Proposed Title: Youth digital culture co-creators | Measuring the social impact in Scotland 


Nowadays digital technologies comprise a core element of youth work practices across Europe (Harvey, 2016). Digital media have been used to enhance communication, self-expression and advocacy, within and between youth projects (Black et al., 2015). Thus, young people are no longer solely perceived as end-tech-users or customers, but as makers, doers and co-crators of digital culture (Ito et al., 2013). 


However, whilst there is an increasing interest in youth-centred digital projects, it is also clear that measuring the young people's participation in digital culture co-creation has become increasingly difficult (Wilson & Grant, 2017). There is currently  a limited understanding of how to measure or understand the impact of youth digital participation (Guha et  al, 2010; Mackril & Ebsen, 2017; Pawluczuk, 2018). Both scholars (Mackril & Ebsen, 2017) and youth practitioners (Wilson & Grant, 2017), have called for further research into social impact evaluations of the interactions between young people and digital technologies.


The purpose of this doctoral research project is to enrich the current understanding of social impact and social impact evaluation of youth digital culture co-creation. This study aims to 1) review digital youth practitioners understanding of social impact and social impact evaluation methodologies in the context of youth centred digital work; 2) to work with young  young participants as co-researchers, to understand their views of social impact and social impact evaluation practice of youth centred digital work; 3) to provide insights and propose youth co-designed evaluation approaches for youth centred digital work


My research is funded by Edinburgh Napier University & supervised by Dr Gemma Wesbter , Dr Colin Smith   and Professor Hazel Hall 

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Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Alicja’s research, art and community education practice focuses on digital inclusion and education, gender digital divide and feminism. She is a founding director of the digital inclusion and digital storytelling collective Digital Beez. Through the use of participatory, critical and multidisciplinary approaches, she aims to examine the power dynamics associated with the digital and data divides.

Alicja’s digital inclusion practice is rooted in the areas of democratic education and community development. She has extensive experience in digital inclusion community projects design, facilitation, and evaluation. Both her community engagement practice and her research are characterised by the use of experimental and interactive methodologies. Over the last 10 years, her work has been responding and changing in accordance with the contexts of digitalization of society. Alicja has a track record of peer-reviewed publications and cross-disciplinary public engagement activities. Both her research and practice are characterised with the use of experimental and creative methods. She has managed and contributed to digital literacy and digital inclusion and learning projects with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and Erasmus.

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