Moving Beyond Voice in Children and Young People's Participation

Johnson, Vicky. 2017. Moving Beyond Voice in Children and Young People's Participation. Action Research, 15(1), pp. 104-124. ISSN 1476-7503 [Article]

[img] Text
Final draft Action Research Vicky Johnson .docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (116kB)

Abstract or Description

This paper introduces research that challenges decision-makers to listen to and act upon children and young people’s evidence. Participatory Action Research (PAR) processes in Nepal and the UK in which children and young people participated were revisited in order to gain stakeholder perceptions on whether children and young people’s evidence was valued. The paper focuses on the Nepalese participatory action research case revisited, but draws on critical analysis across the cases including whether they led to positive change at individual, organisational and societal levels. When decision-makers reflected on the processes revisited, it was when they inter- acted with children and young people that they started to value their knowledge. It is suggested that participatory action research could incorporate mechanisms that confront intergenerational relationships and power dynamics to alter perceptions of children and young people’s roles and their evidence. These are embedded into a ‘Change-scape’ framework that emerged from these revisits, that links children and young people agency to the wider context of social change. This helps incorporate age as integral to inclusion and to see children and young people as critical to participatory democracy so their views are taken seriously in decision-making affecting their lives. The mechanisms suggested to include children and young people in processes that lead to transformational change include: creating participatory spaces and building dialogue and trust between children and young people and adults in participatory action research.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

This has been uploaded on the University of Brighton repository within the accepted time period for acceptance and publication.


Children, transformation, participation, power, context, socio-ecological theory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



January 2017Accepted
4 April 2017Published Online
1 March 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2018 11:32

Last Modified:

22 May 2018 13:22

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)