Situation Analysis and Needs Assessment gets the ball rolling on Icehearts Europe pilots

By ISCA and EuroHealthNet

How can a Situation Analysis and Needs Assessment (SANA) give organisations the information they need to know before trying out a new programme in their local contexts? The Icehearts Europe project partners found out as they prepare to pilot the Icehearts Finland approach in Spain, Italy, Estonia, Slovenia and Denmark. EuroHealthNet describes the process, which is illustrated in the partners’ newly published SANA report.

Icehearts is a Finnish sport-based positive youth development (PYD) programme with now more than three decades of experience that aims to provide vulnerable children with one long-term mentoring relationship that lasts throughout their childhood and adolescence. The programme is embedded within a team sport. Teams are used as a social environment where children have the possibility to experience a trustworthy relationship with the mentor leading the team. 

Icehearts Europe aims to scale up the Finnish model at European level by bringing a group of five grassroots sport partners together, representing five pilot implementation countries: Spain, Italy, Estonia, Slovenia and Denmark. These sites vary significantly in their cultural frameworks, socioeconomic conditions, welfare systems, ethnicity and languages, and in many other aspects. This intercountry variation implies that if a programme – in our case Icehearts in Finland – was successful in a certain location, it does not automatically mean that it will be successful in all places and locations. Or better, it does not mean that it can be replicated it as in its original form. To make sure that a country specific best-practice can be successfully scaled-up in other European sites, it is then necessary to understand which are the contextual differences between the original site and the other implementation sites. 

To fill in this gap, the WP3 research team, led by the Finnish National Institute of Health (THL) and EuroHealthNet, developed a Situation Analysis and Needs Assessment (SANA) template that was then shared with the partners in the five pilot countries. The aim of the template was to understand the local needs, the factors that put youth at risk, as well as what resources are available, and what interventions are currently being implemented. This report provides a summary of the main findings for the five countries, stressing what the gap is between the existing situation and what is needed to plan Icehearts Europe project´s implementation.

The report provides a general overview for all the countries, and if the reader wants to know more about a specific country, a country-specific overview describing the situation in Italy, Slovenia, Estonia, Spain and Denmark in more detail is provided in the annex at the end of report. The annexes summarise in around two to three pages the responses provided by pilot partners in that country. 

Posted on 15/01/2024 by ISCA and EuroHealthNet

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