Research Output
Youth digital culture co-creation: measuring social impact in Scotland
  This thesis examines youth workers’ and young people’s perceptions of social impact and social impact evaluation of youth digital culture co-creation in Scotland. The analysis is made in relation to academic domains including (but not limited) to Human Computer Interaction, Information Science, Social Impact Assessment, Youth Studies, and Community Development. A sequential qualitative methodology was applied to gather data, underpinned by Charmaz’s (2014) Constructivist Grounded Theory. The methods utilised included interviews, a focus group, and youth participatory workshops.

The findings provide new insights into how social impact is perceived by digital youth workers and young people, and into the associated challenges of social impact evaluation. It is evidenced that both groups struggle to strike a balance between following externally-imposed social impact definitions and facilitating authentic and meaningful analysis of the social impact of digital youth projects. Resultant tensions between targets and authenticity in the digital youth sector in Scotland might lead to a lack of critical understanding of the actual social impact, and thus young people's real digital needs, aspirations, and skills shortages.

The contribution of this thesis is founded upon an analysis of youth workers’ and young people’s experiences of digital youth project evaluation. This thesis also provides a summary and analysis of digital youth related literature and policy activities since the year 2000 in Scotland. The findings are used to develop recommendations for academia and practice, policy makers, and digital youth project funders. Findings relating to young people’s and youth workers’ recommendations with regards to social impact evaluation of youth digital projects in Scotland are presented. It is posited that an improved evaluation approach should be (1) accessible, (2) anonymised, (3) digital, (4) encouraging of critical thinking, (5) independent of funding, (6) informed, (7) participatory, (8) playful, (9) serendipitous, and (10) well-timed.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 October 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    303 Social processes

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Pawluczuk, A. Youth digital culture co-creation: measuring social impact in Scotland. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



youth digital culture; social impact evaluation; young people; youth workers

Monthly Views:

Available Documents