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Our project called Interdisciplinary study on young people’s needs and opportunities assessment in Cluj-Napoca (LEAP) is implemented in Cluj metropolitan area by the Department of Public Health – Babeș-Bolyai University, the Department of Political Sciences – Babeș-Bolyai University, PONT Group and Cluj Cultural Centre. The project is funded by Botnar Foundation with a total grant of  189,332 CHF.

The Cluj metropolitan area is one of the eight largest metropolitan areas from Romania. During the past recent years, Cluj-Napoca has been a place of experimentation and innovative approaches, setting the trends regionally and nationally in the areas of youth engagement and urban innovation with a focus on young people. Whereas Cluj-Napoca – and, by large, the Cluj metropolitan area – is home to growing independent initiatives targeting young people, they are many times disparate and not accurately accounted for in public data reporting.

The project aims to conduct a comprehensive, multi- and inter-disciplinary assessment of the needs and opportunities for young people in the Cluj metropolitan area, guided by an ecosystem view and oriented towards future initiatives stemming from the results of the assessment. The project will deliver an evidence-informed, tech-enabled repository of data, actors and initiatives in the areas of health and well-being, and education and future of work in the Cluj metropolitan area, with a participatory and inclusive approach.

Key issues addressed:
1. the inequalities in developments in the areas of education or health and well-being;
2. the insufficient body of data to accurately document these two areas in relation to young people (10-24 years old).

Objectives:
1. Assess young people’s (10-24 years) needs in the areas of health and well-being, and education through a participatory approach, making use of frontier technologies.
2. Foster inter- and multi-disciplinary collaboration between the main governmental, non-Governmental and academic actors in Cluj-Napoca with an interest in young people’s health and well-being, and education.
3. Increase young people’ voice and contribution in interventions geared towards their health and well-being, and education.
4. Strengthen institutional capacity of organizations active in the topic areas to design and implement initiatives that address the identified needs and gaps.

Phases and activities:

1. Desk research on needs, gaps and opportunities
a. recording and reporting existing data
b. mapping stakeholders
2. Data collection and data analysis
a. quantitative data collection and analysis
b. qualitative data collection and analysis
3. Policy analysis and systemic gap identification, and stakeholder engagement
a. policy analysis
b. stakeholder engagement
c. policy recommendations
4. Dissemination
a. platform development
b. scaling up

Expected results:
• Youth empowerment and participation
• Increased awareness about their contribution’s importance in designing and implementing future initiatives
• High quality primary data on youth views/understandings of their own needs, how they can be addressed, by whom, how they see themselves
• Baseline data for a medium-term (10-year) plan of intervention
• Increased awareness about initiatives currently running in the city and improved knowledge about relevant NGO initiatives focusing on youth

Sustainability:
• Results ownership taken by the municipality
• Alignment with 2021-2027 city strategy vision and action plan
• Development of online repository as a source of information and support for young people, and knowledge and tools for relevant governmental, non-Governmental and academic actors
• Potential uptake at a regional and national level
• Possible scalable working model and best-practice on European level
• Development of an integrated research on youth well-being and participation that can be replicated in Cluj (new editions of the study) and other cities
• Implementation of pilot projects to address the specific needs and opportunities identified by the project