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Conclusions Participation – Italy 2010

Conclusions on Participation

Design of the session
To warm up, participants were asked to sit by 2 and interview each other about the sessions on participation they had followed throughout the conference.
Questions were: what was interesting to you, what did you miss, what would you like to elaborate upon.
In a next step, participants regrouped into small groups of 4, and were asked to briefly summarize the items they’d discussed before. Furthermore, they were asked to organize all the items brought forward in their group.
Finally, we had a discussion about possible conclusions and a way forward for the topic of participation for the ENCFC.

Conclusions: What we learned – What we missed – Questions for the future
Why
 Some participants still feel the need to develop strong arguments for convincing policymakers to support participation processes with children and young people.
 In this respect, there is a felt need to be presented with more cost-benefit analyses.
 Also, arguments should not only be developed in the long run, but policymakers should also see what is in it for them, on a short term.
 How sustainable are outcomes? What is the change they bring about? And: are we ready to cope with fundamental changes?

How
 Guidelines and/or a framework for participation, including a sensitivity
 for different age groups – what with the group of children from 0 to 8?
 for children with disabilities
 How can social media be used for the process? What can we learn from actual practices?
 Why do we organise so many participatory processes through schools, while schools are not necessarily participatory systems?
 How to assess participation processes?
 Participation should not be restricted to ‘decision-making’, but is essentially about ownership? We should not only focus on the output, but even more so on the learning process involved in participation.

With whom?
 Participatory processes seem to be restricted to local levels, but what is possible on a national level? Does scale matter?
 We should not segregate or leave out the adults. Both children and adults are actors, so processes cannot be separated. There is also (still) a need for cultural work with adults.
 Learn more about civil society involvement in creating a child-friendly city (on a very basic level).

An Piessens, Child & Society Research Center BE