The YouCount project is one of our active Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe project participations, in which we create digital innovation for Citizen Science Apps and Citizen Observatories. The project - located in nine European countries - works to co-create new knowledge and innovations that increase the social inclusion of youth across ten case studies. Each case focuses on youth who face different challenges linked to social inclusion. YouCount will further evaluate how its co-creative approach based on citizen social science works in practice – in each case and across cases. This way, the YouCount project wants to identify positive drivers for a more inclusive society with and for youth.
Together with the consortium members of 9 countries, and youths across Europe, we at SPOTTERON have been working in a co-creation process on the YouCount App to develop an ICT tool for inclusive science practices. After the first launch of an app prototype in early 2022, the project team gathered feedback and inputs from all case studies. After evaluating the information, we redesigned the questionnaire and the buttons in respect to the project's scope:
Due to the fact that youths from all across Europe face different challenges when it comes to social inclusion and personal needs - such as finding a job, participating in activities, or connecting with people from other cultures – define young people's daily life, we have created multiple sections in the App, addressing these case-specific subjects.
Finding or creating Work (Norway)
What are the drivers for social inclusion through youth employability and social entrepreneurship in the city?
Political or civic Activities (Austria & Sweden)
Which civic engagement opportunities do young migrants have, and which opportunities are missing for young migrants to participate meaningfully?
Connect and be part of Communities (Lithuania, UK, Hungary)
What influences whether or not young people feel they belong to a community?
Connect with people from other Cultures (Italy & Spain)
Which are the drivers for the social inclusion of young migrants in the local hosting community?
Which are the inclusion factors for young migrants?
Communication for hard-of-hearing Youth (Hungary)
Making sustainable youth activity (Denmark)
How youths can engage in local repairing and sharing activities to reduce their resource consumption and climate impact.
Available in 9 different languages (German, English, Lithuanian, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian, and Danish), the YouCount App offers the potential for qualitative data collection (pictures, comments, quotes) in and across cases and for quantitative data collection (predefined answer options, etc.) in and across cases. The refined YouCount Youth Citizen Science App can be utilized to learn more about how to use digital mobile technology in youth citizen social science and what it can provide of data/knowledge about drivers of social inclusion for young people.
Inviting young people to participate in a digital tool like Citizen Science Apps requires extended measures in place because of national and international requirements and legal frameworks. Therefore we developed a system for user account registration to comply with European national age limits and parental/guardian consent for the YouCount Project.
The YouCount Youth Citizen Science App has officially been released in January 2023. The project – funded by the Horizon Europe program – started with an App Event Week where youths – both the core group of young citizen social scientists and a larger group of community youth citizen scientists – in all nine countries gather data on drivers of social inclusion for young people through the YouCount Youth Citizen Science App.