“Super Youth Worker”
Edifício Rubi Comercial, R. Teófilo Braga 1º andar, Sala 1, 8500-668 Portimao, Portugal
The right to participate, one of the fundamental pillars of democracy, is referred to in many policy documents with national and international scope highlighting the need of involving young people in decision-making processes at all levels, from local to global, and empowering them to contribute to social, political, and civic discourse in their communities and wider.
We believe this is the right moment to promote Local Youth Councils as existing models and one of the most powerful tools for participation of young people in decision-making processes at local level, but even though there are many local youth councils worldwide, the perception is that the quality of their impact is still low. We believe there is a huge potential and the crucial role here is on the local authorities and national governments to work on the further development of these structures and ensure the quality participation of young people.
Based on this, in the Local Youth Councils at International Scale project, we developed this Quality Charter on participatory and inclusive local youth councils as an assessment tool to be used by the local youth council members, youth workers or the municipality when building, rebuilding, reforming or relaunching a local youth council.
The Quality Charter on participatory and inclusive local youth councils is a practical tool for local youth council members, youth workers or the municipalities for assessing the local youth council in their place.
It provides concrete indicators for evaluating the youth council’s structure and functioning in order to make it more participatory and inclusive, but also to increase its impact. Moreover, the Quality Charter aims to empower a long-term strategy for sustainable continuous improvement of the local youth councils and their impact on local, regional and international level.
These are 3 general areas of assessment (AoA), different among each other but complementary on the LYC activity assessment. Each AoA has 3 criteria dimensions, with 9 dimensions in total. This approach offers diversity in the analysis, but also a deeper process of assessment on a formal general framework. Each Criteria under each AoA has a number of specific indicators. Each indicator is specific enough to be clearly assessed but also general enough to be adaptable to the local specificities. For that, specific evidence of assessment can be added to the assessment process, assuring both specificity on the clear assessment and a general approach to the local specificities.
(Direct link: https://u.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZQjvGVZjLaH4TBVhVVhBtFEuzOLuSEyprEk)
As a vision, with the implementation of this Quality Charter on participatory and inclusive LYCs, we foresee LYC’s from all around Europe and beyond as key active stakeholders in the building of the future of their communities, as drivers for fair youth participation, as role models for continuous meaningful and impactful youth participation practices, and as promoters of sustainable youth participation in the decision-making processes that lead to more effective public policy development and cohesive societies. In line with the European Union’s priority of “A new push for European democracy”, quality local youth counsils can have a fundamental role in nurturing, protecting and strengthening our democracies.
This tool is newly developed and has not yet been used, but we do believe that it has a huge potential. In the following months it will be implemented by the project partners in their local realities, but will also be publicly available to all local youth councils and interested stakeholders around the world.