It’s not about you

If you have documents, websites or presentations about your youth participation project, and they spend more time talking about your organisation, or the consortia and collection or organisations involved in the project – than they spend talking about the project itself – something is probably wrong.

If your consultations are designed around your internal organisational structure, rather than being based on the issues and themes that matter most to the people you are consulting – something is probably wrong.

If to access your services young people need to provide all sorts of management information that is just for your funders, and which provides not added value to the young person – something is probably wrong.

Good participation isn’t just something you bolt on to your organisation – it shifts the focus. It’s not about you. It’s about change for young people.

2 thoughts on “It’s not about you”

  1. Spot on, Tim.

    Organisations like this will notice – often too late, sometimes not at all – that young people simply turn elsewhere.

    Participation always happens – if organisations don’t allow for it by shifting their focus, the focus of young people will shift away from them to never return.

    Non-participation of young people is a myth. It’s just that the structures reporting and documenting youth participation have not understood what you are saying. To them it seems that participation has decreased.

    It hasn’t. It’s just gone elsewhere.

  2. Oh how true, I see this a lot as well, yet finding ways to overcome this way of thinking is really difficult. It may even take a whole generation before we start to see change – I can’t imagine that a young person today, that ends up running a company in 10-15yrs time, will bury their staff in unnecessary, intrusive red tape and archaic working methods. Waiting for change to happen at management level regarding new ways of working is like watching paint dry in a sauna. Together I think we can at least shake a few people into waking up a little – lets just hope that it doesn’t take too long hey?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.