Anu Gretschel

Anu Gretschel

Senior Researcher


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+358 40 516 91 89


Anu Gretschel works as a senior researcher in the Finnish Youth Research Network. Her special interests are evaluation in youth work and youth participation.

In 2017, Gretschel has been working with several research projects. 

The 'Youth Wiki' will be Europe's online encyclopaedia of national youth policies. Gretschel is composing the Finnish material for the Wiki with Karla Malm. The database will be published in December 2017.  

The Finnish, Slovenian and Estonian Youth Centres project co-funded by Erasmus+ 'Boost your possibilities!', has already ended, see the final report from April 2017 'Studying the Impact of International Youth work.'

In addition to the above, two shorter projects will be implemented in autumn, 2017. The project "The regional coordination of youth information and counselling services: a short research based review"  is funded by Koordinaatti - National Development Centre of Youth Information and Counselling in Finland and "Young people not in education, employment and training and their views of the future, democracy and public services – a Youth Barometer special sample"by the Prime Minister’s Office.

In 2017, a two year Erasmus+ co-funded ENRYP - European Network of Regional and local Youth Platforms development project dealing with local and regional youth participation in different European countries also started. The researchers Anu Gretschel and Tomi Kiilakoski are included in this process as supportive experts.

Gretschel's research career started in 1996 in youth centres where young people were offered the opportunity to develop their living environment. Her doctoral thesis 'Municipality as an engagement arena for young people' (including an abstract in English) was published in 2002 in the University of Jyväskylä. Gretschel’s interest in youth participation, youth work, welfare policy, action research and public services evaluation has taken her to a variety of contexts from local to virtual environments and European-wide co-operation.

Two recent publications concerning evaluation in youth work include Guidelines for defining and evaluating the youth affairs sector (with Pirjo Junttila-Vitikka and Anne Puuronen) and 'Successful model for multidisciplinary work with young people - An evaluation of the impacts of Everyone goes to school project.' (with Noora Hästbacka). Both include an abstract in English.

Youth Participation has also been an important theme in Gretschel’s publications, such as 'Municipalities of children and young people' and 'Lessons in Democracy' (both in Finnish, edited with Tomi Kiilakoski) and an article in English: 'Whose arena the EU youth policy is?', (Young; republished in Finnish Youth Research Anthology 1999-2014) (with Sofia Laine).

Researcher profile in Finnish

Profile in Researchgate

Profile in Academia.Edu



Publications in English


Gretschel, Anu (in editing) From Groups to a Network – Using the Speech Act Theory in the Development of Cross-sectoral Youth Policy Measures in Local Level in Finland. Tulossa teokseen Dunja Potocnik, Marti Taru et al. (eds) ’Cross Sectoral Youth Policy’. Council of Europe.

Cooper, Sue & Gretschel, Anu (in editing) Evaluating Youth Work in its Contexts. Tulossa teokseen Pam Alldred, Fin Cullen, Kathy Edwards and Dana Fusco (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Youth Work Practice. SAGE.

Juha Nieminen & Anu Gretschel (in editing) The Social in Youth Work: Excerpts from Finnish Youth Work Policy and History. Tulossa teokseen Williamson, Howard et al. (eds.) Connections, Disconnections and Reconnections – the Social Dimension of Youth Work, in History and Today. The History of Youth Work in Europe 6. Council of Europe. 


Kiilakoski, Tomi & Gretschel, Anu (2014) Challenging Structured Participation Opportunities. In Perspectives on Youth: European Youth Partnership Series under the topic “2020 – what do YOU see.” Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth.

Gretschel, Anu & Kiilakoski, Tomi & Laine, Sofia & Levamo, Tiina-Maria & Mäntylä, Niina & Raisio, Harri (2013) Report on New Ways of Youth Participation, Spesifically in Local and Regional Levels. In co-operation with The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth or Finnish Youth Research Network. Helsinki: Nuorisotutkimusverkosto/-seura.  (Published also in Russian)

Feldmann-Wojtachnia, Eva & Gretschel, Anu & Helmisaari, Vappu & Kiilakoski, Tomi & Matthies, Aila-Leena & Meinhold-Henschel, Sigrid & Roth, Roland & Tasanko, Pia (2010) Youth participation in Finland and Germany. Status analysis and data based recommendations. Finnish Youth Research Network, Bertelsmann Stiftung und Forschungsgruppe Jugend & Europa am CAP, Ludwig-Maximili­ans-Universität München. also in Russian)

Laine, Sofia & Gretschel, Anu (2009) Whose arena the EU youth policy is? Young participants’ involvement and influence in EU youth policy from their own points of view: Case of EU Presidency Youth Event in Hyvinkää, Finland. Young 17 (2), 191–215. Republished in Lynne Chisholm & Siyka Kovacheva & Maurizio Merico (eds.): European Youth Studies – Integrating research, policy and practice. Triangles Series, M.A. EYS Consortium, Innsbruck, 179-193. Republished in (2016) Tommi Hoikkala & Meri Karjalainen (eds.) Finnish Youth Research Anthology 1999-2014