A prototype IDSS tool has now been created.  This was briefly demonstrated at the EC Review meeting last month.  The Computer Science team would like to request your opinions on how useful you think the tool is and how easy it is to use.  The tool is available at:

We would like to thank all our consortium partners for their help in enabling us to create this prototype.  Gosia Klatt, Ivana Studena, Pepka Boyadjieva and the University of Verona team have kindly provided us with case studies.  The University of Edinburgh team have sourced case studies, provided advice and transcribed cases into a suitable format for the IDSS.  SKYPE meetings with Günter Hefler and the University of Verona team have provided us with domain insights into youth employment and policy making.  Elena Tuparevska has explained the concept of social exclusion (also via SKYPE).

As a result of extensive discussions between Sharon Clancy and Claire Palmer an attribute structure for the IDSS was created.  Feedback from consortium members provided additional attributes.  A workshop was conducted with consortium members to determine the key attributes which determine similarity between programmes for the case-based reasoning tool underlying the IDSS.   If a direct programme match is not available case based reasoning enables similar cases to the search terms to be retrieved through the use of a similarity measure, which is determined by values assigned to key attributes.  Based on advice provided by Sofie Cabus and Miroslav Stefanik, four key attributes  (“Programme Aims”, “Programme Activities”,  “Programme Target Groups” and “Country in which Programme Operates”) were selected.   Using text mining analysis conducted by the University of Edinburgh as an initial basis and in discussion with Sharon, Claire created similarity measures for the “Aims” and “Activities”.  Discussions between Sharon and Claire enabled similarity measures to be created for the “Targets Groups”, structured on the bounded agency concept.   Based on advice and literature provided by Ellen Boeren similarity measures for the “Country” attribute were created, using welfare regimes to determine similarity.  Jason Atkin has collaborated with underlying coding of the IDSS tool.

Jeremie Clos has recently joined the Computer Science team.  Jeremie has created an internet interface for the IDSS.  This interface enables a user to assign importance to the similarity attributes.

As a result of everyone’s efforts we now have a prototype IDSS.  Please let us have your views on it.

An on-line user survey can be found at:

Alternatively, please drop Claire an email on your views (Claire.palmer1@nottingham.ac.uk).

In parallel, in order to gain insight into the reality of barriers to employment at a localised level, a team at the University of Nottingham (Sharon and Claire) has been working with a third sector project evaluation practitioner, Richard Hazledine (ConnectMore Solutions Limited).  This collaboration has evaluated outcomes of the Young and Successful project which supports disadvantaged young people in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and is managed by Groundwork Greater Nottingham, a community-based charity. The ambition was that, through developing deeper insights into the issues young people seeking employment face, the type and nature of what services employability programmes should offer participants would be better understood.   This is a practical example of interdisciplinary work which has now come to fruition.  An overview of the findings is available in the report “Tackling Youth Unemployment” (https://yasevaluation.com/report/index.html).

Team Members and IDSS inputs

University of Verona team: Marcella Milana (providing advice), Francesca Rapanà (providing advice and case studies).

University of Edinburgh team: Ellen Boeren (providing advice and literature sources, text mining analysis results), Susan Whittaker (providing advice, case studies and transcribing case studies), Alan Mackie (transcribing case studies).