The 2014-15 Commissioner’s Participation Awards will be hosted by NICCY in February 2015 – Now open for applications
The 2014-15 Commissioner’s Participation Awards aim to identify and recognise good practice at each stage with the hope that organisations can learn from each other and develop more meaningful participation of children and young people in their organisations.
The Youth Panel have been involved in exploratory research with government Departments which highlighted that while there were few examples of outstanding work there were some aspects of participative practice which we felt were worth highlighting. We looked at several examples of organisations getting ready for an undertaking participation projects and found that there were three stages to participation; Preparing Your Organisation for Participation, Engaging with Children & Young People and Follow up & Demonstrating Impact
Organisations can apply to any one, two or all categories:
Stage 1: Preparing Your Organisation for Participation
• How you have prepared your organisation for participation
• Training provided to staff
• How young people were involved from the beginning
• How you planned to address barriers to participation
Stage 2: Engaging with Children and Young People
• The process of involving young people
• What you did i.e. when, who facilitated, was it a diverse group
• What barriers you overcame in the process
• How you fed back to young people on how their views were used
Stage 3: Follow up and Demonstrating Impact
• What the results or achievements of your project were
• How this engagement has created change in your organisation
• How you have used the information
• How this process has influenced your future plans for participation
The Children’s Commissioner, Patricia Lewsley-Mooney established the awards to recognise and celebrate the participation and active engagement of young people in public life. They are open to all government departments, arm’s length bodies and other public sector organisations.
“This is the second year of the Participation Awards, last year was a huge success and we want to build on this to increase awareness of the importance of involving young people in decisions that affect them,” said Mrs Lewsley-Mooney.
“So many laws and decisions affect the lives of young people. It is important that they are involved at an early stage to make sure these decisions are designed, delivered and evaluated on actual rather than presumed needs,” she said.
“The Participation Awards are a wonderful way to encourage the government to involve children and young people in decisions that affect us” Katherine O’Neill-Robinson (Youth Panel Member)
“As young people are such an important aspect of most public bodies in Northern Ireland we would expect that each would incorporate young people in their projects, however this is not the case. We hope that through The Participation Awards we will encourage more organization to involve young people and award those that already do”
Anna Daggett (Youth Panel Member)
You can also view the Commissioner's intro video below: