Are you working as youth / citizen policy officer in a local or regional (municipal) government, are you a locally elected politician / council representative, or are you a youth worker / researcher supporting youth in participating in municipal decisions?

If your answer is yes, then the Democracy Reloading Toolkit is for you. The mission of this Toolkit is to improve active citizenship and democracy in local and regional communities, to contribute to recognising young people’s right to participate and self-organise and to actively engage young people, youth organisations and other youth work providers in policy making, in line with the European Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and the EU Youth Goals

  This online Toolkit was created to:

  • Provide information and knowledge for understanding the benefits and consequences of engaging young people in municipal decisions, and on how to advocate for it within the municipality.
  • Give a full picture of all required competences required for the involvement of young people in local democracy.
  • Show how to develop specific competences of relevant municipality staff (individually and collectively) in designing, planning, implementing and evaluating democratic youth participation.



The Democracy Reloading Toolkit is built around 4 KEY COMPETENCES (tasks) for municipality staff that have been identified by our research as essential for engaging young people in municipal decision-making: creating a supportive environment within the MUNICIPALITY, empowering YOUNG PEOPLE, developing policy, STRATEGY and structure, and of course MANAGING and validating it.

The four tasks


Creating a supportive environment within the MUNICIPALITY to involve young people in decision-making.

Young People

Empowering YOUNG PEOPLE and their organisations and communities to participate in municipal decision-making.


Developing policy, STRATEGY and structure for youth participation in decision-making.


MANAGING youth participation in decision-making and validating its impact.

Each of the 4 key competences is divided into 6 competence elements: 2 attitudes, 2 knowledge-based and 2 skills (see explanation below) that contributes to the successful performance of the key competence. We believe that the presence of these 24 competence elements in your municipality will form the basis of an organisational culture and supportive environment that will empower your municipality to realise a high quality, meaningful and effective youth participation and contribute to the improvement of local democracy.

View the full reference framework of 24 competence elements

Values and attitude

There are always specific values and principles behind actions and policies. Everything we do is rooted in these values and reflects how a person or organisation considers and approaches other people or issues. Each TASK will be supported by 2 attitudes and values that you are expected to agree and identify with.


A competence requires the acquisition of relevant information, an understanding of various theories, the carrying out of research, the cognitive processing of this information, and an understanding of the relationship between the various elements. Each task will be supported by 2 knowledge sections, so that you can understand why, what and how things can be done.


In order to act, implement policy and achieve objectives, you need specific abilities. These abilities will empower you to be competent and effective in your implementation. Each task will be described via 2 specific skills.

The Toolkit includes information and resources to develop these competences for high quality performance. If you go into a selected competence element (a card) you will find a short explanation for your better understanding, a more theoretical description for your deeper elaboration, a collection of practices and personal stories for your inspiration, and a list of further readings and resources for your specific interest. 


If you register you can use the following functions for FREE:

ASSESS YOURSELF! You will find self-assessment tool that helps you to reflect on your own municipal authority and your own competences based on the 24 competence elements of the Reference Framework. You can do the assessment alone or with your team as many times as you wish, and the Toolkit will give you automated feedback with hints for next steps (that you download).

READ AND LEARN! You can browse among the 24 competence elements and read selected and sorted content. You can learn on your own and a progress bar will show how much part (in %) of the full Toolkit content you visited. You can also organise discussion meetings with colleagues on competence elements that you wish to improve. If more colleagues are registered with the same municipality name, the progress of learning of all these colleagues are shown as “Progression of your municipality” on the Dashboard page in the green area.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! In 8 selected competence elements (green cards) there is also an assignment that you can do on your own or with your team in the municipality to improve the competence individually or collectively. We will be adding new assignments soon.

GET INSPIRED! Read and learn from the collection of practices and solutions of other municipalities and get inspired by the personal stories of other municipal staff in the field of youth participation in municipal decision-making and democracy.

ADD YOUR PRACTICE! We encourage you to add a short description of the practice of your municipality in youth participation in municipal decision-making, or add your own personal story of success or failure so that others with similar professional profiles can also learn from it and get inspired.

NEWS AND CALLS Without registration you can read the latest news and the calls for participants of the Democracy Reloading Partnership, and you can sign up for its Newsletter.

New features that will be available in 2023: user quiz and test, resource library for experts, municipality pledge board.