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Children’s Participation . Overview of the Issues :. 1. Definitions - children’s public action and participation. 2. Why are theorisations of childhood important? 3. Bias and the dominant models of childhood. 4. Our country contexts – India, South Africa, Scotland

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children s participation
Children’s Participation

Overview of the Issues:

1. Definitions - children’s public action and participation.

2. Why are theorisations of childhood important?

3. Bias and the dominant models of childhood.

4. Our country contexts – India, South Africa, Scotland

5. Issues of power and governance

6. Ideas about competence - learning from children

7. Organisational issues

8. The ethics of children’s participation

slide2

Hart’s Ladder of Participation

Hart, R. A. (1992) Children’s Participation: from tokenism to citizenship, Geneva: UNICEF Int. Child Development Centre.

1 definitions public action and participation
1. Definitions - public action and participation.
  • Instrumental as stakeholders vs social transformation
  • Private sphere vs public sphere
  • Competence as agents of social change vs spaces and legal frameworks
  • Do we have examples of acknowledging (even financing?) children’s own forms of participation?
  • What examples do we have of children’s participation leading to policy impact?
  • What constitutional rights relating to participation are accorded to children? (does this translate into budgetary expenditure, other initiatives?)
slide4

2. Why are theorisations important?

+ve/-ve

+ve/-ve

Influence

‘biases’

  • Emergent policy
  • Research methods
  • Programmes & projects
  • Funding decisions
  • Enhanced Understanding
  • Lesson learning

past

present

future

3 bias and the dominant models of childhood
3. Bias and the dominant models of childhood.
  • The age bias – where are resources focused?
  • The protection bias - what are children’s own priorities?
  • The working child bias – who participates?
  • The family unit bias – have we understood the context?
4 country contexts india south africa scotland
4. Country contexts – India, South Africa, Scotland
  • South Africa – strong constitution with human rights’ focus – participation weakly theorised
  • India - strong civil society and progressive approaches. Media attention puts pressure on the private sector. Child advocates have gained policy prominence.
  • Scotland - ‘top-down’. Participation rights in legislation but lacks a strategy for sustainability. NGOs often implementers. Political engagement falls short of citizens.
  • How have predominant models of childhood and their relative status - influenced the extent to which children are engaged as public actors in different regions?
  • Why are there so few ‘grass-roots’ organisations run by children?
  • What are the range of adult roles in children’s participation?
5 issues of power and governance
5. Issues of power and governance
  • Children’s perceived place in society shapes the nature of participation
  • The power of social institutions and the power of individuals interdependent
  • Is access inevitably controlled by adults?
  • What do we understand by governance?
  • What processes support or inhibit children’s public actions?
  • How can political theories enhance our understanding of the process of children’s influence on policy?
  • Are there models of power that offer a more nuanced and complex account that moves us beyond polarizations?
6 ideas about competence learning from children
6. Ideas about competence - learning from children
  • Development psychologists and stages of childhood
  • Articles 12 and 14 of the UNCRC
  • Limiting factor - adult or child competence?
  • How can the understanding from psychology help inform how we engage with children as social actors?
  • How can an enabling environment be created that is free from bias such as age, gender, economic background and caste?
slide9

Example –Child Rights Project

  • Working children
  • NGOs - Rugmark
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Central Carpet Industry
  • Donors - DFID
  • Sociocultural context
  • Law and custom
  • Children’s perspective – past and present histories
  • Organisational histories
organisational issues dfid pcm

Post Project Evaluation

Ex Post

Syntheses

Monitoring

Review

Sectoral & Regional Syntheses

Activity to Output

Concurrent Evaluation

Output to Purpose

quarterly

reporting

OPR

Organisational issues - DFID PCM

PEC

Design &

Appraisal

Project Submission

Concept

Note

LF

HS

Identification

Approval

Completion

PCR

Implementation

8 the ethics of children s participation
8. The ethics of children’s participation
  • Are existing protocols and mechanisms to protect children sufficient?
  • Whose responsibility is it to ensure the transfer of knowledge into policy or practice?
  • How do current understandings of research ethics in relation to children affect their participation in research?
9 the impact of children as public actors
9. The impact of children as public actors
  • Empirical knowledge limited
  • Influence of history, cultures and policy processes
  • Local understandings of family and childhood
  • New theoretical models needed
  • What goals of social transformation are aspired to – and reached?
  • How to we judge the impact of children’s public action
  • – and from whose perspective?
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