How do you assess youth participation?

Youth participation is a crucial thing for organization who works in serving young people. The rhetoric of “meaningful youth participation” can be heard worldwide frequently in any international, regional, and national level. Do you think that this concept is overrated? Not until you assess it based on “flower of participation” model developed by CHOICE for youth and sexuality.

By using this model, we can analyze the level of participation of young people within an organization. There are at least 8 levels of participation of young people. Thanks CHOICE for the useful resource! 😀

1. No responsibility: Manipulation

Manipulation happens when adults use young people to support a good cause and at the same time they pretend the good cause is inspired by young people.

2. No responsibility: Decoration

Decoration happens when young people are being used to support a good cause, or give it more zest, even though the adults don’t give the impression as if the good cause is inspired by youth.

3. No responsibility: Tokenism

Tokenism means that young people seem to have a voice, but in reality they have little to no choice in what they do or how they get involved.

4. Low responsibility: Assigned but informed

Assigned but informed happens when young people get a specific role and get informed on how and why they are involved in the program or project.

5. Low responsibility: Consulted and informed

Consulted and informed  is the case when young people give advice on projects or programs developed and executed by adults. Young people are informed about how their advice will be used and what the outcome is of the decisions the adults have made.

6. Medium responsibility: Adult initiated, shared decision with youth

This happens when projects or programs are initiated by adults, but decisions are shared with young people.

7. High responsibility: Youth-initiated and directed

This happens when young people initiate and execute a program or project. Adults are only involved in a supporting role

8. High responsibility: Youth-initiated, shared decisions with adults

This happens when programs or projects are initiated by young people whilst decisions are shared with adults and young people. These projects are supportive and motivational for young people, while, at the same time, young people can profit from the experience and expertise of adults.


So, have you already had the idea in which level are you in? Do tell us if you’re in the highest level and share to us how to do it 😀