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Ireland

Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: Youth (IE0037)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Ireland National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Support Institution(s): All government departments and public bodies

Policy Areas

Marginalized Communities, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ireland End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Ireland Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment Text:
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will establish a Children and Young
People’s Participation Hub, as a national centre for excellence on the participation of
children and young people. The Hub will support Government departments and other
organisations by providing training, developing good practice toolkits and supporting
organisations to effectively involve children and young people in decision-making,
including young children and those who are seldom heard.
Milestone:
4B. Establish a participation hub for children and youth
Responsible institution: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Supporting institution: Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA)
Start date: January 2017
End date: June 2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4B. Enhance Citizen Engagement in Policy Making: Youth

Commitment Text:

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will establish a Children and Young People’s Participation Hub, as a national centre for excellence on the participation of children and young people. The Hub will support Government departments and other organisations by providing training, developing good practice toolkits and supporting organisations to effectively involve children and young people in decision-making, including young children and those who are seldom heard.

Milestone:

4B. Establish a participation hub for children and youth

Responsible institution: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Supporting institution: Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA)

Start date: January 2017

End date: June 2018

Editorial Note: For the remainder of the commitment text, see Commitment 4A.

Context and Objectives

Whereas the previous milestones (4A) were targeted at increasing citizen engagement in general, this milestone seeks to increase participation of youth and children in decision-making processes specifically. Young people’s views are not always taken into consideration when policies are made, even though such policies will often have an impact on younger citizens’ lives for a longer period of time compared to the rest of the electorate. To accomplish this objective, this milestone calls for the establishment of a Children and Young People’s Participation Hub. The creation of this Hub is based on an initiative started in 2015 that stems from Action 2.5.1 from the first action plan[Note: For more information on this, see Minister Reilly’s press release, available at: https://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?Docid=3471. ] and it is expected to serve as a national centre for excellence on the participation of children and young people, support government departments by providing training, and develop good practice toolkits to involve youth in decision making.

The goal of improving young people’s access to participation in decision-making processes is relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. The milestone has a clear objective of creating a hub of excellence, but it is unclear if youths themselves will have a say on what constitutes ‘best practise’ to involve youth in decision making and, if so, what exactly will be taken into consideration. Therefore, the specificity is medium. If fully implemented, the Hub help could increase the participation of youth, but it is not fully clear how the training that is provided will either (a) really educate youth beyond the status quo, and (b) how this training to youth will then be translated into meaningful participation in the policy making process. Therefore, the potential impact is moderate.

Completion

The level of completion of this commitment is substantial and on schedule. The government outlines in its progress report on the commitment that key achievements have included commissioning further education and continuing professional development programmes in Ireland, and developing a training programme to seek the views of children and young people.[Note: Also, on 24 January 2017: a three-year contract to provide children and young people’s participation support services to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is announced. See this news on the Children’s Research Network website.] The Hub also has a dedicated webpage[Note: ‘Children and Young People’s Participation Hub,’ Department of Children and Youth Affairs, n.d., https://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=%2Fdocuments%2FPlayandRec%2F20170124ChildrenAndYoungPeopleParticipationHubMainPage.htm. ] which was substantially improved during the first year of the action plan by housing an online children’s participation database of publications on the theory and practise of young people’s participation in decision making. Remaining next steps—according to the government’s progress report—include developing a three-year work plan for the Hub and further developing a training plan and training materials. A civil society leader interviewed for this study was unaware of the levels of completion for this milestone, primarily because the outreach with stakeholders in this area has not been robust.[Note: Interview held October 2017.]

Next Steps

The development of the Hub has been an ongoing project since 2015 and the completion of the Hub is expected to take place over the second year of the action plan. Moving forward, it might be useful to determine how youth participation can actually influence the formation of public policy. In this regard, the IRM researcher recommends to:

Consider one or two policy proposals that are of salience to children and young people on which the government is presently preparing a bill (or on which a bill is being passed in parliament).

Garner the views of youth, using the Hub as a first point of collection of evidence of different policy position, and

Have a representative sample of youth sharing said positions appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Education and Skills to give evidence.[Note: ‘Joint Committee on Education and Skills,’ Houses of the Oireachtas, n.d., http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/oireachtasbusiness/committees_list/es/. ]

A recent example of a policy presently being examined by the Committee is on the future funding on higher education,[Note: ‘Education Committee continue their examination of the future funding of higher education in Ireland,’ Houses of the Oireachtas, 6 April 2017, http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/mediazone/pressreleases/2017/name-41588-en.html. ] but there may be others to be developed in the next two years that the government may consider as well.

IRM End of Term Status Summary


Ireland's Commitments

  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, Judiciary

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

    IE0034, 2016, Judiciary

  5. Improve Access to Justice: Oversight of Legal Practitioners

    IE0035, 2016, 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, Capacity Building

  9. Improve Access To Government Services Through Technology

    IE0039, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Participatory Budgeting

    IE0040, 2016, Participation in Budget Processes

  11. Improve Transparency of Government Service Providers

    IE0041, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  12. Enhance Fiscal Transparency

    IE0042, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  13. Introduce Modern Document Management Procedures

    IE0043, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  14. Develop an Open Data Strategy 2017-2020

    IE0044, 2016, E-Government

  15. Invest in Data Infrastructure that will result in better Open Data

    IE0045, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  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 Institutions

  18. Establish a Register of Beneficial Ownership

    IE0048, 2016, Asset Disclosure

  19. Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data

    IE0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Establishment of Ireland’s Open Data Platform

    IE0002, 2014, E-Government

  21. Undertake an audit of key datasets for publication

    IE0003, 2014, Open Data

  22. Establish a roadmap for the Open Data and an evaluation framework to provide assessment of the ongoing Open Data

    IE0004, 2014, Open Data

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

    IE0005, 2014, Open Data

  24. Signing up to the G8 Open Data Charter

    IE0006, 2014, Open Data

  25. Implementing Open Data

    IE0007, 2014, Open Data

  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, Conflicts of Interest

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

    IE0012, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  31. Reform of FOI

    IE0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  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, Whistleblower Protections

  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, Capacity Building

  36. INCREASE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AT LOCAL LEVEL. Pilot approach to implementation of Public Participation Networks

    IE0018, 2014, Private Sector

  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, Participation in Budget Processes

  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