The Democracy Reloading Collection of practices – A new feature of the Toolkit.
Learning from practice of others and sharing practices to provide different perspectives be became a very popular way to learn how to create positive and efficient social change. Engaging young people in the democratic discourse and providing them with the space and power to influence the decision that concerns their presence and future locally is a complex process with many stakeholders, and several explicit and implicit objectives. Democracy is an ideal phenomenon, that will never be reached fully, but the intention to achieve it gives the main source of success and creates practices of success. We know well that we cannot take a practice out of its context and implement it somewhere else. However we can find elements, solutions, and methods that we can experiment with and insert into our own context not to mention the inspiration and motivation that we can gain from seeing how others do it, what they achieve or how they overcome their challenges. At the same time learning from failure has as high potential as learning from success. Failing, making mistakes are crucial stages of learning, improving, and reaching results. We can look back on our own experience, and we know how important those mistakes or wrong assumptions were. Remember: there is no success without failure. We also guess there is no such thing as best practice in social change, as there is always room to improve, correct, and replan.
Success in social change is difficult to define, but not impossible. There are clear quality criteria, as well as quality indicators, that show us the way to go. The professional attitude is to respect failures as much as celebrate success. The Democracy Reloading research collected failures and successes from practitioners, who were ready to discuss their tasks and actions. This resulted in the collection of 24 competence elements classified into 4 key competences (Democracy Reloading Reference Framework), which are actually the most important quality criteria of democratic youth participation in municipal decision-making, translated into skills, knowledge and attitudes. The Democracy Reloading Partnership is now aiming to collect success and failure stories and diverse practices (good, best, not good) because we are convinced that each practice and every personal story tells a lot about success and quality. The challenges teach us to be more skilled and more efficient.
Led by this effort, we would like to present the Democracy Reloading collection of practices and stories in the field of democratic youth participation in municipal decision-making. This collection will only reach its aim, if municipality youth policy officers share their own stories, and municipality authorities share their practice with other European towns so that this collection can inspire others and can learn from the success and failures of others too, potentially shortening the path to success, and reducing the number of failures, that we know are needed.
We’d like to invite you to add your own story (also possibly anonymously) in designing and implementing youth participation in municipal decision-making, and/or share the description of the actual existing practice of youth participation in municipal decisions in your town. For the description of practices, we ask questions, so we recommend that you check the questions and write the description first, and then copy and paste your description in the online form. As for personal stories, we provide an open space that you fill with your story.
You can add your story and practice in the existing languages of the Toolkit or English, which will be validated by the content managers soon after you add them. You can only add practices and stories if you are a registered user. Please find here the link to the new function, which you can also find in the menu of the Toolkit: https://democracy-reloading.eu/practices-and-stories/
We are looking forward to your precious stories and your valuable practices so that we can share them with other followers of the Partnership.
Thank you very much for caring and sharing!
Bureau International Jeunesse
The coordinator of the Partnership