It's been a long time coming, and it's still got a long way to go – but finally this afternoon I've been able to set the new version of the Hear by Right website live with the newly launched 2008 Hear by Right resources and a brand new design and CMS back-end (drupal). I won't write too much about it now… as heading off to the pub to celebrate… but a bit of background for you:
Hear by Right is a standards framework for the involvement of young people used by 100s of organisations from local authorities to small voluntary sector organisations. It's designed to help organisations change to embed the voice and influence of youth into their everyday fabric. Although as I mentioned in response to a post by David Wilcox last year Hear by Right has a lot to offer work on user engagement and participation in all organisations – not just those that work with young people.
Through the Hear by Right website we've been trying to:
Create a space to share learning from the many 100s of authorities and organisations using Hear by Right to map and plan for change
Curate and share some of the best resources to support the participation of young people in decision making
Encourage organisations to be more open about the challenges and successes in engaging young people in decision making
Make clear the neccessary link between participation in decision making and real change for the lives of young people
The site's new design and back-end should help us do that just a little better – and puts in some more solid foundations for us to build on than those that were provided by the somewhat hacked-together CMS I wrote back in 1999 whilst learning ASP (those days are fortunately long behind me…).
And now that the site is launched… I can finally start pulling together some plans to explore different ways of visualising the data it holds… expect more on that soon.