Here, just for you, is a list of the key participation models and resources discussed throughout the Youth Participation Symposium in Leon, Mexico. Topics include decision-making, participation, youth research, facilitating social change, development, social media and debate. We include a short introduction to the documents and resources and links to both English and Spanish versions where possible.

Children and young people participation in decision making

This document presents the justification and identifies the underlying principles for promoting the meaningful participation of children and young people in decision-making processes. The main barriers to achieving this goal are discussed and guidelines are provided on how to create a more conducive environment. The document ends with an appeal to individuals and institutions to rise to the challenge of moving this agenda forward. Concrete actions need to be undertaken at regional and country levels to eliminate the barriers and to facilitate every young person’s right to be involved in the shaping of the future.

English VersionSpanish Version 

A potpourri of participation models

This collection of 36 models from 1969 to 2012 details different models and theories of participation. This selection provides imagery, excerpts and original introductions and explanations. This resource pools together some of the most used and debated models and concepts in youth and citizen participation and provides an in depth overview for new and experience practitioners, academics and individuals.

English Version

Taking participation seriously

Research and resources about participation Taking PARTicipation seriously is a resource for organisations who want practical advice about how to involve children and young people in activities, events and decision-making about issues that affect their lives. The kit is made up of different parts that focus on how you can involve children and young people in different activities or areas of work. Schools, youth centres, youth clubs, welfare agencies, councils, businesses, churches and sporting bodies are just some of the organisations that will find this kit useful.

English version

Participation involving young research

Participation: Count Me In! – Involving Children and Young People in Research Guidebook is part of the Taking PARTicipation seriously kit. Count Me In! is a guide on conducting social research with children and young people. The guide looks at a range of issues and practicalities that should be considered when undertaking a research project with children.

English version

Practical guide for facilitating social change

The handbook is for people, within organisations, networks or within community groups, who want to explore power in relation to achieving change in the interests of the communities they are working with. Its purpose is to help facilitate discussions about issues concerning power in order to deepen our understanding of the causes of social problems and the various strategies that can be taken to achieve change.

English version

Young participation in development guide

The Youth Participation in Development Guide was created as part of a joint project between the DFID CSO Youth Working Group and the DFID Equity and Rights Team in the UK with the goal of furthering the participation of young people in the decision making process within development and support donor agencies (multilateral and bilateral) and policy advisors in a range of organisations working with and for youth. It will also be useful for government, NGO and civil society partners. This guide aims to increase understanding of the growing importance of, and greater potential for, youth participation in development practice and to explore key issues and approaches.

English version

Hear by Right

Hear by Right is a self-assessment tool for mapping and planning the involvement of children and young people with organisational decision making. It helps you follow best practice on the safe, sound and sustainable participation of children and young people in the services and activities they take part in. Developed by the National Youth Agecy as part of our programme of work with the Local Government Association, it is applicable to any organisation working with young people, helping you provide evidence of the participation that is already happening in your organisation and then how to plan for improvement where there are gaps. It helps children, young people and adults work together to plan for change. It can be effectively used at both strategic and operational levels across partnerships, departments and single organisations.

English version

Social media tools & data

This is a summary document of the social media and online tools that can be used to engage with supporters, work with collaborators, manage projects and build your online profile to foster dialogue and participation. The second document ‘Open data and social media’ showcases more tools focusing on data and its presentation for effect and use.

Social Media Tools (English version) — Open data and social media tools (English version)

Guidelines for Debate

What is a Youth PerspectiveThe aim of the series guidelines for debate is to influence the formulation, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies through guidelines that foster the debate of ideas from a progressive approach. The collection features a cool exchange of data and theoretical and methodological tools for analysis and action aimed at emerging political generations.
English versionSpanish version


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Written by Youthpolicy Team

Youthpolicy Team

At youthpolicy.org, we are building a global evidence-base for youth policy. We are published by Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. We generate and consolidate knowledge and information on youth policies; critically report from and about global youth events; and more. Email us at curious@youthpolicy.org.