We Are Here: A Child Participation Toolbox

Eurochild strives to put children’s voices at the heart of decision making and wants to help give others the tools to do the same. Our latest publication, co-produced in collaboration with our member the Learning for Well-being Foundation, ’We Are Here. A Child Participation Toolbox’, offers a practical set of tools to implement meaningful children’s participation and encourage collaboration between generations.

The Toolbox builds on a children’s rights perspective to provide the tools needed to implement meaningful child participation in a variety of settings and to prepare children to play leading roles in participatory events. It builds on an understanding that participation can come in many forms, and through a variety of engaging activities helps prepare children for these different situations. Uniquely, this Toolbox also offers tools to help find meaningful ways for children and adults to work together. 

So how does it work? Throughout the 6 modules, the user is guided on how to run sessions with children and adults on topics including participation, representation, facilitation and evaluation, whilst also giving explanations of different aspects of child participation. Activities in the Toolbox use a creative approach to help answer questions children might ask themselves as they prepare to play a role in a project and explain the important conditions for children to participate meaningfully and safely. It is by no means designed to be a rigid set of instructions but rather a flexible and practical set of tools, aimed at guiding, inspiring and encouraging the user to implement meaningful child participation in a way that is tailored to them, their needs and their context. We hope users will take the Toolbox and use their unique perspective, experience and creativity to make it their own.  

We have big plans for the Toolbox and hope that it will contribute towards building a culture of child participation across Europe as well as greater understanding and collaboration between generations. To do that we hope to encourage as many people and organisations to use the Toolbox as possible, and we will also be collaborating with Learning for Well-being Foundation and the Act2Gether initiative to hold training sessions across Europe to build up a pool of ‘master trainers’ who can help guide adults and children amongst our membership and beyond on child participation practices. 

We Are Here: A Child Participation Toolbox is for anyone and everyone looking to implement and strengthen child participation in their contexts. NGOs and civil society organisations working with and for children as well as national and European public institutions that plan to consult with children or to co-create projects are especially encouraged to use the Toolbox. It is for children and adults alike. We also hope that it will become a valuable resource for our members, as well as anyone else who would like to build their capacity to ensure children are directly and meaningfully involved in their work. 

If you are interested in using the Toolbox or you have specific questions about it please do not hesitate to get in contact with alice.hagger-vaughan(at)eurochild(dot)org or mieke.schuurman(at)eurochild(dot)org.

Download the toolbox here