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INDEPENDENT ACADEMIC RESEARCH STUDIES INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE

(The IARS International Institute)

description of organisation

In 2001, IARS was set up by young volunteers from across Europe as the first EU-wide, youth-led network on youth matters. It is now known as The IARS International Institute with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. The charity's mission remains to be the empowerment of young people and marginalised groups to participate in public life as equal citizens. Our team consists of 10 highly qualified part-time staff with extensive experience in working directly with marginalised groups, supporting and training them in order to enable them to understand, participate and make a difference for themselves and their communities. We are also supported by 3-5 interns on a monthly basis and at least 50-80 volunteers on a quarterly basis. The Institute is governed by a Board of six Trustees with mixed backgrounds ranging from human rights, private and public sector, policy and finance. The Director of the Institute, Professor Gavrielides, is also its Founder.

As a user-led Institute, the organisation is scrutised by various User Boards including the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and the Womens Advisory Board. Currentlt, the YAB consists of six young volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Their role is to constantly review our work in order to ensure that is youth –led and relevant to the needs of young people. This body is constitutional and has been in existence since IARS' inception in 2001 (see http://www.iars.org.uk/content/YAB). They have helped with this application by developing the project idea and plan. Finally, the quality of IARS' published work is also validated by an Independent Academic Board consisting of leading academics that act as a peer review and ethical panel for IARS projects, reports and publications (see http://www.iars.org.uk/content/EditorialBoard)

As stated in the IARS Constitution, the charity is set up "To promote and contribute to the development and civic participation of young people, children and adult members of the community as individuals and members of society by:
1. Providing an infrastructure, training, guidance and support to enable them to undertake research, studies or other activities to investigate the issues which affect them and;
2. Encouraging, supporting and facilitating them to acquire a voice in democratic life, and use the useful results of that research and learning to increase awareness and understanding of the issues which affect them including amongst others decision makers, governments, policy makers, service providers and the public.

As an independent, advocacy organization we also have a mission to transform young people’s lives by enabling them to have a better future, and participate equally and democratically in civic life. IARS young people learn to inform policies and practices affecting them whether at a local, regional, national or international level. We are dedicated to helping deliver the EU Youth Strategy by "Investing and Empowering" our young people.

Furthermore, IARS is a membership organization with registered members several youth organizations and networks across UK, Europe and overseas. Working for more than 10 years in the area of youth, we have developed numerous strong partnerships with third sector, statutory and non-statutory organizations internationally. Acting as a national and pan – European network, we share expertise and best practice among our users, partners and networks.

IARS has in place efficient and elaborate internal as well as external quality control systems. Putting emphasis on the quality of our services, we are dedicated to measuring the impact of our work on our users and the wider society. Exploiting the Theory of Change and using pioneer user-led evaluation methods, we produce high quality evidence-based outcomes that allow us to review our work and improve our approaches to the benefit of our users. Finally, as an Institute we are an EU-wide recognised accrediting body including the issuing of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accreditation and YouthPass.

IARS is very familiar with Erasmus+ and has/ is coordinating several projects under KA2 (Youth), KA2 (Adult) and KA3. However, we have never participated in Erasmus KA1 although we host several youth interns domestically and internationally. This is also the first time that we are applying for Erasmus Youth Volunteering accreditation although we have been providing YouthPass and received several youth related accreditations including the Youth Mark.

inclusion topics

This organisation is willing to involve volunteers who face situations which make their participation in activities more difficult, from the following categories for different types of project:

Inclusion categoryReceiving projectsSending projectsCoordinating projects
Economic obstacles
Social obstacles
Cultural differences