Youth-led research and development

Digital Youth Work

The aim of this project is to enable young people impacted by digital exclusion to develop the digital skills and critical thinking that will empower them to succeed in an increasingly digitalised world. The team will work with two groups of young people to support the development of relevant digital skills projects in a youth work setting. Young people will participate directly in co-creation of the activities, working with a youth worker and a “technologist in residence”. Projects will start from where the young people are at; the young people would choose to take part and it will develop as a partnership between the youth workers and the young people.

Impact evaluation will be based on the National Outcomes and Skills Framework, involving young people in the process from start to finish. The impact intent is, first, to empower young people directly with digital skills that will help them succeed in our increasingly digital world and, secondly, to notice which tools, techniques and approaches are particularly enabling, so that the quality of the practice and the extent of responsiveness and inclusivity increases.  The proposed youth work method brings together youth work research knowledge with youth focused co-creation techniques to develop an innovative “research and development” approach. The innovation will be to bring research, co-creation and service design to bear in a focused way that enables real progress. There could be digital outputs from the project – eg an app or a digital game – but this should be determined by the young people.  Our team will include two groups of young people, their youth workers, a project manager, a researcher,  an academic digital games developer with experience of working with young people in a youth work setting, and also a “technologist in residence”.


Hilary Phillips, Digital Youth Work Lead at YouthLink Scotland (Project lead)

Dr Amy Calder, Researcher, YouthLink Scotland

Dr Andrew Reid, Games Design and Production, Abertay University