Governance and Youth in the Alps

GaYA's Youth Participation toolbox

A Way to Bring the Youth and Authorities Together
GaYA’s Youth Participation Toolbox aims to provide insight and show the path to creating youth participation processes. The package includes ‘Thoughts, Models and Methods’ brochure, case studies, Try Different Cards, Youth Participation Canvas and three posters.


Thoughts, Models and Methods

To be used by public administrators and policy-makers
‘Thoughts, Models and Methods’ explores what is so special about (youth) participation processes, how youth participation differs from youth work, what are the steps of youth participation, provides an overview of methods and  presents magic rules of youth participation.



Bring the Young Energy into Your Office
Three posters, many places to put them on. Decorate your office with an African proverb or put Socrates’s quote in town hall reception.

Case Studies

How Things are Done Elsewhere
Case studies explore the diversity of participatory processes – from simple processes (for listening to young people) to more complex and comprehensive activities aimed at involving youth in making decisions or even sharing power and responsibilities. Far from not exhaustive, the collection provides insight into the most common practices in the Alpine space.


Try Different Cards

Alternative Approaches to Common Obstacles
Policy- and decision-makers from throughout the Alpine space often reach similar obstacles when initiating youth participation. With Try Different Cards, developed within Governance and Youth in the Alps (GaYA) project, we respond to the main obstacles and propose alternative approaches to common issues.

Local Action Plan of Participation

People don't plan to fail. Instead they fail to plan.
Youth participation is a diverse and long-term process, often consisting of numerous smaller processes, initiatives and projects, all contributing to the overarching goal of including the youth in decision-making in order to address the challenges of the local communities.
Local Action Plan of Participation, developed within Governance and Youth in the Alps (GaYA) project,  has a simple aim – detail the sequence of activities that must be performed well, for a youth participation to succeed and consequently achieve the strategic goals of the local communities. It provides a structured and easy-to-read overview of the aims and purposes, main variables and an intertwining set of activities that will finally result in inclusion of youth and henceforth better development opportunities.
Local Action Plan of Participation builds upon and combines Participation Canvas(es) and local strategic development goals into a unified, easy-to-ready format. While participatory processes depicted in Participation Canvas(es) carry bottom-up needs and wishes, strategic goals from local development strategies present broad and long-term perspectives. Moreover, if Participation Canvas(es) depict the rationale behind a participatory process (goals, the relationships between youth and decision-making process, the obstacles, motives, scope, non-scope, resources …), Local Action Plan of Participation sets  the framework, strategic objectives and exact timeline and responsible persons for implementation. Thus, Participation Canvas and LAPP are combined in a Local Action Plan of Participation, creating a structured, yet very participatory set of activities.


Youth Participation Canvas

Youth Participation Made Easy
Youth participation is not a status. It is a process in which the interests of the youth come together with the decision-making processes. The aim of the participatory processes is thus to establish new ways of cooperation that suit both sides – the youth and the administrators and decision-makers.
Participation Canvas, developed within Governance and Youth in the Alps (GaYA) project, provides a new and different approach to planning youth participation processes. It was developed within Governance and Youth in the Alps (GaYA) project, where youth participation processes have been discussed and initiated in several Alpine regions – in order to ensure the Alpine-wide comparability and to ease the exchange of ideas and processes, a unified system of planning and documenting was created – a Participation Canvas.
Participation Canvas is a process management template for developing and documenting existing participation processes. Its aim is to replace long textual descriptions with a clear, focused and easy to read visual chart. By describing the participation process on a single page, it should lead to easier understanding and endorsing the process. Moreover, the structure makes it easier to tweak and build on the model – the elements can be changed quickly and thusly adapted to the changing needs and circumstances.
Participation Canvas can be printed out on a large surface so groups can jointly sketch and discuss youth participation elements with post-it notes or board markers, or it can be used individually, as a documenting method, or is filled in text editing software. It is a hands-on tool that fosters analysis, discussion, understanding and creativity – its aim is to make the design of participatory processes easier, structured and focused on the needs of both the youth and administrators and decision-makers.


Trainings & Workshops: Guidelines

A Common GaYA Framework
A combination of several different methods that, blended together, produce one effective training and workshop program if you want to start youth participation in your place. The guidelines were prepared for local workshop facilitators and organisers in order to help them with setting up tailor-made local processes under a common GaYA framework. The guidelines explain the common framework, present the duties and roles of different stakeholders, and provide common methods for planning and documentation.