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Maximise Participation and Understanding of Young People in Civic Life (IE0022)



Action Plan: Ireland, First Action Plan, 2014-16

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Department of Education & Science

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Education, Marginalized Communities

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ireland End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Ireland 2014-2015 IRM Progress Report (Final)

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Encourage schools to explore how the new Junior Cycle can be delivered across the curriculum in terms of the 24 Statements of Learning identifying what students should know, understand and value by the end of the three year cycle, including that students should “value what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts”, in addition to any provision that they may make for Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE). Ensure Politics and Society will be implemented as a Senior Cycle subject.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Cluster 4: Support Youth as Citizens and School Strategies (2.5.1, 2.5.2, 1.8)

2.5.1 - This ‘National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making

2.5.2 - Maximize participation and understanding of young people in civic life

1.8 - Digital strategy for schools

Commitment Text:

Action 2.5.1 - This ‘National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making (2014- 2020) will seek to ensure children and young people have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. It will include: Appropriate participation by children and young people in decision-making in the preparation of Statements of Strategy of all Government Departments and appropriate consultation with them in the development of policy and legislation. The establishment of a DCYA Children and Young People’s Participation Hub to become a national center of excellence on children and young people’s participation in decision-making. The Hub will provide information, guidance and support to Departments and agencies delivering commitments outlined in the Strategy action plan. It will also champion and promote participation, create resources and training materials, conduct training, document and disseminate learning and establish an online children’s participation database. The Hub will also partner with third level and adult education institutions to oversee development of education on children’s rights (including participation in decision-making) for professionals who work with and on behalf of children and young people. The role and capacity of Comhairle na nÓg will be enhanced through the development and implementation of a Five-Year Comhairle na nÓg Development Plan, aligned to Local Government structures and policies. The Five-Year Development Plan will address mechanisms for inclusion of the children under the age of 12 and of children and young people who are seldom heard. The development of guidance and training for Children Services Committees on engaging children and young people in decision-making. The development of a Toolkit on involving seldom heard children and young people in decision-making;

Action 2.5.2 - Encourage schools to explore how the new Junior Cycle can be delivered across the curriculum in terms of the 24 Statements of Learning identifying what students should know, understand and value by the end of the three-year cycle, including that students should “value what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts”, in addition to any provision that they may make for Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE). Ensure Politics and Society will be implemented as a Senior Cycle subject;

Action 1.8 - In the context of the development of the Digital Strategy for Schools the new policy challenges and opportunities arising from major developments in curricular reform, digital publishing, digital content dissemination tools generally, cloud services, portable computing and student devices, and the deployment of high speed broadband at post-primary level will be addressed.

Responsible institution: Department of Education and Science

Supporting institution(s):

Action 2.5.1: Department of Education and Skills, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Education and Training Boards, Health Information and Quality Authority, Health Service Executive, Housing Authorities, HSE, Mental Health Services, Local Authorities, Local Government Management Authority, Mental Health Commission, National Council for Special Education, National Educational Psychological Service, National Transport Authority, The Teaching Council, Tusla – Child and Family Agency, Children and Young People’s Services Committees, Children’s Mental Health Coalition, Comhairle na nÓg, Drug and Alcohol Task Forces, Empowering People in Care (EPIC), Family Mediation Service, Headstrong Youth Advisory Panel, Healthy Ireland Council, Legal Aid Board, Local Community Development Committee, Rural Transport Network, Sports Partnerships, The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Action 2.5.2: None specified

Action 1.8: Department of  Education and Skills Support Services (Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), Junior Cycle Team (JCT), National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT), Project Maths Development Team (PMDT), Special Education Support Service (SESS), and the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS)), National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), Teaching Council, State Exams Commission (SEC), Inclusion Support Service (ISS),  National Educational Psychological Services (NEPS) Initial Teacher Education Providers, Education Centres, HEAnet, Office of Government Procurement (OGP), Schools Procurement Unit, schools, Teachers and Students

Start date: June 2014                                                                         End date: June 2016


Commitment Aim

These actions seek to encourage further youth participation in the decision-making process. This is achieved in three ways. Action 2.5.1 raises awareness of local governments and professionals on how to include children and young people in decision making.[Note 18: See related documents on (last accessed September 24, 2015). ] The strategy also recommends creating a participation hub to train locals on how to include children and young people.

Action 2.5.2 seeks to develope the understanding of active citizen involvement, and of technology-related citizenship activities. This is achieved by introducing the modules of politics, civil society, and wellbeing, which represent the core area of learning. Also, schools will be able to participate in various civic projects on the promotion of active citizenship. Action 1.8 aims to realize the potential of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment so that Ireland’s young people become engaged thinkers, active learners, knowledge constructors, and global citizens that participate fully in society and the economy.



2.5.1: Complete

2.5.2: Limited

1.8: Limited

Before the OGP action plan, the actions were pre-existing policies. The policies were unrelated and under the lead of different departments. As such, the projects were all abandoned between 2010 and 2011. After the action plan was adopted, it opened the debate around the participation of children and young people in decision making at the local level. OGP led the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to develop a comprehensive action plan for the achievement of this goal.

From the development of the action plan in 2014, the following goals were achieved as stated in interviews with government officials and reported in the midterm report:

  • Action 2.5.1: the completion of the strategy on youth participation in decision making. The strategy involves an action plan on its implementation and material (on paper and online) aimed at promoting the strategy.
  • Action 2.5.2: the completion of the syllabus for Politics and Civic Society. The module is entering a pilot stage from September 2015. The voluntary participation of schools to citizenship activities such as Proclamation Day, to coincide with the 1916 centenary.[Note 19: See (last access September 24, 2015)]

End of term

2.5.1: Complete

2.5.2: Limited

1.8: Limited

Action 2.5.1 was completed in year one of the action plan and further details can be found in the IRM progress report. In the second year of the action plan, and as stated in the government’s end of term report, the Digital Strategy was launched in October 2015.[Note 20: This strategy can be found on: ] Subsequently, an implementation Steering Group, tasked to ‘provide advice, monitor and report on the effective implementation of the Digital Strategy’, met in early July 2016.[Note 21: On the Terms of reference (i.e. full tasks) of the Steering group, and from which quote in this line is taken, please see: . The inaugural meeting of the Steering group was announced on: ] While the government has made a firm commitment to introduce classes on Politics and Society, work continues around issues regarding teacher qualification and assessment. Given these observations, it can be concluded that, while progress has been made in year two of the action plan, both Actions 1.8 and 2.5.2 remain limited.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

Civic participation: Did not change

In terms of policy area, these actions were intended to enable greater participation amongst youth and children in in the decision-making process. However, considering the developments over the two- year action plan cycle in terms of opening government, the status quo remains. To be fair, with the completion of 2.5.1, a strategy was developed regarding young people’s participation in decision making. This signals potential for change if the strategies are acted on over the next year. This may allow for increased participation. But this, coupled with only limited completion of Actions 2.5.2 and 1.8 suggests that there has been no change, and that the strategies have yet to be rolled out.

Carried forward?

These actions were partially carried forward into the next action plan. Following action 2.5.1, commitment 4 of the new action plan (Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making) states as a milestone that the government will establish a Children and Young People’s Participation Hub to servce as a national center for the participation of children and young people. A strategy and roadmap for increasing participation has been established and can serve as a foundation to implement commitments similar to Actions 2.5.2 and 1.8.


  1. Promote Transparent Climate Policy Development

    IE0031, 2016, Environment and Climate

  2. Support Public Participation Networks

    IE0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  3. Improve Access to Justice: Reducing Costs

    IE0033, 2016, Access to Justice

  4. Improve Access to Justice: Framework to Assist Vulnerable Persons

    IE0034, 2016, Access to Justice

  5. Improve Access to Justice: Oversight of Legal Practitioners

    IE0035, 2016, Access to Justice

  6. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: General

    IE0036, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: Youth

    IE0037, 2016, Marginalized Communities

  8. Enhance Customer Engagement

    IE0038, 2016, Access to Information

  9. Improve Access to Government Services Through Technology

    IE0039, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Participatory Budgeting

    IE0040, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  11. Improve Transparency of Government Service Providers

    IE0041, 2016, Access to Information

  12. Enhance Fiscal Transparency

    IE0042, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  13. Introduce Modern Document Management Procedures

    IE0043, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020

    IE0044, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Invest in Data Infrastructure That Will Result in Better Open Data

    IE0045, 2016, Access to Information

  16. Starred commitment Develop a Code of Practice for the Governance of Charities

    IE0046, 2016,

  17. Starred commitment Public Sector Standards Bill

    IE0047, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  18. Establish a Register of Beneficial Ownership

    IE0048, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  19. Establishment of Best Practice Standards for Open Data

    IE0001, 2014, Access to Information

  20. Establishment of Ireland’S Open Data Platform

    IE0002, 2014, Access to Information

  21. Undertake an Audit of Key Datasets for Publication

    IE0003, 2014, Access to Information

  22. Establish a Roadmap for the Open Data and an Evaluation Framework to Provide Assessment of the Ongoing Open Data

    IE0004, 2014, Access to Information

  23. Establishment of an Open Data Ireland Governance Board (ODIGB) and Steering and Implementation Group (SIG) for Open Data Ireland

    IE0005, 2014, Access to Information

  24. Signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter

    IE0006, 2014, Access to Information

  25. Implementing Open Data

    IE0007, 2014, Access to Information

  26. Improve Computer Literacy Through Implementation of Proposed New Digital Strategy for Schools

    IE0008, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Review National and International Practice to Develop Revised Principles / Code for Public Engagement/Consultation with Citizens, Civil Society and Others by Public Bodies.

    IE0009, 2014, Public Participation

  28. Starred commitment Hold Referenda Arising from the Recommendations of the Constitutional Convention

    IE0010, 2014, Gender

  29. Starred commitment Ethics Reform

    IE0011, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  30. Strengthening Freedom of Information - Implement the Code of Practice for Freedom of Information (FOI).

    IE0012, 2014, Access to Information

  31. Reform of FOI

    IE0013, 2014, Access to Information

  32. Starred commitment Regulation of Lobbying

    IE0014, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  33. Starred commitment Encourage, Protect and Raise Awareness of Whistleblower Duties and Protections

    IE0015, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  34. Measures to Increase Citizen Participation in Decision Making on Policy and Legislative Proposals. Systemic Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of Draft Bills

    IE0016, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  35. Develop and Deliver Access to Environmental Information (AIE) Training Module for Public Officials

    IE0017, 2014, Access to Information

  36. Increase Citizen Participation at Local Level. Pilot Approach to Implementation of Public Participation Networks

    IE0018, 2014, Open Regulations

  37. Provide Legal Base for Public Participation Framework in Local Government

    IE0019, 2014, Capacity Building

  38. Undertake a Feasibility Study on Possible Means of Enabling Further Citizen Engagement in Local Authority Budgetary Processes

    IE0020, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  39. Support Children and Young People as Citizens. Develop, Finalise and Publish the First Government Strategy on Children and Young People's Participation in Decision-Making.

    IE0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Maximise Participation and Understanding of Young People in Civic Life

    IE0022, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. Development of an ICT Strategy

    IE0023, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  42. Data Sharing and Governance Bill

    IE0024, 2014, E-Government

  43. Public Services Card

    IE0025, 2014, E-Government

  44. Single Customer View

    IE0026, 2014, E-Government

  45. Local Government Portal

    IE0027, 2014, E-Government

  46. New Local Enterprise Offices

    IE0028, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  47. Review and Enhancement of Complaints Procedures and Using Feedback to Improve Services Across the Public Service; a Review of Citizen Complaints Procedures Will Be Undertaken.

    IE0029, 2014, Public Participation

  48. Enhance Customer Engagement

    IE0030, 2014, Public Participation

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