The increasing relevance of European rural young people in policy agendas: Contributions from community psychology

Webinar with Francisco Simões, 19 December 2022, 5PM (CET).

With contributions from Elena Marta, Cinzia Albanesi, Nicolas Carr, and Maria Fernandes-Jesus.

Registration link

About the webinar

Our presentation focuses on a central question: how can community psychology contribute to improving rural young people’s prospects? This question is relevant in face of (a) the increasing relevance of rural younger generations in European policy agendas; and (b) the massive societal transformation associated with the dual (digital and green) transition that will also affect rural communities. After briefly introducing the demographic trends of these young people in continental Europe for the past decade, we list the current challenges faced by rural European young generations, as well as the opportunities emerging for them from the twin transition that can inspire the community psychology field. We then contextualize community psychologists’ interventions in this domain according to an ecological-systemic standpoint and by embracing a Participatory Action Research (PAR) perspective on research and practice. We further detail the reasons for adopting a PAR approach in research and practice to address rural young people’s challenges and opportunities. Finally, we highlight four potential intermediation missions to uphold community psychologists’ rural youth development input, based on the adopted theoretical and methodological standpoint. We conclude that our short guide can facilitate community psychology professionals’ complete understanding of rural young generations’ prospects, in line with the expected increase in the need of/demand for rural young people’s participation. Our proposal may also have long-term benefits for rural communities by contributing to the redesigning of intergenerational relationships and securing critical mass.

Picture from Tomasz Filipek

Importantly, this presentation results from a creative session at the 11th European Conference of Community Psychology held in June 2021 and summarizes a paper recently published in the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology.

Simões, F., Fernandes-Jesus, M., Marta, E., Albanesi, C. & Carr, N. (2022, in press). The increasing relevance of European rural young people in policy agendas: Contributions from community psychology. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2640


About the presenter

Francisco Simões is an Associate Researcher at and Full Member of the Centre for Social Research and Intervention (Cis-Iscte). He is co-coordinator of the thematic line “Promoting Inclusion, Equality and Citizenship” of the SociDigitalLab for Public Policy and co-coordinator of the research group Community, Education, and Development (CED), between 2017 and 2021. He is the chair of COST Action 18213 – Rural NEET Youth Network, funded by the European Commission, through the COST Association (2019-2023) and Principal Investigator (PI) of the project Tr@ck-IN – Public employment services tracking effectiveness in supporting rural NEETs, funded by the Youth Employment Fund (EEA & Norway Grants) (2021-2024). His work focuses on a psychosocial analysis of the school-to-work transition, namely social inclusion, well-being, and access to education and decent jobs for vulnerable young people such as those Not in Employment, nor in Education or Training (NEET). He has also dedicated his work to scientific advice for public policies in these areas, at regional, national and European levels.  He has experience in coordinating scientific teams to implement projects in public institutions, in Portugal. Between 2004 and 2015, he also collaborated with several organizations and projects (Caritas da Ilha Terceira, Câmara Municipal de Angra do Heroísmo; ISCTE-IUL team responsible for supervising schools included in the Priority Territories for Educational Interventions – TEIP program) in the role of an external advisor.