Study Visit: Democracy Reloaded
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Dates: 22-27 October 2017
Number of participants: 30
Participating countries: Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme countries
Organizer: Portuguese National Agency for Erasmus + Youth in Action – National Agency
Apply here: Application form
Deadline to apply: 10 September 2017
Inquiries about this study visit: Carla Marques: firstname.lastname@example.org
Costs: This project is financed by the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme. Being selected for this course, all costs (accommodation, travel, visa, etc.) relevant to participation in the course will be covered by the NAs involved in this project – except a participation fee which varies from call to call and country to country. Please contact your Erasmus+ Youth in Action NA to learn more about the financial details, and how to arrange the booking of your travel tickets and the reimbursement of your travel expenses.
The aims of the Study Visit are to share and reflect on existing practices of youth participation in decision making at local level in order to elaborate on issues of quality in such practices.
As such, the Study Visit will also contribute to the development of the necessary competences of participants to efficiently plan, implement, sustain and reform local participative structures
SALTO Youth Participation RC in cooperation with Erasmus+ Youth in Action National Agencies have launched a long-term process (2016-18) that establishes a Strategic Approach of working with local and regional public authorities in planning, developing, maintaining and reforming democratic youth participation structures for dialogue, co-decision and co-management as well as the mutual integration of the European Structured Dialogue cycles.
The involvement of young people in developing youth policies and in decision making is fundamental to increase the sense of belonging and active citizenship of young people to their communities. Involvement in a broader dimension: when youth has an active voice and is a fundamental actor of the development of their local communities, of decision-making processes, shaping local policies.
This enables municipalities and regional public authorities to address the needs and interests of youth, at the same time that will contribute to engage youth as active actors of the solutions for their problems, increasing the level of ownership, compromise and involvement of an important part of our communities that is many times neglected on this level.
For this it is crucial to develop a new culture of youth participation, especially with regard to decision-making processes on issues that are of direct concern and interest of young people. Youth should be looked at as a source of solutions for our social problems; their extraordinary energy, creativity and potential for change can largely contribute to the development of our communities.
In the framework of this process the Study Visit is the follow-up of the Training Course “Democracy Reloaded: A training course to develop instruments and structures for youth participation in decision making at the local level” which took place in Budapest, Hungary in the end of 2016. In parallel with the development and implementation of the TC, a mapping exercise was initiated in order to identify the specific set of competences required from local and regional public authorities to establish, maintain and develop sustainable democratic participation structures for young people.
The study visit will provide the opportunity for the participants to reflect on and test this map of competences, and evaluate their capacities, challenges and needs in order to engage youth in municipal decision making.
The aims of the Study Visit are to share and reflect on existing practices of youth participation in decision making at local level in order to elaborate on issues of quality in such practices. As such, the Study Visit will also contribute to the development of the necessary competences of participants to efficiently plan, implement, sustain and reform local participative structures.
Objectives of the Study Visit
The Study Visit will create the possibility for participating youth leaders, youth workers, local and regional public authority officers dealing with youth
● to observe and reflect on a number of existing practices of local youth participation structures in Portugal,
● to evaluate these practices by identifying their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and obstacles,
● to identify underlying quality aspects of these participative structures,
● to share their personal experience in order to find similarities and differences in the approaches that will allow participants to learn from exchange of experience,
● to reflect on the recently developed map of competences for municipalities for engaging youth in municipal decision making,
● to develop understanding on how Structured Dialogue can be reciprocally integrated in the work of such democratic participation structures on local and regional level, fostering the quality of results at national and European level,
● to provide information about the funding mechanism of Erasmus+ and in particular KA3,
● to establish cooperation for potential future Erasmus+ projects that may support the development of strategies and action plans for fostering youth participation processes and the development of structures and instruments of structured dialogue and co-management in their local context
The Study Visit will be a great opportunity for different representatives of local and regional public authorities and youth organisations active at regional or local level to think and work together.
Therefore, we would encourage your organisation/institution also to invite a representative of a youth organization or municipality to apply together to attend this activity. By working together during the Study Visit the commitment and the cooperation of the two parties will be reinforced and further empowered. As such this Study Visit may provide a second meeting of some the participants of the TC” Democracy Reloaded” in order to evaluate the outcomes of the training course and further plan their cooperation and projects.