Study Session “W(e-)participate – Harnessing Digital Innovation for Youth Participation at the Local Level”

Study Session “W(e-)participate – Harnessing Digital Innovation for Youth Participation at the Local Level”

Study session „W(e)-participate! Harnessing digital innovation for youth participation at local level was organised by DYPALL Network in cooperation with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (France) between 27 September and 3 October 2020. The activity brought together 19 youth workers from 10 member states and was the first residential activity in the European Youth Centre in Strasburg since the beginning of the pandemic.

The aim of the study session was to create a shared understanding of digital youth participation in decision-making processes at the local level and exchange good practices on the field to promote its implementation. It served as a forum to interrogate the challenges and opportunities of digital youth participation, as well as to assess the needs among youth organisations that can help to guarantee a successful and meaningful implementation of digital participation processes.

At the beginning of the session, the participants created a common understanding of what a digital youth participation is, and applied this digital dimension into the well-recognised Council of Europe standards for youth participation, such as ladder of participation, RMSOS model or Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life.

After that, they learned about the case studies of digital participation of youth in decision-making processes and mapped local practices in their countries. They analysed the strenghths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of digital youth participation and reflected on how can they transfer digital solutions into the decision-making processes at local level.

The program of the activity was enriched by important inputs from external experts on cybersecurity, digital youth work, Council of Europe Digital Citizenship Education Program and the opportunities of European Youth Foundation.

At the end of the activity, the participants had time to plan and present their local action plans, to implement digital youth participation into the decision-making processes in their local realities.