LET’S BUILD A YOUTH-FRIENDLY MUNICIPALITY OF OUR FUTURE
This online Toolkit aims to support municipalities and local authorities in successfully engaging young people in decision-making. Democracy Reloading is grounded in the values and principles of human rights, equality, democracy and the rule of law. The Toolkit is based on a set of 24 competence elements (attitudes, values, knowledge and skills) that will help a local (municipal) or regional government design, implement and evaluate a successful youth participation structure. This is aimed at engaging young people in the local/regional council’s decision-making process. A number of Erasmus+ Youth national agencies have cooperated and worked together with practitioners and experts, through research and collective learning/sharing activities, to identify these competences. Each competence is described in detail and includes a variety of resources that will help you understand theories and concepts, learn about related practices and improve your implementations skills.
The Toolkit will help youth policy-related municipality staff become empowered, competent and ready to encourage young people to become involved in decision- making, thereby improving active citizenship and democracy in local communities. The Toolkit is also in line with the European Youth Strategy 2019-27,
which aims to actively engage young people, youth organisations and other organisers of youth work in policies that affect their lives at all levels. It also aims to support youth representatives at local, regional and national level and to recognise young people’s rights to participate and self-organise. The competences are explained via three notions: values and attitudes, knowledge, and skills.
THE FOUR TASKS IN YOUR MUNICIPALITY
Democracy Reloading research identified 4 main tasks for a municipal youth policy officer/department,
which deal with engaging young people in decision-making.
The four tasks
MunicipalityCreating a supportive environment within the MUNICIPALITY to involve young people in decision-making.
Young PeopleEmpowering YOUNG PEOPLE and their organisations and communities to participate in municipal decision-making.
StrategiesDeveloping policy, STRATEGY and structure for youth participation in decision-making.
ManagementMANAGING youth participation in decision-making and validating its impact.
Under each task, you will find the 6 competence elements (2 attitudes, 2 knowledge-based and 2 skills) that will allow you to carry out the task successfully. The strong presence of these 6 competence elements in your municipality will form the basis of an organisational culture and supportive environment that will empower your municipality to accomplish this task.
Values and attitude
When you complete the learning and development process of the 24 competence elements, you (or your team) are ready and empowered to design and develop youth participation in decision-making for your municipality. Your work will contribute towards improving democracy in your local community.
SEE YOUR BUILDING GROW AS YOU DEVELOP COMPETENCES
The Toolkit is user-friendly and is based on a non-formal education approach. As you read through the 24 competences, the Toolkit will show you your individual progress, as well as that of your municipality, all visualised through the construction of four buildings. We recommend that you work through the Toolkit together with colleagues who are – or should be – involved in the implementation of youth participation in decision-making in your municipality/organisation. It may only be one person, or it may be a team of people who are working on this issue; it all depends on the size and resources of the municipality. So please identify carefully who should be involved in learning with this Toolkit, and plan your learning process together. The time you invest in using the Toolkit will eventually pay off, as it will thoroughly prepare you to design and implement (or improve) youth engagement in decision-making.