Youth eParticipation Tools and Tips for Youth Information Workers
Action clé :
Action clé 1
European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) – Luxembourg
Bundesnetzwerk Österreichische Jugendinfos – Austria
SYMVOYLIO NEOLAIAS KYPROU – Cyprus
Landesjugendring Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V. – Germany
Agence Nationale pour l’Information des Jeunes – Luxembourg
Instituto Portugues do Desporto e Juventude – Portugal
Dirección General de Juventud y Deportes – Spain
Mladiinfo International – North Macedonia
The “Youth eParticipation Tools and Tips for Youth Information Workers” project was set out to boost youth empowerment and participation in democratic life through eParticipation, in the light of the 2019 European Parliamentary elections. The participating youth workers gained a skill set to plan and successfully deliver youth eParticipation projects in their sending organisations. They were also provided free access to a youth-friendly online eParticipation tool to create their own initiatives and multiply the impact of the present project.
The main aims of the project were to increase the active citizenship, engagement and democratic participation of young people, especially in the light of the European Parliamentary elections. The project targeted these aims by encouraging and facilitating the creation and launch of new eParticipation projects in the field of youth information and counselling, as well as by promoting the use of this tool in the work programme of youth information centres across Europe. In order to realise this, the project activity trained youth information workers to plan, realise and follow up such eParticipation projects, and established professional and informal links between participants.
A very important element of the training was simulation, when participants worked in groups, developed eParticipation project ideas they actually created them on the eParticipation platform. Through different exercises, they could experience all stages of project management.
The activity, which was a training course, took place in Skopje, F.Y.R. Macedonia, from 3-7 June 2019, with the participation of 23 youth (information) workers and trainers. They represented 6 organisations from 6 countries: Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Portugal and Spain.
The training course provided the participants with comprehensive know-how on digital youth participation from a practical point of view, including planning, community management, communication, promotion, privacy, data protection and the use of an online platform, among others. The programme used non-formal education methodologies, as well as experiential learning and the simulation of an eParticipation project.
Participants of the activity successfully reached a set of learning outcomes (see above) and acquired relevant new skills that they can immediately start putting into practice. These eParticipation projects and activities the participants launch in their organisations will directly impact young people’s participation in decision making processes and let them actively experience democracy.
In a broader perspective, through further training of youth information trainers the project supported the professionalisation of youth information workers and the quality level of youth information services.
On the local level, participants have become well-trained youth information trainers, who possess freshly updated skills and knowledge of eParticipation (both theoretical and practical) and its use in the field of youth. The partner organisations work directly with these participants, therefore their capacity to design, launch and run eParticipation projects will translate to attractive and up-to-date services for their target group, and ultimately to a higher quality youth work overall.
On the European level, the project contributes to the development of youth information and counselling as a profession and youth information workers being considered to be competent professionals, who are also tech-savvy and use cutting edge methods and tools to increase their outreach to young people. The training also highlights the advantage of
European co-operation that can introduce them to new opportunities and provide continuous professional development.
All project partners are active in the field of youth information and counselling, therefore continuous professional cooperation is ensured.
This is envisaged to foster professional development projects, the creation of new tools for youth information and counselling work and the sharing good practices, among others. Furthermore, as a specific result of the present project, the cooperation among certain project partners, bilaterally or multilaterally, has been boosted.