WESTERN BALKANS – Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Marija Bulat participated in the international conference “Western Balkans in Comparative Perspectives – European Social Survey” which was held online, on 4 and 5 December. The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers and policymakers from the Western Balkans region to present and discuss findings based on the European Social Survey data. It was organized by the Western Balkans European Social Survey Regional Network.
In addition, the conference provided a space for discussing possible collaborations and joint efforts in advancing scientific research in the region, including practical issues such as funding, collaborative research grant applications, methodological and data collection challenges. It also put significant focus on evidence-based policymaking in the Western Balkans.
Speaking at the panel on “Research Infrastructures and Synergies”, Ms Bulat provided insights on youth cooperation in the region and presented the importance of the evidence-based approach in RYCO’s work.
“Research projects have been central to RYCO’s work since its establishment. The desk review What We Already Know about Young People in the Region was commissioned to inform RYCO’s first strategic planning process, and is still used as a reference point for all the relevant data on youth mobility, youth participation and ethnic distance in the region,” Ms Bulat emphasized.
In addition, she added that in cooperation with researchers and experts, RYCO has been analyzing the effects of its activities and monitoring the impact on the ground, especially on areas related to intercultural learning and dealing with the past. Moreover, RYCO aims to strengthen its research capabilities by working on the prospective establishment of its Research, Learning and Evaluation Unit.
“Building inhouse capacities for research will open new doors for cooperation with the research community in the Western Balkans and will reinforce collaborative work even more,” Ms Bulat concluded.