State of play: democracy in national level youth organisations

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STATE of PLAY DEMOCRACY in NATIONAL LEVEL YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS Kumanovo, 2015


Introduction

The study on Democracy in Youth organizations was developed as part of the Strategic Partnership Project “Honeycomb of Participation in National Level Youth Organizations”. The study is available in English aiming to motivate more work with youth democracy within the youth organizations so that more young people will have a say in society. We hope it inspires your work in the upcoming period. The study is finalized and presented by Stefan Manevski, the research analysis is done by Gabrijela Boskov and the contributors to the study are Mila Josifovska, Florim Rexhepi and Gokay Genc. Center for Intercultural Dialogue Kumanovo, October 2015


Acknowledgement

With the support of Erasmus+ programme of the European Union The European Commission and the Macedonian National Agency for Erasmus+ support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents, which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission and the Macedonian National Agency for Erasmus+ cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.


About the project The project "Honeycomb of Participation in National Level Youth Organizations" is addressing one of the key issues in national-­‐level youth organizing: the aspect of real effective and meaningful participation, quality management and outreach. It is lasting from January to December 2015 and involves 4 partners (CID Macedonia, CIM Horyzonty Poland, TOG Turkey and Out-­‐of-­‐the-­‐box Belgium). The innovation in the project comes from the theme of the project itself. In the past programme (Youth in Action) but also in the current Erasmus Plus, many youth organizations are listing themselves as national-­‐level structures. This means that they are working with youth coming from different areas and that youth are having a say in their activities. However, the capacity of youth organizations to run effective management of a national level youth organization has never been specifically addressed in any programme or research and it is needed very much. The project will address the following questions/issues: 1. How to manage democratically youth organizations and clubs in different towns and to link them on national level in a meaningful way 2. How to ensure active participation and links between young people from rural areas and remote areas, with the central secretariat of the organization 3. How to address youth policies and ensure effective European exchange and cooperation between youth from a local club and the national-­‐level youth secretariat 4. Are the local level youth clubs allowing enough space for practical development of strategies and competences The project is set around a big need of the youth organizations working at a national level -­‐ which is to make their work effective and to provide space for real and meaningful participation. It is important to address issues such as democratic participation in youth organizations on national level before being able to increase quality of the work in the youth sector. CID as the applicant is also setting up a national level network for youth clubs aiming to enhance its work in branches around the country. The same is happening with the partners in their countries. So the project's main aim is to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of youth organizations by developing the competencies of their democratic leadership and management structures for national level operations. Objectives of the project are the following: -­‐ To develop a common understanding of the concepts related to democratic leadership in national level youth organizations such as: democracy, participation and leadership, civil society, human rights and citizenship -­‐ To raise participants’ awareness and provide space to reflect upon the value of youth organizations/structures -­‐ their role and impact as democratic leaders within society -­‐ To develop the participants’ ability to relate the work of their organizations with youth policy and provide them with up-­‐to-­‐date research (study) on national level youth organizations management


-­‐ To develop participants’ understanding and knowledge of various forms of youth participation through youth organisations and their applicability for the management of national level youth organizations -­‐ To define and further develop leadership and civic competencies as well as relevant management skills (conflict management, advocacy, motivation, shared leadership, decision making, empowerment, strategic planning, resource management) -­‐ To support participants in analyzing and further developing their organization internal processes and mechanisms in order to strengthen their work as national level youth organizations Final outcomes of the project apart of the internal change in youth organizations work, includes a publication of the survey and a youth work publication on National Level Youth Organizing with the focus on Organizational Management. The projects key activities include: **Outputs creation Output 1: The Study -­‐ State-­‐of-­‐Play of National Level Youth Organizations The study will gather information about several issues that are important and never before researched. It will be made within the following phases: 1: Online preparation of the survey for the study and creation of the SPSS system for evaluation of the outcomes of the survey 2: Conducting surveys in all countries where the partners are active 3: Conducting self-­‐assessment in national level youth organizations 4: Final outcomes and conclusions from the survey 5: Publication on the state of play -­‐ democracy in national level youth organizations and steps for improvement of national level youth organizations management. Output 2: Youth Work material – training kit Organizational Management for Youth Entities on National Level. It is professional guidebook for youth workers in a form of training kit. The training kit is a thematic publication written by experienced youth trainers that will take part in the project. It is envisioned to be an easy-­‐to-­‐use handbook for use in national-­‐level youth organizations. It will have at least 40-­‐50 pages of material containing theoretical input on management of youth organizations, practical input on how to organize the national level youth organizations and finally a set of resources. Book provisional contents: -­‐ Introduction to organizational management in youth organizations -­‐ How to set up a national level youth organization -­‐ Decision making and democratic processes -­‐ Youth organizations' internal policies and documents -­‐ Practical activities and guidance **Multipliers event E1: Training workshop for multipliers of the democratic management in national youth organizations was held in November 2015 aiming to ensure proper dissemination of the project takes place to also other national-­‐level youth organizations. The training workshop happened in 3 different venues (Macedonia, Poland and Turkey) and gathered 13 participants from Erasmus+ programme countries per venue or 39 in total.


It was aiming to encourage them to use the outputs of the project. The workshops encouraged effective change in the national level youth organizations management. ** Team meetings There are 2 team meetings envision in the time-­‐line of the project implementation. The transnational meetings have the following major purposes: -­‐ Capacity building of the partners and motivate them to improve their work -­‐ To provide space for exchange of practices among partners -­‐To serve as a space for evaluation of the process and define tangible outcomes which will be presented as the final project results **Learning Activities The project has 3 different mobility learning activities: A Training course for youth leaders on Democratic leadership and participation within national-­‐level youth organizations, held in Poznan, Poland for 9 participants from partner organizations from Poland, Macedonia and Turkey. A Training course titled Model for active participation and democratic management of youth organizations and its evaluation held in Struga, Macedonia where further strategic improvements of the partners organizational management is proposed And Mobility of 3 Youth workers, which resulted with a chance in how the national-­‐level organization works in terms of organizational management (3 specific examples are gathered) In addition to this, each partner conducted national level activities such as: Conduction of national level meetings in order to build capacities of the youth members of clubs or sections to participate at the national level work of the organization. These can vary from one to another partner but all will be conducted and reported for according to the strategic plans of each organization Development of a project web-­‐site and other visibility materials (pens and leaflets) aiming to present the project to other national-­‐level youth organizations Project partners The Centre for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) is a non-­‐governmental, non-­‐profit youth organization based in Macedonia, working on local, national and European level. It was formed in May 2006 by active youth leaders and youth workers, following the need to develop a youth-­‐led organization in the Municipality of Kumanovo, Macedonia. CID works for creating diverse responsible and cooperative communities where citizens are actively contributing to the social development and integration. The mission of the Centre for Intercultural Dialogue is ensure sustainable community development by creating opportunities for quality engagement of civil society, advancing learning opportunities, and active involvement of young people and other citizens.


The organization’s work focuses on many aspects, which are of interest for young people: from provision of services and information, to research and support for policy-­‐making and networking. CID works with young people and citizens from diverse religious, ethnic, national and other beliefs that are at the same time creators and beneficiaries of our activities. CID also works with public administration that works with youth, as well as all stakeholders involved in inter-­‐community dialogue and sustainable community development on local, national and international level. CID is a member of few European and global networks such as Service Civil International, Youth for Exchange and Understanding and UNITED. The organization is actively participating in initiating and shaping the main European Youth Policy processes. On national level CID advocates for development of sustainable youth support systems and youth representatives’ bodies. The organization is one of the most experienced mobility support points ensuring youth mobility through quality educational exchanges and is involved in the general mobility of teachers, school support staff, and people on the labor market in general. CID offers as well international volunteering opportunities through summer camps and long term volunteering in Europe and globally. CIM Horyzonty is youth organization, member of the international network called Youth for Exchange and Understanding. Similarity to YEU International Horyzonty aim at promoting intercultural understanding and cooperation through local and international projects involving youngsters from different cultural and social backgrounds. We also aim at promoting voluntary work and youth participation. Our main activities are youth exchanges, long-­‐ term educational projects and training courses. The organization works on a regional level in the Wielkopolskie region offering services in different locations The organization Out of the Box International is a non-­‐profit expert organization working in the field of provision of training and advocacy projects. It is a service provider for the International youth organizations based in Brussels and also it is listed in the experts’ organizations of the Joint Partnership of the European Union and the Council of Europe in the field of youth. Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TOG – Community Volunteers Foundation) was founded in December 2002. The Foundation contributes to the personal development of young people by encouraging them to participate in social responsibility projects as volunteers. In doing so, it increases young people’s community involvement on a voluntary basis. Every year the Foundation supports the realization of over 1000 projects and activities implemented by about 40,000 young people in over 120 university clubs.


Background of Democratic Participation Young people are not – or not only – “future good citizens in training”, a role where they are often pushed back by education and political institutions. They are actors of today’s democracy. It has become particularly clear since the beginning of the second decade of the century. Young people have taken the leading role in movements that protest the mechanisms that led to post-­‐democracy and proclaim the urgent need to deepen and expand democracy. The LSE (London School of Economics) report provide number of evidences: “young people are not ‘victims’ or ‘problematic’ as often claimed, but diverse and critical stakeholders in democracy” (p. 8). At the same time, a wide range of recent studies synthetized by H. Willems, A. Heinen, & C. Meyers (2012) points that voting turnout, membership in political parties, interest in politics and trust in political institutions show a decline especially among young people. The 2010 Euro barometer shows that 37% of young people didn’t vote at the last national elections, far more than any other age category and the OECD finds a general trend to declining voters turnout in the last generation (OECD, 2011). Constant preoccupations at each elections, and seems particularly justified concerning the 2014 European elections, both about the low turnout among young people in many countries and the high vote for far right Eurosceptic parties. A broad scientific literature1 has reached a wide consensus to explain this apparent “paradox”: Young people are far from apathetic but participate mostly in non-­‐conventional ways. Surveys and analysis underlining a poor participation by young people are often “the product of an overly formalistic definition of political participation, too focused on very limited measures of engagement, exclusively in the arena of formal politics” (LSE report, p. 45). Even low voter turnout in the 16-­‐26 age group should not be regarded as a sign of political apathy (LSE, p. 11). Indeed, various networks of critical youth citizens have developed campaigns to promote abstention or blank vote at the 2014 European elections in various countries (notably Romania, France, Spain and Greece). Definition of youth participation The scope on classical participation thus needs to be extended to include multiple forms of participation. As many authors and three reports state, we need to “define ‘the political’ more widely”. The Council of Europe has embraced this broader scope on participation for many years. The 2003 Council of Europe’s “Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life”, states, “participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election, although these are important elements. Participation and active citizenship is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and where necessary the support to participate in and influence decisions and engaging in actions and activities so as to contribute to building a better society.” Furthermore two dimensions of participation can be distinguished: Direct participation: Political decisions are influenced directly and structural links to political decision-­‐making processes are enabled. Indirect forms of participation: Reach out to citizens and encourage them to support certain issues and positions, also enabling discussions, opinion-­‐building as well as campaigning.


In a broad and ambitious acceptance, to foster young people political participation is to empower them and provide them the means and ways to become actors of their life and of their world. The scope on political participation thus has notably to be expanded in three directions: 1. Beyond political institutional democracy; 2. Beyond the public spaces/private life divides and 3. Beyond the online/offline divide Beyond institutional and representative democracy Democracy is not limited to the formal institutional system, nor is political participation to voting and supporting parties. A look at the complexity of our democratic systems and at theories of democracy shows that it offers multiple ways for (young) citizens to participate. Some good examples can be found from Finland where a structured and insightful synthesis on four complementary models of democracy that each offer ways for (young) citizens to participate and contribute in decision-­‐making processes at different levels, for instance: **Representative democracy, which is a form of government where elected politicians must renew their positions in elections. It enables decision-­‐making in a fairly economical way by a small group of well-­‐informed people, as it is the case in national or youth parliaments. Three recommendations are listed to improve young people participation in representative democracy: • To lower the voting age (the Austrian experience), • Create representative institutions for young people (youth councils…) and • Strengthen the link between chosen representatives and young people (e.g. “School debates should be organized during election time, especially with young politicians to improve awareness and interest”, LSE report). **Participatory democracy: “offers organized citizens’ groups and non-­‐governmental organizations the opportunity to challenge and deliver information, views and suggestions.” **Deliberative democracy: it is genuinely collaborative with decision makers – in other words it should influence the policy outcome. **Counter-­‐democracy that includes forms of monitoring, protest and non-­‐conventional practices. Youth practices of counter-­‐democracy may be divided into direct, responsible, expert and protest democracy. Even if may not directly interact with institutional politics, “collective action is key to forming strong and lasting political identities among young people” (LSE report, p14). Beyond the public spaces and private life divides Political participation is often thought about from the analytical angle of a public space disconnected from everyday life, as if only the actions that matter are those that point to political institutions and find a space in the mass media. Politics and daily life are not two separate spheres (Pleyers, 2014). This perspective offers new levers both to a better understanding of participation and to ways to promote it. 1. Involve young people not only in politics but also in society. Promote participation as empowerment.


2. Daily life also provide important space to experience participation and learning by doing. 3. Daily-­‐life itself is an arena of political participation and social transformation: Daily life provides spaces to participate in multiple ways, including critical consumption (including local food, de-­‐growth, solidarity economy…) that has been invested by many young people. 4. Online participation through the expression and diffusion of one opinion and multiple forms of e-­‐participation. Beyond the online and offline divides The increasing use of ICT in people's everyday lives has created new ways to communicate, new spaces to share cultural experiences, and new methods to make their voices heard. For a majority of young people, consuming digital media and engaging in social networks have become normal parts of their lives. Besides it offers new ways of engage online and to become involved in (political) decision-­‐making. Some projects made valuable experiences during the past three years (e.g. youthpart, Ourspace, Puzzled by Policy) and assembled valuable insights into this new field. One of the key insights of all of them is that there is no straight separation into online and personal interaction. Rather both dimensions together apply in a mix. A selection of overall principles to e-­‐participation can be listed. E-­‐participation processes • Need to be aligned with young people’s lives. This relates to matters such as content, information and time management, but also to design and technical implementation. The processes should be designed to interest, stimulate and motivate young people to ensure their continuing involvement. • Require sufficient resources such as expertise, time, funding and technology, as well as staff to provide guidance and advisory services. • Need to be transparent for everyone. This requirement extends to all information related to the process as well as to the software and tools used. • Young people need to be involved in all stages of the process. This includes a feedback option in all phases of the process. Ladder of Youth Voice For a long time, the only formal position every young person held in society was that of young person. That has changed. Today, young people increasingly have more important positions, including that of decision-­‐makers, planners, researchers, and more. The following Ladder of Youth Voice was created to encourage youth and adults to examine why and how young people participate throughout communities. Think of specific activities youth are involved in, and measure them against this tool.


It is important to recognize that the Ladder is not meant to represent the whole community at once. Instead, it represents each specific instance of youth voice. That means that rather than say a whole classroom is rung 4, several youth could be experiencing that they are at that rung while others are experiencing that they’re at rung 6. For a long time, determining which rung a young person is at was left to perception and position: If an adult believed the youth on their committee were at rung 6, and the youth believed they were at rung 8, they simply agreed to disagree. The following rubric can help provide a clearer explanation of what youth voice looks like. Youth Voice Rubric The following table was developed by Adam Fletcher based on the work of Roger Hart: Description

Challenge

Reward

1. Adults manipulate youth

Youth forced to attend Experience of involving without regard to interest. youth and rational for continuing activities.

2. Adults use youth to The presence of youth is A tangible outcome decorate their activities treated as all that is demonstrating thinking necessary without about youth voice. reinforcing active involvement. 3. Adults tokenize youth

Young people are used Validates youth attendance inconsequentially by adults without requiring the to reinforce the perception work to go beyond that. that youth are involved

4. Youth inform adults

Adults do not have to let Youth can impact adult-­‐ youth impact their driven decisions or decisions. activities.

5. Adults actively Youth only have the Youth can substantially consult youth while they’re authority that adults grant transform adults’ opinions, involved them, and are subject to ideas, and actions. adult approval.


6. Youth are fully equal with adults while they’re involved. This is a 50/50 split of authority, obligation, and commitment.

There isn’t recognition for the specific developmental needs or representation opportunities for youth. Without receiving that recognition youth loose interest and may become disengaged quickly.

Youth can experience full power and authority, as well as the experience of forming basic youth/adult partnerships.

7. Young person-­‐ driven activities do not include adults in positions of authority; rather, they are they to support youth in passive roles.

Youth operate in a vacuous situation where they don’t recognize the impact of their larger community. Young person-­‐driven activities may not be seen with the validity of co-­‐led activities, either.

Developing complete ownership of their learning allows youth to drive the educational experience with a lot of effectiveness. Youth experience the potential of their direct actions upon themselves, their peers, and their larger community

8. Youth have full equity with adults. This may be a 40/60 split, or 20/80 split when it’s appropriate. All are recognized for their impact and ownership of the outcomes.

Requires conscious commitment by all participants to overcoming all barriers.

Creating structures to support differences can establish safe, supportive learning environments, ultimately recreating the climate and culture in communities.

Roger Hart, a sociologist for UNICEF who originally developed the Ladder, intended the first three rungs to represent forms of non-­‐participation. However, while the first rung generally represents the nature of all youth voice in communities with the threat of “attend or fail”, there are more roles for youth than ever before throughout the education system. Rungs 6, 7, and 8 generally represent “young person/adult partnerships”, or intentional arrangements designed to foster authentic youth engagement in communities. Today, youth are increasingly engaged as researchers, planners, teachers, evaluators, decision-­‐makers, and advocates. With this knowledge in mind, the rungs of the Ladder can help youth and adults identify how youth are currently involved in communities, and give them goals to aspire towards. Why engaging young people in democracy processes Meaningful democracy requires the meaningful participation of youth. Young people have much to offer societies – from innovation to creativity to new thinking. Their participation in democracy promotes active citizenship, strengthens social responsibility and can enhance democratic processes and institutions. And today’s


young citizens are tomorrow’s leaders and decision-­‐makers. Yet young people’s engagement with democracy faces significant challenges – threatening the future of healthy democracies. Through the work of the youth organizations we are highlighting the urgent need to engage youth in democracy. "Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies." Kofi Annan Former Secretary-­‐General of the United Nations Making a difference Taking action to engage youth with democracy can: (1) Help ensure better political decisions and actions – as young people are best-­‐placed to express experiences unique to them (2) Strengthen understanding and action for democracy and human rights (3) Empower and protect young people – including by realizing the fundamental democratic right of participation (4) Promote the well-­‐being of young people and development of their skills and experience (5) Have a positive impact on eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving international development goals (6) Promote peace, manage conflict and foster transition to democracy – as young people can help build bridges across communities and contribute to more just and peaceful societies. The research The research conducted by the project partners had as main hypothesis the following statement: Youth organizations have set up functioning democratic decision-­‐ making structures that allow their members to be consulted. This was broken down to several sub-­‐hypothesis ** Sub-­‐hypothesis 1: Existence of clear internal procedures and documents is a pre-­‐ condition for functioning democratic management in youth organizations. It can be also explored alternatively in the following way that organizations, which do not have internal procedures and documents, do not have democratic decision making with their members More specifically within this part we wanted to take a look if at least ¾ of the organizations report that they have clear internal procedures, which explain the roles and responsibility of their members. We explored if organizations working on national and international level report more diverse documents and clear definitions of the roles of their members then organizations, which work on local level. Under documents we explored if there is an existing statute, strategic planning, annual operating plan, members database etc. Related to internal procedures we took a look at responsibilities on different levels and if they are clearly written down. ** Sub-­‐hypothesis 2: Organizations decision-­‐making takes care that the diversity of members is well represented. For this one the verification is based if the National organizations have defined criteria to take into account the opinion of their members from different towns/regions. Also we check if at least ¾ of the organizations have a


clear procedure to involve youth from different groups especially related to gender, ethnic groups or social status, age and region (context where they come from) Some of the specific issues include the right to choose the level of involvement, defined responsibilities, easy access to the office and information, Members opinion is taken into account, as well as inclusion of members from rural area, inclusion policies in the organization, gender balance, financial management, feedback and voting of members. ** Sub-­‐hypothesis 3: The members of the organizations are consulted on every issue related to the organizational decision-­‐making. The verification for this statement comes from the survey if the organizations report that members can give their opinion to at least ¾ of the statutory decisions. We look if at least ¾ of organizations report that there is a clear system to take into account the members’ opinion within the decisions made. Also in terms of organized discussions we will look on how often are specific activities organized such as: General assembly, Meetings with members, Working groups of members, Online consultations with members, Open meetings of the Board / Staff where members can take part. Who replied? Demography of answers The survey gathered 201 answers from all the participating countries. Looking deeper in the characteristics of the organizations that responded here are some statistics to take into consideration when analyzing the data: Location of the office The question for the location of the organizations' head office was responded by all organizations and this is the percentage. It is visible that most of the organizations are based in the big town and the least number of respondents come from rural areas. Number of members Related to the membership, the following answers were received that explain the number of members that the organizations have. As it is visible most organizations that are responding have less than 50 members. Only few answers indicated that there is no organized membership there.


Paid staff When we asked the question of how many employees (paid staff) the organization has, we received a very different set of responses. Still its visible that the youth organizations are small and do not have staff members most of the time so democratic decision making cannot be supported by paid staff but by volunteers. Electing representatives The question of how often do the organizations elect their management board, is also crucial to understand the dynamic of changes in the organizations management structures and their accessibility to the young people members. Internal procedures and their impact on democracy For the survey we identified the existence of clear internal procedures and documents as a pre-­‐condition for functioning democratic management in youth organizations. Based on the previous theoretical and practical frameworks, the democracy is measured if the organizations have or do not have internal procedures and documents do not have democratic decision making with their members We aimed to verify that: · At least ¾ of the organizations report that they have clear internal procedures which explain the roles and responsibility of their members · Organizations working on national and international level report more diverse documents and clear definitions of the roles of their members then organizations, which work on local level


And the results for this part are the following: Statute Nearly all youth organizations have a statue (%98). This can be seen as a mandatory provision for the registration of the organizations, but the few that do not have it operate as informal groups or are formed under other statutory provisions. Strategic plans The research identified that 3 in 4 youth organizations have a strategic plan. 4 in 5 youth organizations have a database of members. %71 of youth organizations are following a annual operating plan. Database of members Database of members is an important data for youth organizations. It is a database, which has necessary information about members and volunteers. Youth organizations should register their members to database and follow their activities by the database. Database helps to build up a profile of organization and members. According to these profiles, they are able to make changes and organize right projects for right members. Operating Plans Operating plan is a kind of guide, which helps to organizations about managing and planning following year. Operations plans have targets for following year, steps to reach targets, possible obstacles, deadlines for projects etc.. Operation plans and strategic plans also include some parts about fund and budget operations. But it is just one part of them. It is important to know funding opportunities to set your targets according to your budget. Still, 1 in 4 youth organizations do not have a strategic plan. These organizations cannot highlight their targets and vision in following year. Operation goes spontaneously. And 1 in 5 youth organizations do not have a


database of members. Organizations who do not have database of members and operation plans are usually small youth groups. In these cases, it is important to support them. Organizing trainings and workshops about strategic planning can help to small youth organizations. Also it can be a kind of mentor partnership for development of the organization. Generally youth organizations know what to do in following year and they have strategic plans for that. Decision making responsibility This part provided specific direct questions about the actual place where decisions are made in the youth organizations. The gathered data is allocated in the following table: Who is responsible within your organization to make the following decision?

Approximately %95 of youth organizations has specifically defined who is responsible in decision-­‐making process. Most efficient group in decision-­‐making process is Board. At the same time, all members of the youth organizations are a big part of decision-­‐making process. Paid staff just involved to budget planning, annual operating plan and strategic plans, but their role in the decision making process is not certain. Specific working groups are in charge of local activities, international activities and projects. In the other way, they are not involved to be part of general decision-­‐ making process. In youth organizations, Board and All Members are in charge of everything and the other groups have defined for particular part of decision making.


Factors for Democracy Within this part we surveyed if the organizations decision-­‐making takes care that the diversity of members is well represented. This was explored through the answers if National organizations have defined criteria to take into account the opinion of their members from different towns/regions and if at least ¾ of the organizations have a clear procedure to involve youth from different groups especially related to gender, ethnic groups or social status, age and region (context where they come from) With regards to the criteria the organizations could chose different answers and here are the median values of their responses in a table: Defined criteria to take into account the opinion of their members from different towns/regions (from 1= not at all to 5=always followed and respected criteria) Members have the right to choose a project that they will be involved in The organizations statutes and other documents clearly define the responsibilities and roles of the members When making a decision the opinion of members who are 2t able to physically attend a meeting is taken into account Members can give online feedback on the annual planning and strategies The organization takes care that there is gender balance and representations in the board There are clear policies of the organization to involve different ethnic, religious and social groups into the decision making Members receive updates about the financial management and budget planning of the organization Members are voting on the strategic priorities of the organization Members close to the office of the organization have much easier access to the organizations decision-­‐making There are clear policies of the organization to include members from the rural area more efficiently From the list of the average amounts it’s visible that there are elements from democracy in all organizations and there is the practice that it will happen often but not regularly. That’s also worrying information as it shows that the organizations are not always doing the participatory practices for their members, but often choose to provide only the space in the time when it is needed but not as a general practice. It’s clear from the list that the most visible participation mechanisms are linked with the right to choose an activity to be involved in. Also most organizations have their organizations statutes and other documents clearly define the responsibilities and roles of the members. Issues where members do not have a big say include the organizations financial operations and their decision making on a daily basis. Also its worrying that the lowest score is for the “clear policies of the organization to include members from the rural area more efficiently” as most organizations do not have them.

3,2 3,1 3,0 2,9 2,8 2,8 2,7 2,7 2,6 2,6


Presenting the outcomes in a web diagram:

*** 1, 0 – Never happens / 2,0 – Occasionally/rarely happens / 3,0 – From time to time / 4,0 – Often happens / 5, -­‐ Always/regularly happens Depending on location In the capital cities, it is easier to choose a project that members want to be involved in. Youth organizations in capital cities are able to involve different ethnic, religious and social groups into the decision making process. These organizations can keep the gender balance as well in the organization. Presentation of members in board is fair as well. Every member of the organization is a part of management by the way. Members can get online updates about financial management easily. It is easier to be part of decision-­‐making process in rural areas than bigger cities and towns. Rural areas are small and mostly the organizations are in development. It is also possible to do physical meetings more often. Members of youth organizations based in rural areas are able to attend meetings more than capital cities. The organization statues and other documents clearly define the responsibilities of members in rural areas as well. These are positive sides which organizations in rural areas present to their democratic systems, although they are often lacking diverse opportunities. When we take a look there are some areas of democratic decision making which are very similar and there is no clear inter-­‐dependence based on the location of the Headquarters of the organization. Apart of the conclusions outlined above we can see from the chart enclosed that most of the democratic process do not link with the location of the organization:


Measuring the democratic processes The results from the survey were calculated on average and then compared on different characteristics. The median value for Democratic process is calculated as arithmetic average of the values for different decision making assessments. We have compared if this median value would change according the locations of the organizations and we have this results Where is the location of organizations' head office Mean

N

Std. Deviation

In the capital city

3,24

64

1,0

In a big town (regional 2,68 centre)

82

1,0

In a small town

2,77

24

1,1

In rural area

2,67

19

1,0

Total

2,83

199

1,0

This result shows us some difference between the place or location of the main office of the organization. Organizations based in capital cities compared with rural areas face different challenges. It is hard to organize meetings and physically to ensure participation.


Therefore members in capitals cannot be part of decision-­‐making process enough visibly like the other members. In rural areas, members cannot get updates about financial management or management questions easily. In addition, the online tools seem to be more feasible for cities where they are capable to get online feedback on the annual planning and strategies. It is hard to involve different ethnic, religious and social groups to decision-­‐ making process based on the overall value of the answers.

Average democrat process rate is 2.8, which is nearly the same in a big town, small town and rural area. Organizations based in capital cities report higher index for democratic participation then other regions, but the difference is not that much noticeable and not statistically significant. When it comes to the rate where the countries are based enclosed is a table with the deviation and the answers provided. It seems from this table that the organizations from Macedonia and Poland have more open practices for consulting and the least open were the responses from Turkey. In which country are you based?

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

Macedonia

3,57

51

0,7

Poland

3,29

9

0,7

Turkey

1,96

59

0,6

Belgium

2,96

50

0,6

Total

2,83

199

1,0

Members and democracy Most youth organizations have up to 10 members and this group of respondents also reports most democratic processes. Democrat process rate is 3.4 in these youth organizations. Youth organizations, which have up to 50 members, have a lowest


democrat process rate (2.6). But between 50 and more than 200 members, democracy rate is raising to 2.9. In the small youth organizations, it is easier to involve people to decision-­‐making process. Based on these responses most efforts to build democratic participation in youth organizations should be aiming for growing organizations that get between 10 and 50 members.

Staff and democracy Youth organizations have up to 10 paid staff members are less democratic than organizations, which have up to 20 paid staff members. Democrat process rates are 2.8 and 3.5. Then the interesting result is that for organizations with more than 20 paid staff members the democratic participation mechanisms seem to be the lowest reported level from the survey. Democratic participation median value for them is just 2.2. How many employees (paid staff) do you have? Less than 3 Between 4 and 10 Between 10 and 20 More than 20 We do not have paid staff Total Or using the chart to present the outcomes:

Mean

Std. Deviation

2,8 2,8 3,5 2,2 2,7 2,8

1,0 1,0 0,8 1,1 1,0 1,0


Mechanisms to consult Finally the survey looked at the mechanisms to consult within the organizations and if their members are consulted on every issue related to the organizational decision-­‐ making. We looked more specifically if the organizations report that members can give their opinion to at least ¾ of the statutory decisions and if at least ¾ of organizations report that there is a clear system to take into account the members opinion within the decisions made. On the question of how often they had General assembly, Meetings with members, Working groups of members, Online consultations with members, Open meetings of the Board / Staff where members can take part these are the provided answers: How often do you have the following activities within the organisation: Online Meetings Working General consultations with groups assembly with members members % members % % % Once per year 62,6 5,8 11,5 5,8 20,1 16,5 26,6 15,8 2-­‐3 times per year Once per month or once in 2 8,6 44,6 51,8 54,0 months 33,1 10,1 24,5 We do not have this kind of activity 8,6

of


Members usually meet once per month or once in two months except general assembly and %63 of youth organizations are organizing a general assembly once a year. There is just %20 of them who organize general assembly few times per year. %67 of youth organizations are holding a online consultation and %65 of them are holding online consultation once per month or once in two months. The online consultation in these regards can be much more used and promoted. Conclusion As a conclusion we would like to outline the importance of democratic participation and to motivate its further development and innovation. Participation in this regards should be also a tool to ensure members take part in youth organizations and also from there take part in society on many levels such as in the level of: ** Organizations’ or public policy -­‐ This may involve large-­‐scale consultations, focus group research, online discussion forums, or deliberative citizens' juries. There are many different public participation mechanisms, although these often share common features (for a list over 100, and a typology of mechanisms, see Rowe and Frewer, 2005). ** Participatory budgeting -­‐ Participatory budgeting is usually characterized by several basic design features: identification of spending priorities by community members, election of budget delegates to represent different communities, facilitation and technical assistance by public employees, local and higher level assemblies to deliberate and vote on spending priorities, and the implementation of local direct-­‐impact community projects. ** Public trust -­‐ The idea is that public should be involved more fully in the policy process in that authorities seek public views and participation, instead of treating the public as simply passive recipients of policy decisions. ** Accountability and transparency – Active participation may also be viewed as accountability enhancing. ** Participatory development – Some tools to use here include conscientisation and praxis; Participatory action research (PPA), rapid rural appraisal (RRA) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA); appreciation influence control analysis (AIC); “open space” approaches We hope that the research inspires your work in the area of democracy and public participation and to end we will use a quote of Eugene Jarecki “The whole idea of a democracy is that we ourselves, the people, are supposed to make a path of our politics, and it is we who with our feet and our vote and our labors and our vigilance are supposed to shape our country.”


Annex 1 Questionaire Dear representatives of youth organizations, Please take 5-­‐10 min. to fill in this questionaire. The answers received will be published in a study as part of the project “Honeycomb of participation in National level youth organizations”. Your answers will be kept anonymus Fixed variables: Location of the main office: • In the capital • In a big town (regional center) • In a small town • In a rural area How many members do you have: • Less then 10 • Between 10 and 50 • Between 50 and 200 • More than 200 • We do not have established membership How many employees (paid staff) do you have? • Less then 3 • Between 4 and 10 • Between 10 and 20 • More than 20 • We do not have paid staff How often do you elect the people in your management board? • Every year • On each 2 years • On each 3-­‐5 years • We do not have an elected board Which of the following documents (policies, procedures) you have developed: • Statute • Strategic plan • Annual operating plan • Database of members • All of the above • Non of the above Countries • Macedonia • Turkey


• • •

Poland Belgium Other

Opinion: Please choose an option to describe if these actions are part of your operating routine of the organization: Scale: 1(never); 2 (occasionally/ rarely happens); 3 (from time to time) 4 (often happening); 5(regularly)

• • •

• • • • • • •

Members have the right to choose a project that they will be involved in The organizations statutes and other documents clearly define the responsibilities and roles of the members The members can clearly identify which tasks they should do in the organization Members close to the office of the organization have much easier access to the organizations decision-­‐making When making a decision the opinion of members who are not able to physically attend a meeting is taken into account There are clear policies of the organization to include members from the rural area more efficiently There are clear policies of the organization to involve different ethnic, religious and social groups into the decision making The organization takes care that there is gender balance and representations in the board Members receive updates about the financial management and budget planning of the organization Members can give online feedback on the annual planning and strategies Members are voting on the strategic priorities of the organization

In the daily operation of your organization which of these areas must be decided by the members (through consultation, voting, online discussion or other forms of decision-­‐ making) 1(never) 2 (not often) 3 (sometimes) 4 (very often) 5(always) • Which project will the organization apply • Which activity will be organized locally in their community • Which activity will be organized internationally • Electing representatives in the board • Changing the statute and other documents • Selecting the paid staff of the organization • Strategic plan of the organization • Annual operating plan of the organization • Budget planning (annually) • Accepting new members in the association • Becoming part of international / national networks


Annex 2: Table of average values Please select where is the location of your organizations' head office

Right to participate depending on specific In the capital In a big town (regional In a small town city characteristics of the organizations center) Members have the right to choose a project that they will be involved in The organizations statutes and other documents clearly define the responsibilities and roles of the members Members close to the office of the organization have much easier access to the organizations decision-­‐making When making a decision the opinion of members who are 2t able to physically attend a meeting is taken into account There are clear policies of the organization to include members from the rural area more efficiently There are clear policies of the organization to involve different ethnic, religious and social groups into the decision making The organization takes care that there is gender balance and representations in the board Members receive updates about the financial management and budget planning of the organization

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

3,8

1,2

3,2

1,7

2,6

1,5

2,9

1,4

3,4

1,3

3,0

1,4

3,1

1,4

3,3

1,4

2,5

1,3

2,6

1,5

2,4

1,3

2,9

1,6

3,5

1,5

2,7

1,2

3,1

1,2

3,2

1,3

2,8

1,4

2,3

1,2

2,8

1,4

2,8

1,9

3,4

1,4

2,5

1,5

2,8

1,5

2,7

1,3

3,4

1,4

2,5

1,5

2,8

1,3

2,8

1,2

3,1

1,3

2,6

1,5

2,8

1,6

1,9

1,2

1,4

2,8

1,4

2,6

1,5

2,3

1,4

1,5

2,5

1,4

2,7

1,5

1,9

1,2

Members can give online feedback on the 3,4 annual planning and strategies Members are voting on the strategic priorities 3,2 of the organization

In rural area


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