Preparation phase

This phase is the first step in realising the project that you roughly sketched out in the idea phase. The preparation phase is often the most time-consuming one, so make sure to allocate enough time, so you will be able to have everything ready for the participation phase.

Activate young people

You have a good idea, you know your decision-makers and you founded your project. What are you missing? Young People! Sometimes it is hard to get in touch and connect. Try to form partnerships, for example with schools or youth clubs. This will help you to engage with young participants at an early stage.

Young people: Equal but different!

Welcome to the DiGY podcast series. In this episode, we talk about how to best integrate young people of different social backgrounds in the participation process. Our guest today is Dr Alicja Pawluczuk, a researcher and very active expert on digital inclusion.

10 Helpful tips you keep in mind during your idea phase

  1. Set up an outstanding project team 
    The most important thing is not the actual number of team members, but whether the needed competencies are present in the team.

  2. Think about the format of your results 
    Here it is important that you listen to the decision-maker's wishes. Therefore, put some thought into finding solutions to collecting the data in the most structured and useful way.

  3. Ask the right questions in the right setting
    Generally seen, there are two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Your desired output decides the type of question you should ask.

  4. Choose the right methods to achieve your objectives
    We recommend that you combine online and face-to-face components. It is possible to set up a strictly online process, but you generally raise the odds for carrying out a successful youth eParticipation project when face-to-face and online features go hand in hand.

  5. Compose a communication strategy to be publicly visible 
    You have already mapped your main target groups – the young people and the decision-makers – so now you just need to decide on the main messages you want to send to them and how to get these messages across.

  6. Provide the young participants with balanced and easily accessible information 
    The material should describe both pros and cons of different options according to different stakeholders. This is the principle of providing both expertise and counter-expertise to the issues discussed.
  7. Take care of practicalities for your face-to-face events 
    When you have appointed the date for an event you should book a venue. If it is important that you get a specific venue for your event, let’s say the town hall, it might be easier to ask when it is available and then decide on a date.
  8. Prepare online community management
    For the participants’ own sake, you have to keep a watchful eye on what the young are posting. You should remove posts that expose personal information or don’t live up to the Code of Conduct. If you decide to remove content, you should -of course- notify the user.

  9. Carefully test the eParticipation process before it airs  
    In a perfect world, both your project team and young representatives should test it and provide their feedback.

  10. Privacy and data protection: OPIN is a safe place
    Liquid Democracy, which hosts and maintain, comply with European data protection legislation. Additionally, Liquid Democracy in particular complies with the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG).
    If you want minors to take part in your project you need their parents’ consent for them to do so. A minor is a young person below the age of 18.