Facilitation of online youth policy dialogues
An online course to develop the skills of professionals facilitating virtual moments of dialogue, consultation and sharing amongst youth leaders and institutional representatives.
A meaningful youth participation in democratic processes does not only depend on the political contexts and the policy design mechanisms in place. The way a youth consultation is set and carried out, the methodological approach used to design a policy, and the youth dialogue facilitators’ skills, are all critical elements affecting the results of an event where young people and policy makers interact and cooperate.
If those elements are important in traditional settings, they become essential when political discussions take place online: in the digital space, the intercultural dialogue dimension might be underestimated and an extra series of factors (digital fatigue, technical problems, limited non-verbal communication, etc.) can undermine the effectiveness of the conversation.
Hence, the facilitators play a fundamental role in shaping and encouraging an effective and inclusive online dialogue towards concrete results.
For these reasons, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe promoted an online course to improve the quality of the interactions between youth organisations and institutional representatives, increasing awareness about each other's roles for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The course took place between August and November 2021 and was articulated around three pillars:
policy making and policy dialogue knowledge,
technical expertise to set up quality online spaces for dialogue.
At the end of the course, a short handbook was produced, gathering the resources, tools and insights shared by the trainers and the participants. The handbook contains tools and tips to set up and facilitate online policy dialogues, ensuring a high level of engagement among all youth stakeholders following the Council of Europe’s human-rights approach.
During the first session, a panel discussion provided an overview on the state-of-art of the youth policy sector and explored the elements necessary to ensure an inclusive and meaningful policy dialogue online.
Mai Hosny (Egypt) - Policy Analyst on Youth at the OECD’s Public Governance Directorate.
Nafula Wafula (Kenya) - Vice Chairperson for Policy and Advocacy at the Commonwealth Youth Council.
Thomas Andersson (Sweden) - Spokesperson on Youth at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
Marinela is a trainer and programme manager for education and capacity building at the South East European Youth Network (SEEYN). The video present the SEEYN Digital Tool Library: a web portal gathering many tools of digital youth work and e-learning in non-formal education.