What is Project HEBE?

Project HEBE is a research project financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness that analyzes youth empowerment and the spaces, moments and processes that shape it. The research is a collaboration of four Catalan universities: The University of Girona (the project leader), the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University.

Youth empowerment, which is defined in the first part of the research, refers to the process of acquiring individual knowledge, skills and abilities to face the societal challenges of the 21st century. In recent years, the concept of empowerment has been relevant to youth policy, political discourse and pedagogical strategies, but it has not yet received a precise definition. The ultimate objectives of this research are to attempt to define youth empowerment and to define and identify the spaces, moments and processes that influence this process of empowerment.

Rodatge focus group Projecte HEBEIn order to achieve the first objective, we have delved into the concept of empowerment through a theoretical analysis of the term. To achieve the second objective, we have utilized the following methodologies: a questionnaire for young people about their perspective of empowerment, analysis and rereading of a group of young people’s life stories, analysis of the results to create a range of indicators of empowerment and, finally, the Audiovisual Pedagogy workshop that has led to the Project HEBE Webdoc.

Research Methodology

In order to reach the aforementioned objectives, the following three research methodologies were used: life stories told by a representative sample of young people, participatory evaluation by means of a questionnaire and, finally, the creation of an interactive documentary that serves as a tool for analysis and reflection on youth empowerment.

We dedicated the first phase of Project HEBE to conceptualizing the concept of empowerment, working with and analyzing the existing theoretical framework. The objective of this first phase was to attempt to define the concept of empowerment.

In the second phase of Project HEBE, we established a number of indicators of empowerment obtained within the framework of the inter-university research project: the participatory evaluation of community action as a learning methodology for individual and community empowerment. The indicators have been confirmed and validated by the existing scientific literature as well as by experts in the field of empowerment. These confirmed indicators of empowerment have been confirmed by a group of young people through four processes of participatory evaluation and six instances of sharing their life stories.

In the third phase of Project HEBE, we composed a questionnaire for young people about empowerment in order to determine the level of empowerment among youth and the ages in which it appears, as well as to validate the research’s hypothesis about spaces, moments and processes of empowerment.

In the fourth phase of Project HEBE, we created the HEBE Webdoc (an interactive documentary about youth empowerment) with two objectives: to design a participatory methodology for research on empowerment, and to create an interactive platform for sharing experiences of empowerment.

In the fifth phase of Project HEBE, we triangulated the results obtained from the various methodologies applied in order to draw conclusions about the research.

Presentation 2014-2017

On December 13th, 2017, in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Girona, were presented some of the results of the research HEBE PROJECT: Empowerment of young people: analysis of moments, spaces and processes that contribute to youth empowerment (Ref .: EDU2013-42979-R). This project has the participation of the University of Girona, the Pompeu Fabra University, the University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Madrid.

You can see a summary of the day in:


What does favor youth empowerment? What are the most relevant spaces, the most influential moments? What is the role of adults and institutions? These, among others, are some of the points that are dealt with.

The event, presented by Sònia Páez de la Torre, was attended by many researchers as Pere Soler and Anna Planas from UdG, Manel Jiménez from UPF, Xavier Úcar and Pilar Pineda from UAB and Asun Llena from UB.

The webdoc was also presented. It is an innovative storytelling proposal, with the participation of a group of young people, where they explain their empowerment processes.



Approach to the research and delivery of the final report, Pere Soler (UdG)

Pere Soler, lead investigator of the HEBE project, introduces the presentation of the first results of HEBE project, 2014-2017.

The pedagogical model of youth empowerment, Pere Soler (UdG)

Pere Soler, professor at the Department of Pedagogy of the University of Girona, presents the concept of youth empowerment and the spaces, processes and moments that favor it, according to the first results of the HEBE Project’s research.


Data on youth empowerment, Pilar Pineda (UAB)

Pilar Pineda presents the main results of youth responses on a sample of about a thousand young people about youth empowerment.

What do young people bring to youth empowerment?, Xavier Úcar (UAB)

Xavier Úcar presents the process of participatory evaluation with young people and the contribution of the same to the research

Variables of youth empowerment, Anna Planas (UdG)

Anna Planas presents the methodological process and the variables and indicators of empowerment identified in the framework of the HEBE Project’s research.

The story of the young people: Life stories, Asun Llena (UB)

Asun Llena presents the stories of life, a tool used in the HEBE Project’s research to collect the young participating people’s voice and experiences in the project.

Web HEBE and Webdoc, Manel Jiménez (UPF)

Manel Jiménez  presents the webdoc, the methodological process that has been used, as well as the future challenges of using this audiovisual and participatory tool.



In the act, in addition to the presentations, different theater, music, drawing and dance artists participated, giving different points of view and reflection around youth empowerment.

Theater with LaNaveVa

BabaFlow, rap in Catalan

WithLeftHand, visual narrative

Salvia Dance, dance and music



The materials produced by the investigation, and distributed on the day of the presentation were:

Results Report (PDF)

Results Report summarizes the main results of the HEBE project research first phase, as well as the documentary publications related to it.

Infographics (JPG)

Visual document of the main research’s concepts: empowerment concept , empowerment spaces and guidelines to favor youth empowerment.

Final presentation PPT (PDF)

You can download the presentation that was used in the academic presentations of the day.

Visual report (JPG)

During the presentation, drawings were made to reflect the contents of the day, graphically.




Photo gallery of the presentation:

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