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The Impact of Democracy Reloading

Democracy Reloading is bringing together people from across Europe to improve youth participation in municipalities and help young people to have a voice at local level. But what difference is it currently making? To help us understand that we have commissioned Ondřej Bárta and Dan Moxon from People Dialogue and Change to undertake a study on the impact of Democracy Reloading. The study is now in its third year – and has a range of results so far:

Who is Democracy Reloading working with? 

As of 2022, The Democracy Reloading stakeholder network is well established, with over 700 people registered as either toolkit users or activity participants. We can already see that this number is growing substantially in 2023 and there are now upwards of 1000 members in the network. The majority of stakeholders are from municipalities, and they have a wide range of different experience levels. An increasing number of people involved in Democracy Reloading now come from outside of municipalities. This includes people such as trainers, consultants and NGOs working with municipalities. Overall, we can see that Democracy reloading is doing well at reaching its core audience and is generating a lot of interest with relevant stakeholders.

How is the Democracy Reloading toolkit being used? 

Nearly four out of five stakeholders in the network say they use the Democracy Reloading toolkit. From the survey we know that many stakeholders also share the toolkit with others in municipalities. The toolkit is used in a range of different languages; only one third of users use the toolkit in English. The large majority of stakeholders find the toolkit relevant, user friendly and useful and the majority of toolkit users believe it has a high impact on their competence in youth participation.

What impact is Democracy Reloading having?

The amount of Democracy Reloading stakeholders applying for, and also successfully receiving E+:Youth grants is increasing year on year. Two thirds of stakeholders feel that Democracy Reloading highly contributed to the extent of support they now feel from their National Agencies. 

Just over half of stakeholders considered Democracy Reloading has a high influence on the development of local youth participation strategies and just under half of stakeholders believe it has some influence on the development of participatory structures in municipalities

Not all stakeholders identify the same level of impact on municipal decision making. Democracy Reloading stakeholders now come from a range of different settings, many of which have established approaches to youth participation – this may mean it is harder to create impact in these settings. Other stakeholders report challenges creating impact when their municipalities are not supportive of youth participation.

If you would like to take part in the 2023 stakeholder impact survey – click here.