Youth Engagement for Policy Reform

How can we promote youth policy reform and young people’s participation in democratic life? Can mixing offline and online activities, through e-tools such as YouthMetre’s, improve the participatory process?

These were just a few of the questions discussed by the speakers at YouthMetre’s launch on February 14 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. Here, the need to understand participation dynamics among young people in local communities better – and how this has changed over the last years – was acknowledged. As was the importance of sharing successful experiences and replicating them in different contexts.

14 young Europeans
It was also the perfect introduction to YouthMetre’s Young Influencers. 14 young adults from 14 countries across Europe, who had previously been involved in YouthMetre’s study groups, met in Brussels for a two-day training dedicated to the YouthMetre e-tool and a series of topics linked to it.

The training was developed in order to give the young influencers news tools and methods  to help other young people in expressing their needs, engaging with decision makers and influencing youth policy, in particular through the use of the YouthMetre’s e-tools. The training’s goal was to test this new methodology and improve it in order to make it more suitable for use at the local level, with an audience of young people.

How to influence policies
The training course – that soon will be available in an online version – is structured in five sessions and includes a mix of methods: non-formal activities, theoretical inputs, group activities, computer based activities. The five main learning objectives were:

  • To learn how to activate young people and start imagining the change
  • To know more about the EU Youth Policy and how young people are influenced by and can influence it
  • To find inspiration from selected good practices and design a project idea
  • To learn what advocacy is and how to communicate an idea or a project
  • To learn how to use information and the YouthMetre e-tools to design a policy campaign

Spreading inspiration
The training was an occasion to meet 14 motivated young people, active in their own context and interested in spreading YouthMetre. In the next months, YouthMetre’s project partners will support them in organising local activities based on the use of YouthMetre e-tools and training material. The young influencers will work with other groups of young people to bring their ideas to policy makers’ attention.

Photo: Chris Marchal