Two workshops on digital participation were held this weekend within the DCP v2.0 project. The participants had the opportunity to participate in an interactive setting to discuss the challenges and potential solutions regarding youth digital participation.
These events brought together municipal employees, young participants, and various actors from the youth support ecosystem to foster collaboration and generate innovative strategies.
The first workshop, held on 18 May, facilitated consultation between the participants and municipal staff on the topic of digital participation. This interaction provided an opportunity to assess the feasibility of implementing the proposed solutions while bridging the aspirations of young participants with the practical considerations of the municipality. Real-life examples of successful e-participation initiatives from the DCP project’s partner countries were showcased, inspiring the participants with the potential and impact of such approaches.
Four days later, on 22 May, the Municipality Employees and Youth Support Ecosystem Workshop took place. Building on the outcomes of the previous workshop, this event aimed to create a collaborative environment where municipal employees and actors from the youth support ecosystem could collectively address the challenges identified during the initial sessions. Participants focused on identifying impediments to youth digital participation. The discussions also examined the role of the municipality and the wider youth support ecosystem in implementing digital tools and methodologies to enhance youth participation.
Both workshops served as catalysts for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the generation of innovative solutions to enhance youth digital participation in Cluj. By bringing together municipal employees, young participants, and actors from the youth support ecosystem, these workshops fostered a shared understanding of the challenges faced by young people in engaging with decision-making processes. Moreover, they paved the way for future initiatives that prioritize digital participation and empower the youth to contribute effectively to their communities.
DCP v2.0 aims at innovating the civic education process resulting in increased participation of young people in their communities. As part of this innovation, a user-friendly manual will be developed, which will gather and present a collection of known e-participation tools, with practical examples to enhance civic participation. In conclusion, the project attempts to assess whether investing in digital tools to enhance participation during COVID-19 is appropriate. One consideration is whether their use, post-pandemic, will maintain or extend audience participation. Additionally, activities that increase participants’ access to and interaction with planning processes, and the knowledge and data they provide, might also have positive long-term impacts on other stakeholders, such as local communities. However, we need to keep in mind that digital technologies are not neutral and should not be used blindly. As a part of the participation palette, however, they can potentially help projects to reach a larger number of stakeholders.
If you want to know more about the project, click here.
DCP v2.0 is funded by the European Union through Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV).