Archive of European Projects

Participate to Change
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 01 Feb 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Participation of youth to policy-making processes has long been a discussion around whole Europe since it is not possible to talk about democracy in its modern sense without involving all stakeholders of the public. Participation to policy-making works best at local level since access is the easiest and citizens feel direct effect so they can see immediate result of their contribution. In some European Union member states, participation rate for the young people is relatively higher because of well developed local administration structures, whereas it is very low in Turkey, a candidate state. This can be associated with the strong statist tradition which does not leave a lot to discuss at the local level. However, this started to change with EU membership process and young people also show interest in participating. This project starts from the question of what needs to be done in Turkey to raise the awareness in young people from Turkey about participating, providing a ground for both young people and policy makers to come together and discuss the existing need of creating spaces for young people to engage and to build a dialogue and strong partnerships from other European institutions so that outcomes will be sustainable and possibly be multiplied with other future projects. For this aim the project will cover 5-days of an international meeting hosted by Genç Hayat Foundation in İstanbul/Turkey on September 2014. British Youth National Agency will be the partner of the project, since UK is a country that is known with its democratic culture and can be the best example for Turkey with their already existing, 13 years long application called Hear by Right. It is a standards framework that NYA is applying for institutions working with children and young people to evaluate themselves in terms of their level of participating young people to their decision-making processes. NYA will give training to 30 young people between the ages of 15-18 and policy makers both from Turkey and UK which will cover the identification of Hear by Right application with the positive and negative elements and experiences, discussions on what has been done in the field both in Turkey and in UK and possible future application of Hear by Right framework of Turkey with the stakeholders from different levels. Main activities of program are first the preparation process which will be highly participatory for all stakeholders of the project since the very idea of the project is to support participation. Training will then take place in İstanbul with participants from UK and will cover informative and open discussion sessions as well as case studies and role playing games. Non-formal education methods will be used during this training. A reflection paper will be prepared by an expert from Genç Hayat Foundation who will contribute with the experiences of the Foundation in Turkey during the training. This paper will then be distributed to stakeholders from Turkey and UK and all other possible stakeholders of EU. Project quality management and reporting will be checked during whole process and will be the main activity to be carried out in order to avoid a possible problem for the project. One concrete result will be the reflection paper prepared by Genç Hayat Foundation with information that will be gained from the project. The impact of this paper will be highly important for Turkey since a lot of stakeholders will benefit from an application of a similar framework to Turkey in the long run. For policy-makers it will mean meeting the need coming from young people while enhancing democracy which is also supported by the EU itself. Other impact in line with the program objectives are improving the key competencies for young people with working on their interpersonal communication skills both with national and an international groups while promoting their self-awareness about their roles in a democratic life. This will boost social inclusion and active citizenship of the young people since they will internalize their place in the public they are living in and the ways to solve their problems or get their voices heard. One more impact is building cooperation in the field of youth work between different organizations and stakeholders to have an international network for these strong institutions and promoting Structured Dialogue program among organizations with a well-organized dissemination process. The long term benefits in line with the impact and results will be an application of a Hear by Right-like standards framework in Turkey which will increase the awareness way more in the country and creation of similar projects for both institutions and young people and policy-makers engaged in project will be another long term benefit of this project and the dissemination process online and by PR Agency that Genç Hayat Foundation is working with will make sure the visibility of the project easing the way for the sustainability of it
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