In partnership with Innovations 4 Youth, we are working to create a sustainable platform and network that can strengthen meaningful youth participation in policies that affect youth well-being and development. Including the voices of youth, who potentially have the most to lose or gain from the policy decisions made today, is paramount to ensuring representative and responsive public policy.
Through this youth participatory research platform, we aim to connect youth leaders in existing participatory research programs across California with each other and with policy-makers such that (a) there is co-learning across local sites, regions, and the state, (b) youth-generated evidence informs local, regional, and state-level policy decisions in timely ways, (c) there is stronger responsiveness and accountability in youth-serving systems to youth-generated evidence and experience; and (d) there is a model for sustained youth participatory research connected to policy that has support outside of the K-12 and other systems and is less vulnerable to budget cuts and disruption.
A core component of this work will involve dissemination of youth-generated research, including monthly surveys being conducted by students across 150 California schools.The vision for this platform is to advance the “democratization of evidence” (such as citizen science, participatory research), which aims to broaden the kinds of experts providing evidence that informs policy and systems improvement.
This project was made possible with funding from California 100.