Child and youth participation resource guide

Basics of child and youth participation


Capacity building

Bartlett, Sheridan, Joanna, Hill, Arnold Caroline, Conversations with Families to Prepare for Early Childhood Programming: Participatory research handbook, Save the Children (Norway, US and UK) and UNICEF, ISBN 92-806-3699, Kathmandu, 2001.
While focusing on early childhood programming, this handbook is a useful guide for all researchers. It describes the step-by-step process of participatory research design, data collection and analysis with community members.

Beenash, Jafri, Fire It Up! A toolkit for young action, Youth Action Network, Toronto, 2002.
This manual for youth organizations focuses on strengthening fair societies. It starts with a discussion of principles of anti-oppressive organizing, including colonialism, feminism, anti-racism, homophobia, and class. It provides tools and strategies for group organizing, event and project planning and meeting tools. It also includes profiles of successful projects and lists of youth organizations, resources
and websites.

van Beers, Henk, Children’s Participation: Experiences in capacity building and training, Save the Children Sweden, ISBN 91-89366-96-4, Stockholm, 2002.
This book is based on experiences with street and working children. It deals with developing understanding and skills for children’s participation among professional staff and within organizations. It includes information on the various aspects of training on children’s participation, including measuring the outcomes of such trainings.
Email: library@rb.se or info@rb.se

van Beers, Henk and Casper Trimmer,Adults First! An organizational training on children’s participation, Child Rights Foundation Cambodia and Save the Children Sweden, SEAP, Bangkok, 2006.
Any organization working for children’s rights needs to train its staff on children’s participation, not just people who are in daily contact with children but also managers, personnel officers and communicators. All agency staff need to understand the concepts and practices of children’s participation. Adults First! describes a typical organizational training on children’s participation run by SCS for a Cambodian NGO. It describes and explains the training activities used in the workshop. Adults First! is aimed at staff and managers of child-focused organizations and is a rich source of ideas and exercises to use with adults and young people.

van Beers, Henk, Vo Phi Chau, Judith Ennew, Pham Quoc Khan, Tran Thap Long, Brian Milne, Trieu Thi Anh Nguyet, Vu Thi Son, Creating an Enabling Environment. Capacity building in children’s participation, Save the Children Sweden, Viet Nam, 2000-2004, Save the Children Sweden, SEAP, Bangkok, 2006.
This report is an assessment of efforts to build capacities for children’s participation in Viet Nam, South-East Asia and elsewhere. It provides an overview of past experiences, describes successes and failures of the programme and builds the basis for planning future programmes to promote children’s participation. The assessment combined three simultaneous research processes carried out by three research teams. They include assessments of the Children-Friendly District in Ho Chi Minh City, national forums for children in Viet Nam and an assessment of the impact of the capacity-building programme in the South-East Asia and Pacific region and globally.

Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 2005.
One: Participation in the Second Decade of Life: What and Why?
Two: Adolescent and Youth Participation: Adults Get Ready!
Three: Adolescent Participation and the Project Cycle
Four: Tools for Adolescent and Youth Participation

Developed in collaboration with UNICEF’s Adolescent Development and Participation Unit, New York, these booklets are a set of four how-to guides on promoting meaningful adolescent participation in decision making. Together, the booklets provide a comprehensive framework for participation that can be adapted for various social and cultural environments. The first booklet explains what participation is and why it is important to involve young people in decision-making processes. The second booklet addresses the roles adults can play in creating an environment, which enables meaningful youth participation. The third booklet features the process and methodology of involving children in the project cycle. The fourth booklet offers tools and tips on involving youth in programmes and decision-making processes.

Dynamix Ltd, Participation – Spice It Up! Practical tools for engaging children and young people in planning and consultation, Save the Children UK, London, 2003.
This publication provides ideas and values that underlie youth participation approaches. It includes tried and tested examples of over 40 activities. The topics cover everything from getting started and gathering information to long-term planning and evaluation.
Email: dynamix@seriousfun.demon.co.uk

Ennew, Judith and Dominique Plateau, How to Research the Physical and Emotional Punishment of Children, Save the Children Sweden, ISBN 974-92438-6-6, Bangkok, 2004.
This book includes guidance and tools for programme managers and researchers for conducting scientific and ethical research with children. In clear language, it describes a 12-step process for planning, data collection, analysis and writing up research findings. Despite its title, this book also applies to more general research with children.

Gibbs, Sara, Gillian Mann, Nicola Mathers, Child-to-Child: A practical guide. Empowering children as active citizens, Health Action Zone, Groundwork Southwark, London, 2002.
This guide outlines a process for working with children ages 9–15 on projects that are child-initiated and child-led. It is an illustrated, easy-to-read resource for practitioners. It also contains sections on group work, choosing issues, conducting research, taking action and evaluation. It includes a list of recommended reading, additional resources and sample lesson plans.

Hodgkin, Rachel and Peter Newell, Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Fully Revised Edition, UNICEF, ISBN 92-806-3782-2, New York, 2002.
This handbook is a practical tool for those involved in implementing principles and provisions of the CRC and realizing the human rights of children. Under each article of the Convention, the handbook records and analyses interpretations by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the internationally elected body of independent experts established to monitor progress for children’s rights worldwide.

Kilgour, Kylie, Circus Skills: A training, support and development needs survey of participation workers, Carnegie Young People Initiative, London, UK, 2002.
This survey looks at training, support and developmental needs of participation workers. Its main recommendation is the need for a network of participation workers.

Kirby, Perpetua, Claire Lanyon, Kathleen Cronin and Ruth Sinclair, Building a Culture of Participation: Involving children and young people in policy, service planning, delivery and evaluation, Handbook, National Children’s Bureau, Department for Education and Skills, Nottingham and P.K. Research Consultancy, 2003.
This handbook draws on the findings of a research study that explored the experiences of 29 organizations in seeking to listen to young people and to take action on what they said. It moves beyond the acceptance of children’s involvement in organizations and looks at how commitments can be translated into practice by bringing about changes to actively involve children and young people in services and policy making.

Marx, Maxwell, William Finger, Hally Mahler (eds.), Youth Participation Guide: Assessment, planning and implementation, YouthNet and Family Health International in collaboration with Advocates for Youth, ISBN 0 939704 93 5, Arlington, VA, USA, 2005.
The Youth Participation Guide seeks to increase the level of meaningful youth participation in reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programming at an institutional and programmatic level. The target audience includes senior and middle management, programme managers, staff involved in implementing activities and youth who may be engaged at all levels of an organization’s work.

NSW Commission for Children and Young People, TAKING PARTicipation Seriously. New South Wales Commission for Children and Young People, Australia.
Booklet One: Sharing the Stage
Booklet Two: All aBoard!
Booklet Three: Count Me In!
Booklet Four: Conferences and Events
Booklet Five: Meeting Together–Deciding Together
Booklet Six: Research and Resources about Participation
Taking participation seriously consists of six booklets that provide comprehensive information and practical tools for involving youth in decision-making processes. Sharing the Stage explores the idea of youth participation and looks at five key elements that are necessary for effective participation in decision making. It includes practical ideas and examples of what has worked for other organizations. All aBoard looks at why and how organizations can involve children and young people on agency boards and committees. It provides information on recruitment, roles and responsibilities, induction, supporting young people before and after meetings, making meetings fun and much more. Count Me In! looks at how organizations can involve children and young people in research. Checking the Scoreboard is a resource guide that helps to get feedback from staff and children and young people involved with organizations about what has worked and where participation activities could be improved. Conferences and Events provides ideas and activities for helping children play meaningful roles before, during and after events so that everyone benefits from their participation. It includes stories about young people’s participation in conferences. Meeting Together–Deciding Together helps young people to prepare for a meeting, participate during the meeting and debrief afterwards. It includes child-friendly templates for invitations, agendas and minutes. Research and Resources about Participation offers a guide on where to access information on youth participation and analyses some leading models of children’s participation.

PLAN Philippines, Facilitators’ Guide for the Promotion of Children’s Rights and Responsibilities and Their Participation in Social Development, PLAN International Philippines, ISBN 1 902280 12 1, 2001.
This practical manual includes child-friendly models and tools on basic strategies and approaches in promoting children’s rights and responsibilities and their participation in development. The guide contains seven modules: perspective development, values, transformation, organizing children for empowerment, organizational management and strengthening, capacity building, networking and advocacy, and phase-out.

Pretty, Jules, Irene Gujit, John Thompson and Ian Scoones, Participatory Learning and Action: A trainer’s guide, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, 1995.
This is a guide for training in the use of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) techniques. These appraisal instruments can be used in urban and rural settings and can be adapted for use with young people.

Regional Working Group on Child Labour, Learning to Work Together: A handbook for managers on facilitating children’s participation in actions to address child labour, Regional Working Group on Child Labour, ISBN 074-90 865-3-8, Bangkok, 2003.
This book combines lessons learned by working children and adults who have participated in child labour programmes, with insights from the growing literature on this subject. It targets programme managers for promoting children’s participation in programmes to combat child labour. Key themes include: implementation, monitoring and evaluation, child-to-child, and communication about child labour.

Save the Children, So You Want to Consult with Children? A toolkit of good practice, Save the Children Alliance, ISBN 82-7481-099-6, London, 2003.
This toolkit is based on the experience of Save the Children in helping to facilitate children’s meaningful participation in the process leading up to, and including, the 2002 UN General Assembly Special Session on Children. The toolkit lists everything that needs to be done to make sure that children participate in consultations in meaningful ways.

Theis, Joachim (ed.), Handbook for Action-Oriented Research on the Worst Forms of Child Labour Including Trafficking in Children, Regional Working Group on Child Labour in Asia, ISBN 974-90865-2-X, Bangkok, 2003.
This handbook brings together essential information about conducting effective, action-oriented research on the worst forms of child labour using a children-centred approach. It includes information on a step-by-step research process with sample materials in a user-friendly manner.

World Bank, Participation Sourcebook, World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1996.
This is a good resource on participatory planning and implementation in general. It contains case studies and chapters on how to conduct participatory planning and decision making, tools to enable people who are poor to participate and an overview of participatory methods and tools.

Youth Peer Education Electronic Resource, Peer Education Training of Trainers Manual, UN Interagency Group on Young People’s Health Development and Protection in Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Committee on Peer Education, 2003.
This manual focuses on the training of trainers of peer educators and provides an example of a training programme. Themes include sexual and reproductive health, prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and substance use. Special considerations are given to gender and cultural sensitivity in conducting health education.