Report youth participation in policy making

How does youth participation work? And how can municipalities contribute? The report ‘Jongerenparticipatie in (lokaal) beleid: wat werkt?’ (‘Youth participation in (local) policies: what works?’) offers insight into the most common challenges regarding youth participation and how municipalities can improve youth participation in policy making.

 Last March the Healthy Start ambition team ‘Youth participation and involvement’ started a project to improve youth participation in local policy making. The first phase entailed a literature study and interviews with representatives from twelve organisations* who are committed to improving youth participation in policy making. We discussed with them the challenges they face and what works in their approach.

Successful youth participation increases self-confidence, empowers citizenship and the development of democratic skills. In addition, policy and projects formed in collaboration with youth have a greater chance of success. However, there are challenges to overcome. Bridging the gap between the world of young people and that of policy making, reaching a diverse group of young people, and sufficient feedback are examples of this.

The report ‘Jongerenparticipatie in (lokaal) beleid: wat werkt?’ (‘Youth participation in (local) policies: what works?’) marks the starting point of the youth participation-project of Healthy Start. In the coming months the researchers will do more interviews with policy makers in Rotterdam and youth themselves.

The team encourages a broad conversation about strategies for effective youth participation in municipal polities. Do you have questions after reading the report? Of do you want to collaborate with us now or in the future? Please contact Irene Fierloos via

*In collaboration with: Democracy Reloading, Garage 2020, Haagse Jongerenambassadeurs, Innovatienetwerk Jeugd Hart van Brabant, de Kleine Ambassade, Mind Us, NJR, Ombudsman Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Save the Children, Spectrum Elan, Tienskip, Travers Welzijn, Up to Us