Child and youth participation resource guide

Basics of child and youth participation


Ethics and standards

Minimum Standards for Consulting with Children

Published in Bangkok in 2007 by the Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation (IAWGCP):ECPAT International, Knowing Children, Plan International, Save the Children Alliance, UNICEF EAPRO and World Vision
The Minimum Standards on Consulting with Children and the associated Operations Manual were developed as part of a process to ensure meaningful and high-quality children’s participation in the UN Study on Violence against Children East Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation and associated meetings. Thus, many individuals, especially children and technical experts, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations have contributed to, provided invaluable advice on and otherwise influenced the final text. This is a major contribution to global efforts to increase the quality and effectiveness of children’s participation, based on systematic experiences in preparing children for meetings, facilitating representative selection of children, ways of involving them in adult discussions, modes of facilitating their contributions and including these in outcome documents.

Including children Guidelines on ethical practice in fulfilling children's rights to participation
 Children's Rights Centre 2009( Noreen Ramsden, Janet Prest Talbot)

Through this handbook organizations, institutions and individuals working and/or living with children to become more child-participation-friendly in a meaningful and ethical way. Ethical guidelines on children's participation need to be discussed, practiced, tried and tested for South African situations. With this goal in mind, the guidelines in this handbook have emerged from a process of consultation within the children's sector, including children themselves, and the aim in publishing them is to encourage general agreement on these basic standards of ethical practice.
This handbook is divided into three parts: Part 1: The right of the child to participate- looks at the right of participation as it is described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Part 2: Children's participation at all levels of society-maps child participation in society and verviews the many spaces it can happen in.  Part 3: Guidelines for safeguarding children-offers guidelines for safeguarding children. As child participation becomes more public and children meet in groups, in programmes and at events, there is an obligation to ensure that they are safeguarded from anything that might harm them.

RBM and Children's Participation: A Guide to Incorporating Child Participation Results into CIDA Programs , CIDA 2006

The guide provides a summary of learning to date on the minimum standards of  good practices in child participation, an overview of the basic steps to consider when planning child participation results within CIDA projects and programs, a checklist for child participation in CIDA projects, and two sample project plans in which child participation is incorporated within an RBM framework. This guide is about planning for child participation within an RBM framework at CIDA
This guide was developed to help CIDA staff and development partners incorporate child participation results into relevant project and program plans, in keeping with CIDA's policy and practice of Results-Based Management (RBM). The guide is aimed at projects benefiting children of all ages — even at a very young age, children's views and opinions can be solicited and means can be found to involve them in project activities. Participation results and processes need to be tailored to the appropriate context and stage of development, but children at different ages can and should participate if development efforts are to be effective.

Alderson, Priscilla and Virginia Morrow, Ethics, Social Research and Consulting with Children and Young People, Barnardo’s, ISBN 1904659071, Barkingside, UK, 2004.
This report examines the ethical implications of involving children in social research, from planning a study, to interview questions and methods, to reporting and disseminating the findings.

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice, UK, 1999.
These guidelines are designed to alert researchers to ethical issues and situations that might arise during the research process. Five sections provide recommendations for researchers and their relations with and responsibilities to: research participants, sponsors, donors and employers, colleagues, governments and the wider society.

Ausyouth, Good Practice in Youth Development: A framework of principles, a discussion document, Ausyouth, Adelaide, 2001.
This discussion document presents a framework of principles for youth development in Australia. It includes underlying principles and indicators for the applications of the framework in the three youth development areas of policy, organizations and programmes.

Boyden, Jo, ‘Conducting Research with War-Affected and Displaced Children’ in Rethinking Childhood: Perspectives on children’s rights, Special issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly, Issue 24.2, Cambridge, MA, 2000.
Research in situations of conflict can be sensitive and may affect the privacy, well-being and security of subjects. This paper explores some of the ethical and moral obligations that should be met while conducting research with children. It also addresses the ethical dilemmas that are involved in the process.

Children and Young People’s Unit, Learning to Listen: Core principles for the involvement of children and young people, Department of Education and Skills, Children and Young People’s Unit, UK, 2003.
This document presents the core principles of children’s participation in government departments. It provides a framework for planning and for involving children and young people in policy, service design and delivery.

Cutler, David, Standard! Organizational standards and young people’s participation in public decision making, Carnegie Young People Initiative, London, 2003.
This report raises the question of how standards can be applied to young people’s involvement in the decisions that shape their lives. It reviews the use of standards by young people’s organizations and other agencies.

Morrow, Virginia, ‘The Ethics of Social Research with Children’, Paper presented at CRED, University of Western England, UK, 2003.
This paper examines the literature and critical issues related to ethics and social research with children. The ‘Ten Topics in Ethical Research’ in the conclusion is a useful summary of important ethical considerations for any researcher considering research with children.

Ethics and Standards of Children’s Participation 21 National Association of Social Workers, NASW Standards for the Practice of Social Work with Adolescents, NASW, Washington D.C, 2003.
These standards are designed to guide social workers in a variety of settings as they help young people become competent and healthy adults. This is a good reference guide for all professionals working with adolescents.

O’Kane, Claire, ‘Responding to Key Challenges and Ethical Issues’ in Children and Young People as Citizens: Partners for social change, Book 2, Learning From Experience, Save the Children Alliance, South and Central Asia Region, Kathmandu, 2004, pp. 22-36. (Also available in PDF)
This chapter addresses the popular concerns in relation to adult power and children’s participation. It deals with issues of raising expectations, payments for children’s involvement, informed consent and fair representation and other ethical issues in children’s participation.

Save the Children, Children and Participation: Research, monitoring and evaluation with children and young people, Save the Children UK, London, 2002.
This Save the Children UK document is about participatory information gathering in the process of research, monitoring and evaluation with children and young people. It is aimed at practitioners wishing to include children and young people in research projects and in monitoring and evaluating their on-going work.

Save the Children, Introductory Capacity Building Workshop on Meaningful and Ethical Participation of Girls and Boys, 2006
This report covers the three-day workshop on Introductory Capacity Building Workshop on Meaningful and Ethical Participation of Girls and Boys held in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh from 16-18 August 2006, for Save the Children staff and its partner organizations. The training covered different aspects of participation i.e. participation as a right, a definition of child participation, child development, evolving capacities of children, practice standards, how to involve children in rehabilitation and reconstruction and some practical methods to facilitate qualitative participation of children. Participatory and interactive sessions including a combination of presentations, tools analysis exercises, group work and narratives were used in the workshop.

Save the Children, Practice Standards in Children’s Participation, Save the Children Alliance, London, 2005.
This briefing document outlines Save the Children’s practice standards in children’s participation and discusses how to meet those standards. It is based on the principles derived from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In summary, the practice standards are: an ethical approach: transparency, honesty and accountability; children’s participation is relevant and voluntary; a childfriendly, enabling environment; equality of opportunity; staff are effective and confident; participation promotes the safety and protection of children; ensuring follow-up and evaluation.

Schenk, Katie and Jan Williamson, Ethical Approaches to Gathering Information from Children and Adolescents in International Settings: Guidelines and resources, Population Council, New York, USA, 2005.
This publication provides practical guidance on collecting information from and about young people to help researchers and programme managers to understand and uphold ethical standards while planning and conducting research with children. It also provides guidance on planning and implementing the research and concludes with some recommendations.

UNICEF, Children Participating in Research, Monitoring and Evaluation: Ethics and your responsibilities as a manager, Evaluation Technical Notes, UNICEF, New York, 2002.
This paper offers advice and checklists on ethical issues when involving children in research, monitoring and evaluation.

Wade, Harry and Bill, Badham, Hear by Right: Standards for the active involvement of children and young people, The National Youth Agency, UK, 2003.
This publication offers tried and tested standards for organizations to assess and improve practice and policy on the active involvement of children and young people. The standards cover seven areas: shared values, strategy, structure, systems, staff and elected members and trustees, skills and knowledge, and style of leadership. It includes checklists and examples for adaptation by other agencies.

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