Do We Make a Difference? The Impact of Participation by Children and Young People

This research project is exploring the experiences and outcomes of participation for children and young people who have been involved in Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) initiatives over the last ten years. These initiatives will include Dáil na nÓg, Comhairle na nÓg and the Children and Young Peoples Forum. The project is using participatory research methods which take account of children’s and young people’s voices and is informed by consultation with the DCYA and grounded in national and international literature.  This investigation encompasses a holistic conception of participation that is underpinned by four areas of impact on the lives of children and young people; personal, family, communal and institutional (Hart, Newman, Ackermann and Feeny, 2004). The research project commenced in January 2011 and will be finished in September 2012.

A project Steering Group was established at the beginning of the project and includes youth participants from DCYA initiatives, the project researchers from University College Cork, staff from the DCYA Participation Unit and an international advisor, Professor Kay Tisdall from the University of Edinburgh. 

Funding for this project is provided through the IRCHSS RDI STRAND 9: SOCIAL POLICY RESEARCH PROJECTS in collaboration with the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC have also provided additional funding for this project.

The University College Cork Project Team: Dr Shirley Martin (PI) and Dr Catherine Forde, School of Applied Social Studies UCC. Dr Audrey Dunn Galvin, School of Education, UCC. Dr Angela O'Connell, Project Researcher.  

For further information please contact Dr Angela O'Connell on:  021 4902152 or

Some links for exploring Child and Youth Participation Further

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