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This library is a comprehensive collection of national and international good practice, policy, legal and academic publications, reports and resources on children and young people’s participation in decision-making.

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What We Think | UNCRC, UPR, and UNCRPD Consultation 2021 with Children and Young People

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) undertook a series of consultations with children and young people to secure their views on the implementation of children’s rights in Ireland. The consultations were carried out in the context of the State’s preparations for Ireland’s next reports to the UN Committees on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. Two sets of consultations were undertaken. 1215 children aged between 4 and 13 years recruited through 21 primary schools, and 46 young people aged 13 to 18 years recruited from selected Comhairle na nÓg (youth councils). Both consultations were overseen by DCEDIY’s National Participation Office and Hub na nÓg. For the consultation with primary school pupils, a working group consisting of management and teaching staff from 7 primary schools from across the country was established to co-design the consultation approach and worksheets. To inform the design of the consultation with young people, an online youth advisory group (YAG) was established consisting of eight Comhairle na nÓg members who advised on the consultation questions and the format of the consultations. As the consultations were undertaken during the Covid-19 public health emergency the school-based consultation sessions were facilitated by the class teachers with materials provided by the DCEDIY. The young people were consulted during three online sessions facilitated by the National Participation Office and Hub na nÓg. Participating children and young people came from a variety of locations (urban/rural) and had a good representation of harder to reach populations (children living in disadvantaged areas, non-English speakers, children with special educational needs (including Autistic Syndrome Disorder (ASD)).

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Author: Report Writer: Deirdre Fullerton, Insights Health and Social Research

Publisher: Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth (DCEDIY)

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children and Young People

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children, Children's Rights, Consultation, Ireland, UNCRC, UNCRPD, UPR, Young People, Young People's Rights

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, Volume 30, Issue 1 (2022)

Special issue on the theme of eliciting the voice of children from birth to seven:

  • Editorial: 'Look Who’s Talking: Eliciting the Voice of Children from Birth to Seven' - Kate Wall & Carol Robinson (pages 1-7)
  • Review Article: 'Voices of Young Children Aged 3–7 years in Educational Research: An International Systematic Literature Review' - Angel Urbina-Garcia, Divya Jindal-Snape, Angela Lindsay, Lauren Boath, Elizabeth F. S. Hannah, Alexia Barrable, Anna K. Touloumakos (pages 8-31)
  • Article: 'Bridging the Theory and Practice of Eliciting the Voices of Young Children: Findings from the 'Look Who’s Talking' Project' - Claire Cassidy, Kate Wall, Carol Robinson, Lorna Arnott, Mhairi Beaton, Elaine Hall (pages 32-47)
  • Article: 'Young Children’s Assent and Dissent in Research: Agency, Privacy, and Relationships Within Ethical Research Spaces' - Carmen Huser, Sue Dockett, Bob Perry (pages 48-62)
  • Article: 'It’s Up to You if You Want to Take Part. Supporting Young Children’s Informed Choice About Research Participation with Simple Visual Booklets' - Christine O’Farrelly, Mimi Tatlow-Golden (pages 63-80)
  • Article: 'Do my Words Convey What Children are Saying? Researching School Life with Very Young Children: Dilemmas for ‘Authentic Listening’' - Noelia Ceballos, Teresa Susinos (pages 81-95)
  • Article: 'Eliciting Young Children’s ‘Voice’ in Low-income Areas in England: Recognising Their Mutuality of Being' - Martina Street (pages 96-107)
  • Article: 'Any Questions? Young Children Questioning in Their Early Childhood Education Settings' - Jane Murray (pages 108-130)
  • Article: ''Where are the Children’s Voices and Choices in Educational Settings’ Early Reading Policies? A Reflection on Early Reading Provision for Under-threes' - Karen Boardman (pages 131-146)
  • Article: 'Preschool Children’s Agency in Education for Sustainability: The Case of Sweden' - Farhana Borg, Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson (pages 147-163)
  • Article: '‘Finding a Voice’: Utilising Tronto’s Ethic of Care Framework for Developing Students’ Attentiveness to Voice in a University Module' - James Reid, Dimitrina Kaneva (pages 164-177)

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Author: K. Wall, C. Robinson, A. Urbina-Garcia, D. Jindal-Snape, A. Lindsay, L. Boath, E. F. S. Hannah, A. Barrable, A. K. Touloumakos, C. Cassidy, L. Arnott, M. Beaton, E. Hall, C. Huser, S. Dockett, B. Perry, C. O’Farrelly, M. Tatlow-Golden, N. Ceballos, T. Susinos, M. Street, J. Murray, K. Boardman, F. Borg, I. Pramling Samuelsson, J. Reid, D. Kaneva

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Online

Date: 2022

Geographic Coverage: Worldwide

Type of Resource: Publication

Sector/setting: Research

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Not specified

Type of participation: Research

Availability: Restricted Access

Keywords: Child, early years, Research, Voice

Circle-time, Selfies, Friends, and Food: Researching Children’s Voices in Early Years Settings in the Young Knocknaheeny ABC Programme

This participatory research project aims to include the voices of young children involved with the Young Knocknaheeny Area Based Childhood Programme (YK). YK is a community-based prevention and early intervention programme which aims to measurably improve the lives of children and their caregivers living in the north Cork city areas of Knocknaheeny, Farranree, Churchfield, Gurranabraher, and residents of local regeneration areas also. Adopting a whole-community approach, YK aims to give every child the best possible start in life by: respectfully enhancing the skills and early childhood development knowledge of all parents, practitioners and services in the area; strengthening and enhancing all relationships and environments that are important to every child’s early development; and, embedding systems and community change to support early childhood development and address childhood poverty. YK is delivered through inter-agency and partnership working and uses early intervention and evidence-based practices that are holistic in their approach to child development. YK uses a progressive, universal approach to intercept the cycle of poverty, and in so, to bring about lasting social change. This research project will support YK’s ongoing process and outcome evaluations and it will build on the existing data generated by the programme. In particular, it will contribute to the programme’s Early Childhood Care and Education strategy, from which 700 children have benefitted to date, and the ongoing quality improvement measures implemented in this sector. This report will explore the use of visual participatory research methods with young children. These methods have been utilised to add young children’s voices to research on the impact of the quality improvement strategy implemented in seven early years’ (EY) settings involved in an early intervention project as part of YK.

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Author: Dr Shirley Martin

Publisher: Young Knocknaheeny ABC

Date: 2019

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Early Years

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Participatory Research

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children, early years, Methodology, Participation, Research, Voice

Including Children’s Voices in a Multiple Stakeholder Study on a Community-wide Approach to Improving Quality in Early Years Setting

This article will explore the use of visual participatory research methods with young children. These methods have been utilized to add young children's voices to research on the impact of a quality improvement strategy in an early years’ settings involved in a community-based prevention and early intervention programme. The main objective of the intervention programme is to measurably improve the lives of children (pre-birth to six years) and families through universal and targeted services in an urban community which experiences high levels of socio-economic deprivation. Children were offered the opportunity to share their views with the researchers through a variety of participatory rights-based approaches including drawing, photo-elicitation, photography, and conversations. Adding children's voices to the programme evaluation can help us to understand children's experiences and produces better policy and better services and also to interrogate the adult-centric quantitative data and adult perspectives generated in the ongoing project evaluation.

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Author: Dr Shirley Martin, Lynn Buckley

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Online

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Worldwide

Type of Resource: Article

Sector/setting: Early Years

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Research

Availability: Restricted Access

Keywords: Early intervention, participatory research with children, photo, Voice

Supporting Languages: The Socio-educational Integration of Migrant and Refugee Children and Young People

Recent unprecedented levels of migration, while adding cultural and linguistic diversity, places increased pressure on host countries to develop strategies for effectively integrating new arrivals into society. This article draws on data from IMMERSE which uses participatory and co-creation methodologies with children, parents, educators and policy-makers to examine and develop key indicators of migrant children's socio-educational integration. It discusses Irish findings related to language and migrant children's participation and belonging in school, highlighting children's concerns over the lack of a diverse language culture and low value placed on preserving heritage language in Ireland and across all six EU partner countries.

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Author: Deirdre Horgan, Shirley Martin, Jacqui O’Riordan, Reana Maier

Publisher: Wiley Online Library

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Europe

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Other

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Not specified

Type of participation: Research

Availability: Restricted Access

Keywords: Children, integration, migrant refugees, socio-educational, Young People

Reimagining Migration Responses – Learning from Children and Young People Who Move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.

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Author: UNICEF OFFICE OF RESEARCH – INNOCENTI

Publisher: UNICEF OFFICE OF RESEARCH – INNOCENTI

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Southern Africa

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Research

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Research

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: ethiopia, horn of africa, migrant children, migrant families, migration, migration policy, somalia, sudan

Consultations with Young People on Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviours

Cancer prevention is a cornerstone of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 (NCS) as it offers the most cost effective, long-term approach for cancer control. Just under 13,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. This is twice the number compared to 10 years ago and is projected to more than double again by 2045. Addressing this rising incidence of skin cancer, recommendation 3 of the NCS prioritises the need to develop and implement a National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan 2019-2022. Action Area 3.3 of the National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan specifically outlines engaging children and young people in initiatives that affect them, stating ‘Include children and young people in the development of resources and implementation of programmes in which they are key stakeholders’. The NCCP worked in partnership with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) and the National Participation Office to design and implement consultations with young people. Online interactive consultations were held with young people aged 12-18 years between October-November 2021 to inform the development of initiatives to engage children and young people in skin cancer prevention behaviours. Additional face to face consultations were held with young people from the Traveller community as research with Irish Travellers has found significantly different views in relation to the use of sunbeds.

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Author: Deirdre Fullerton (Insights Health and Social Research)

Publisher: National Cancer Control Programme

Date: 2022

Geographic Coverage: Worldwide

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Health

Vulnerable groups:

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children and Young People

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children, HSE, NCCP, sun protection, Young People

Report on Consultations with Children and Young People on Cruinniú na nÓg

This report details the outcomes of consultations with children and young people on Cruinniú na nÓg, a new national day of creativity for children and young people. Two consultations were held in April 2018 in Dublin. The first consultation was with children aged 8 – 12 years and the second consultation was with young people aged 13 – 17 years. The consultations identified creative things children and young people like making, doing, or going to and creative things children and young people do, or have done in school, at home and with friends. It also explored what children and young people would like to do in four different spaces (Library, Community centre, Theatre, Park) on the Cruinniú na nÓg day and gave them the opportunity to design their own ideas for a creative and fun day in the space.

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Author: Sandra Roe

Publisher: Sandra Roe Research

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups:

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children and Young People

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children, Consultation, creative, creativity, Cruinniú na nÓg, Young People

‘Seeing Voices’ – Voice of the Child Project 2021

The Voice of the Child project was initiated by The Genesis Programme under Louth LEADER Partnership's ABC Programme and funded by Louth Children and Young People's Services Committee (CYPSC). This quality intervention initiative had an overall aim of enhancing the participation and voice of the child in early childhood settings in County Louth in line with the Participation Framework (DCEDIY, 2021). The research and intervention element of the initiative was facilitated and delivered by Avril McMonagle, CEO of MOSAIC Digital Solutions for Early Education. A total of 288 children aged 1-5 years and 56 educators took part in the training initiative. The project had three main components. Firstly, the extent to which the voice of the child was prevalent in everyday practice in the participating services. This was achieved by carrying out and evaluating a baseline audit as a starting point for the intervention. Secondly, a suite of training and mentoring - specifically aimed at enabling educators to recognise and interpret children's participation and voice was provided. This included the introduction of 'MOSAIC Educator' - a professional educator app to record, support, and share children's learning and development with parents. Finally, learning and progress made as reported by participating early learning and care services was collated and presented in this report.

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Author: The Genesis Programme, CYPSC Louth, Louth County Childcare Committee

Publisher: Louth Leader Partnership

Date: 2022

Geographic Coverage: Worldwide

Type of Resource: Project

Sector/setting: Early Years

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Training Initiative with Children and Educators

Availability: Open Access

Keywords:  Childhood, early years, Framework, mosaic, Voice of the Child

‘I Want to Share This Video With You Today.’ Children’s Participation Rights in Childhood Research.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child foregrounds the right to participate. Contributing to decision-making on matters concerning children’s lives is fundamental to rights education. This paper discusses ethical and methodological considerations of children’s rights-based epistemology, arguing that children are competent to reflect upon and exercise their participation rights. The present study explores 4/5-year-old children’s perspectives on play in an Australian early childhood education service. It aims to identify ethical spaces in research involving children. The findings address children’s participation choices; including conditional assent, dissent, and their influence on the research. These outcomes are important because a) little is known about the ways children choose to participate, and b) they raise questions about the realisation of children’s participation rights. This paper concludes by examining the implications for research that acknowledges children’s demonstration of their participation rights in physical, creative, and social-emotional spaces.

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Author: Carmen Huser

Publisher: University of South-Eastern Norway

Date: 2019

Geographic Coverage:

Type of Resource: Academic

Sector/setting: Academic

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Research With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: assent, Children's Rights, Participation, reflection