eXploring Youth Participation  27/06/2018
eXploring Youth Participation

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ participated in the seminar ‘eXploring Youth eParticipation’ held in Tallinn Estonia. The seminar dived into the world of eparticipation and how young people can be more actively involved in the decision making process. Round 60 youth workers, policy makers, young people and platform developers came together to explore how online tools can enhance the active participation of young people in their respective communities.

The 3 days seminar discuss what is eparticipation, looked at different eparticipation projects, the link between offline and online activities to engaging youth in decision making, the various steps required to develop, implement and evaluate an eparticipation initiative, eparticipation tools and platforms, the use of Big data in youth work, data protection and networking.

Eparticipation tools can be used to carry out polls/surveys, generate ideas, argument mapping, collective editing, online forums, budget participation and group decision making to cite some examples.

During this seminar Aġenzija Żgħażagħ led a workshop about the misconceptions of eparticipation. Participants had an opportunity to discuss with the youth worker who coordinated the OPIN project in 2017, obo Agenzija Zghazagh. The discussion circled around the need to involve young people in both offline and online initiatives, create a two-way communication between the young people and the initiators of any eparticipation project, enhance a collaborative environment and that one needs to invest time to implement a successful eparticipation project.

One of the interesting sessions was about Data Protection. Since the introduction of GDPR, a number of organisations have been scrambling to understand the implications this has on the data collected. Two useful tips were: collect data for specific reasons and youth workers should have a code of conduct online.

Eparticipation is another method, which can be useful to bridge the gap between young people and policy makers. One of the pillars for a successful and fruitful project is to put the youth at the heart of decision-making process. Youth present at the seminar, expressed that though they can express their views, policy makers need to consider the youth’s statements to enhance the active civic participation of youth.