The AMEN (Volunteer Youth City) program was established in 2003 as a joint project of Israel’s Ministry of Education and the Department of Volunteering and Philanthropy at JDC-Israel. Its goal was to develop and promote youth volunteerism at the local authority level. The program is currently implemented in local authorities, including local and regional councils and Jewish, Druze and Arab authorities. In the course of implementation, the program staff and funders sought the assistance of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute with an evaluation study of the program, in order to examine its achievements while it was still ongoing.
From 2007-2010, the evaluation was conducted separately in nine local authorities – Yeruham and Netivot in 2010; Peki’in, Tamra, Tirat HaKarmel, Sederot, Migdal HaEmeq in 2009; Megiddo and Kiryat Shemona in 2007.
The studies were conducted separately in each of the authorities and a separate report produced for each. The data in these studies were collected in telephone interviews with representatives of various organizations engaged in volunteerism in each of these authorities – altogether 81 representatives. The goal of the evaluation was to provide information on the representatives’ perception of the program’s implementation, its outputs, the achievement of its goals and satisfaction with it. Note that the evaluation was conducted in each authority at a different point in time relative to the start of the implementation and reflects the program status in the respective year only. The current report is a collection of these studies.
Among the main findings:
Most of the representatives of organizations engaged in volunteerism reported that the program had succeeded in achieving two main goals – increasing the number of volunteers and raising awareness of volunteering among youth. With regard to two other objectives – raising the professional level of volunteers and of staff working with volunteers and broadening cooperation among organizations engaged in voluntarism – the level of achievement attributed by the representatives was lower.
A large proportion of the representatives, viewed the need to invest into pursuing additional goals of the program, primarily raising the professional level of the volunteers and the staff working with them and expanding and strengthening the cooperation among volunteer organizations. They also pointed out the need to further invest in publicizing and disseminating the program in the localities.
The findings of these evaluation studies provided important input for the program staff and funders and served as the basis for improving and promoting the program in each authority according to its own needs. The program is now implemented in 45 local authorities and is a lynchpin to strengthen and promote youth volunteerism in local authorities.
The study was commissioned by the JDC Institute for Leadership and Governance (Elka) in partnership with and funded by JFNA and the Jewish Federations of Atlanta, Baltimore, New York and Saint Louis.
Citing suggestion: Korazim, M., & Nir, S. (2013). Evaluation of the AMEN Program to Promote Youth Volunteerism in Local Authorities. RR-638-13. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)