Civic engagement can take many forms— from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Another way of describing this concept is the sense of personal responsibility individuals should feel to uphold their obligations as part of any community. "Youth civic engagement" has identical aims, only with consideration for youth voice.
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The Carnegie Trust UK
The Carnegie Trust UK have actively supported the development of youth civic engagement and youth participation in the UK and Ireland since 1997 in a review of the learning over a 10 year period recommended actions in the following areas
- Enhancing Public Service capacity
- Empowering CYP programmes in schools and youth services
- Strengthening Children’s Rights in terms of promoting the right to participate
- Enhancing quality standards particularly in assessing the quality of CYP participation
- Portraying CYP in a more positive light in media.
The Youth Citizenship Commission Report (2009) identified three themes under which to group their 16 recommendations, many of the recommendations are particular to the UK but the themes are universal.
- Empowered citizenship; Citizenship learning and experience needs to be embedded from a young age.
- Connecting with young people; Young people are not apathetic. Young people have different communication habits, spaces and social networking preferences to adults and can be put off by formal processes and languages.
- Changing the way decision-makers and institutions work; Institutions, politicians, and decision-makers need to consider what they can do to make politics and citizenship activities more appealing to young people .
The National Participation Forum UK
The UK National Participation Forum (NPF) has devised four core principles that provide a framework for participation by children and young people in civic engagement.
- Listen to children and young people uninhibited by their or your age: a fair society values all age groups among its citizens. Children and young people have a right to have their views taken into account.
- Participation is a process not an event: participative practice can take many forms that give new skills to both the children and adults taking part.
- Be clear about the achievements of participation: measure the impact of participation to demonstrate its benefits. Prove its worth and the practice becomes more pervasive.
- Weave the involvement of children and young people into the culture of organisations and wider society: the more evidence of benefit, the more underlying attitudes towards children and young people will change. Everyone gains.
Peoples Conversation We believe the time is right to think about a new vision for citizenship in Ireland. With the departure of the Troika we are emerging from a difficult period, which has raised questions about the meaning of our sovereignty and our ability to look after each other fairly. There is an appetite for reform of our political structures but a clear way forward has not been mapped. This is a Wheel Carnegie Trust backed site
Comhairle na nÓg Comhairle na nÓg are child and youth councils in the 34 local authorities of the country, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies.
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Social Entrepreneurs Ireland believe that new and innovative solutions exist to the myriad social and environmental challenges we face today. SEI believe that these solutions will be most effective when driven by 'unreasonable people'; individuals who are not prepared to accept the status quo and who adopt a highly entrepreneurial approach to igniting social change. These people are social entrepreneurs
SpunOut.ie is an independent Irish youth powered national charity working to help people create personal and social change. SpunOut.ie combines an interactive online community providing health and lifestyle information, signposting to help services, an alternative youth media space, dynamic discussion forums, and a platform for youth engagement, participation and advocacy. SpunOut.ie reaches over 500,000 users online each year, millions more through the media and has won numerous awards including a Golden Spider Award and a Net Visionary Award. SpunOut.ie also runs the Academy of Activism, which provides free practical training for young people interested in creating change.
Carnegie Trust UK The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve the lives of people throughout the UK and Ireland, by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work. An excellent publications section.
CIRCLE A US site Circle and and partners have developed and tested various measures of young adults’ “civic engagement” (including their political participation; their community service and local civic work; and their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values).
More Sites Here
Reports Civic Engagement
“Hear my voice!”
A short movie on recommendations to boost youth participation in Europe
Comhairle na nÓg
Youth in Action an EU RAP Promo
What is Youth Work A European Perspective
The NPF consist of the British Youth Council, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, National Youth Agency, NCB and Save the Children UK. The Carnegie UK Trust was one of the initiating partners and coordinator of Participation Works until September 2006.