations work to include children and young people?

In this project, we try to identify different barriers to participation, and how this varies between different types of organisations and geographical areas. We will also investigate how organisations can help reduce these barriers. 

Subproject 3: Leisure activities for all children and youth – leisure, culture and sports (2020–2022)

The subproject investigates how state and municipal voluntary and subsidy policies work with voluntary organisations to include children and youth in leisure activities.

We ask: What measures and support schemes do the municipalities have? How does the municipality include children and young people in voluntary activity? How does the municipality work with voluntary organisations? What is the role of local children's and youth councils and children and young people?

The goal is to achieve good and long-term cooperation so that all children, regardless of their parents' finances, have the opportunity to participate regularly in at least one organised leisure activity with others. 


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Daniel Arnesen Research Fellow PhD +47 415 57 586
Ivar Eimhjellen Senior Research Fellow PhD
Audun Fladmoe Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 924 82 023
Vibeke Wøien Hansen Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 920 27 149
Åsta Dyrnes Nordø
Anders Bakken
Marlene Persson
Idunn Seland
Tags: Civil Society
Published June 18, 2020 2:11 PM - Last modified June 30, 2020 12:16 PM