Youth views on the role of local government and universities in the development of deoccupied territories

  • Received April 9, 2023;
    Accepted July 27, 2023;
    Published August 1, 2023
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  • Article Info
    Volume 7 2023, Issue #1, pp. 29-46
  • Cited by
    6 articles

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

This study examines young people’s perspectives on local government bodies’ and universities’ roles in revitalizing de-occupied territories. A mixed-methods approach was deployed to examine their roles in returning and retaining young people in these areas. An initial quantitative survey was conducted among 1,180 young individuals from Berdyansk and its district (a temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine), focusing on the prospects of their return after de-occupation. A subsequent “Youth of Berdyansk” forum assembled roughly 300 participants, including university and local government representatives, to further explore youth perceptions. Findings revealed that 52.8% of respondents envision their future in the de-occupied region. Local government bodies and universities were seen as crucial for the region’s development and restoration by 92% and 86% of respondents, respectively. Moreover, 69% recognized the potential of partnerships between these institutions to enhance the territories’ appeal. Most respondents indicated readiness to participate in creating recovery strategies (41% absolute readiness, 38% with certain guarantees), though views on youth-centric strategies were mixed (80% agreement, 13% disagreement). The study concludes that local government bodies and universities are critical in the territories’ recovery and development, necessitating explicit engagement and focusing on young people’s needs for effective outcomes.

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    • Figure 1. Portrait of respondents
    • Figure 2. Distribution of respondents by belonging to a territorial community
    • Figure 3. Respondents’ answers to the question “Do you see your future in our region after de-occupation?”
    • Figure 4. Responses to the question “What, in your opinion, are the most important areas of work with youth for the communities of the Berdyansk region now?”
    • Figure 5. Responses to the question “Given the potential of the city of Berdyansk, which areas of the city, in your opinion, should be developed as a priority after de-occupation?”
    • Figure 6. Responses to the question “Considering the potential of Berdyansk district, which sectors, after the de-occupation, in your opinion, need to be developed primarily?”
    • Figure 7. Respondents’ answers to the questions “How do you assess the importance of the role of local government bodies in the development of de-occupied territories?” and “How do you assess the importance of the role of universities in the development o
    • Figure 8. Respondents’ answers to the questions during the rapid forum survey: a) “Do you believe that a partnership between universities and local government bodies can make de-occupied territories attractive for young people?”; b) “Do you believe that t
    • Table 1. Employment of survey participants
    • Table 2. Factors influencing respondents’ choices about the prospect of returning to Berdyansk after de-occupation
    • Table 3. Responses to the question “What project or idea are you ready to implement for the development of Berdyansk region?”
    • Conceptualization
      Ihor Bohdanov, Yana Suchikova, Sergii Kovachov, Olha Hurenko, Hanna Aleksandrova
    • Data curation
      Ihor Bohdanov, Sergii Kovachov, Olha Hurenko, Hanna Aleksandrova
    • Formal Analysis
      Ihor Bohdanov, Yana Suchikova, Sergii Kovachov, Olha Hurenko, Hanna Aleksandrova
    • Funding acquisition
      Ihor Bohdanov
    • Supervision
      Ihor Bohdanov
    • Investigation
      Yana Suchikova, Sergii Kovachov, Olha Hurenko, Hanna Aleksandrova
    • Methodology
      Yana Suchikova, Olha Hurenko, Hanna Aleksandrova
    • Project administration
      Yana Suchikova
    • Writing – original draft
      Yana Suchikova
    • Visualization
      Sergii Kovachov