Contact

Send us your feedback

Thank you for your feedback. An email has been sent to the ESRC support team.

An error occured whilst sending your feedback. Please review the problems below.

Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.

Using research to enhance and embed policy and practice which promotes children's participation in decision making.

Grant reference: RES-192-22-0019

« View grant details

Impact Report details

Using research to enhance and embed policy and practice which promotes children's participation in decision making
This project focused on disseminating the main messages from research undertaken in Swansea to understand children's participation in decision making. Using a child appropriate methodology, the research, which was built on efforts begun more than 15 years ago to promote youth engagement in Swansea involved young people as partners for change in local policy and service delivery. Recognising children's right to participate (Article 12, UNCRC, 1989), young people led this project with an adult researcher, engaging also with their peers and representatives of local agencies across all sectors.
English

Primary contributor

Author Anthony Charles

Additional contributors

Co-author Kevin Haines

Impacts

This grant has enabled three scientific impacts, all of which are still emerging and in progress: The first impact is the generation of a better empirical understanding of young people's participation in community engagement, particularly concerning the thematic areas of safer neighbourhoods, healthy images of young people, and out of school activities. The second impact concerns the use of research findings to support the development of a focused, multi-agency network approach to focus on critical issues concerning young people's participation in Swansea, at both policy and service levels. The third impact is the creation of new research capacity by young people, by facilitating and encouraging their participation in decision making, and supporting an on-going process of the dissemination and utilisation of research findings.

It should be noted that outputs for each of the impacts summarised above are still emerging and in progress. Generation of a better empirical understanding of young people's participation in community engagement - Through the youth conference a range of findings were generated concerning young people's engagement in the life of their local communities. Two outputs flowed from this. Firstly, a journal article is being written which reports the development process and key findings from the project. Secondly, recommendations (at both policy and operational levels) were translated from the youth conference and presented to a multi-agency conference for adults in agencies. Development of a focused, multi-agency network approach to focus on critical issues concerning young people's participation in Swansea - Young people believed that agencies needed to do more to listen to them and promote meaningful participation within structures, policies and practices. With regards outputs, in addition to the merging of the Standing Conference on Young People's Participation in a pan-Swansea Participation Network, agencies accepted young people’s concerns and agreed to use young people's views to review and revise their policy and operational level plans. Creation of new research capacity by young people - The project reinforced the reality that young people can positively contribute to, and lead research. By continuing to meet and use both the research findings which underpinned this project, and also those generated through it, young people have discerned additional areas of interest where they feel research should be undertaken. The transformative aspects of research have been understood by young people and they, for example, have sought to gain funding for projects to enable them to create change in their local areas.

Generation of a better empirical understanding of young people's participation in community engagement - Through the creation of a young people steering team (which enabled young people to influence and play a pivotal role in directing this project), the hosting of a youth conference for young people across Swansea, the hosting of a multi-agency meeting for adults in agencies across all sectors, and continuing meetings of the young people steering team post-end of project. Development of a focused, multi-agency network approach to focus on critical issues concerning young people's participation in Swansea - Following the youth conference and multi-agency meeting for adults in agencies, negotiation occurred between the principal investigator and Officers of the Local Authority, resulting the merging of the Standing Conference on Young People's Participation into a new, Swansea Participation Network which is led by the Local Authority, and supported by Swansea University. Also, work is on-going to optimise focus on young people's participation through the establishment of a multi-agency and cross-sectoral Evidence and Engagement Group. The Group will consist of researchers, policy-level officers and practitioners and explore how young people-inspired understandings of participation, research findings and best practice can be used to improve policy, strategy and service delivery. Creation of new research capacity by young people - Although the project formally ended in 2011, the young people steering team has continued to meet and, reflecting upon research findings and key messages from the youth conference, has identified areas of further activity. In particular, funding has been sought and obtained from the Swansea Youth Action Network to facilitate a further, small-scale project to enable young people to survey and disseminate localised survey findings concerning their community engagement, specifically that relating to health, well-being and facilities.

Generation of a better empirical understanding of young people's participation in community engagement - young people across Swansea and local agencies who have been made more aware of the right of young people to participate in decision making, especially in relation to policy development and service delivery. Academics and researchers who have an interest in the area of young people's participation and children's rights. Development of a focused, multi-agency network approach to focus on critical issues concerning young people's participation in Swansea - local agencies across all sectors in Swansea who work with, or contribute to the development of policy for young people, young people themselves, and academics and researchers who have an interest in young people's participation or, more broadly, children's rights. Creation of new research capacity by young people - primarily young people who are engaged in the research, and their peers, to which findings or outcomes will be reported, local agencies in areas of activity who may benefit from learning about research findings, and researchers.

Raising awareness not just of the right for young people to participate in decision making (both via formal structures and informally) but the capacity of young people to use research findings and constructively support policy re-alignment, service development, and be active contributors to culture change. This is, necessarily, an output in progress.

It should be noted the output described below is still emerging and in progress. Through engagement within the research process, young people demonstrated that they can develop meaningful methodologies to enable their participation in traditionally 'adult' focused activities such as policy development and service planning. This finding was reiterated by the young people steering team, and via the youth conference. Young people that engaged in the project developed two outputs: Firstly, recommendations to enhance their participation in decision making with local agencies and the communities in which they live, and secondly, by initiating a further process of findings dissemination by creating visual media (including an animation, a short film, and a School Council resource pack) to promote the concept and practice of participation.

Through the work of the young people steering team and the youth conference, young people offered recommendations which, if implemented by agencies, would result in their voices being heard by adults policy makers and service providers. The young people steering team, reflecting on the recommendations articulated in the youth conference developed an animation, a short film and a School Council resource pack which they disseminated to all secondary Schools in Swansea.

Young people that participated in the project, young people in secondary Schools in Swansea, adults working in agencies in Swansea, and academics and researchers who have an interest in young people's participation and children's rights.

The concept of the 'quadralogue' has been accepted in Swansea by young people as an important area for future work, and their eagerness to engage in the process has been echoed by members of the Participation Network, adults who engage in policy development, and academics. Accordingly, capacity building is currently being undertaken with young people to engage in, and lead thematic quadralogues. During 2013, a series of exploratory quadralogues will be held, beginning with a focus on the historical development of participation policy and strategy in Swansea.

The young people, both in the steering team and through the youth conference formulated a recommendation that a new type of dialogical process should be created to bring together them, policy makers, service providers and academics. This process, deemed a 'quadralogue' was intended to break down barriers between young people and adults who could influence their participation and, operating on a type of US senatorial committee system, enable young people to lead discussion, hear evidence, and work with adults to promote change and realise their engagement in local policy and service development. This recommendation from young people was unexpected because it was expected that they would focus mainly on promoting key messages from the research and explaining their own views, instead of developing clear proposals for the modification of adult and agency-related engagement with the concept and practice of participation.

None

None

Cite this outcome

Harvard

Charles, Anthony and Haines, Kevin. Using research to enhance and embed policy and practice which promotes children's participation in decision making.: ESRC Impact Report, RES-192-22-0019. Swindon: ESRC

Vancouver

Charles Anthony and Haines Kevin. Using research to enhance and embed policy and practice which promotes children's participation in decision making.: ESRC Impact Report, RES-192-22-0019. Swindon: ESRC.