The Laura Lundy Model of Youth Participation

Empowering Youth Decision-Making

A group of youth had concerns about the risks of underage drinking and wanted to do something to mitigate this risk.

The Laura Lundy Model is a rights-based model that conceptualises Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which states that children should have the right to form their own views and express them freely, and that their views should be given due weight. The model has four components: space, voice, audience and influence. In this case the participants voiced their concern about underage drinking and expressed that they wanted to create a film to communicate their message. There was a safe space to express their views and plan for the film. When they completed the film they asked for it to be viewed by an audience other than their peers, through which they were able to influence and create awareness around the issue.

This strategy worked because the process put youth in the driver's seat and enabled them to create tangible change. In this case youth were not tokenized. Instead, they were the central actors in the process, as they came up with the problem and an idea for the solution. This model allowed the youth worker to simply guide the participants towards their end goal, rather than deciding on an outcome and then trying to engage youth. This model is not always possible, but where it is, it is a good practice.

Further information of this strategy can be found here

The participants felt empowered after leading this process and acting as agents of change and influence. The participants have now been gathering funds to take this project forward.

Does your organisation have a civil society youth engagement practice that you would like to showcase here? Please let us know in the form below – any language is welcome! If you have any questions, please let us know at agna@civicus.org

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