Youth Voice in E-Participation, Prilep, Macedonia

Description:

As youth engage themselves in a different way by commenting on various topics related to their community through social networks, new technologies may be used to adapt to a younger target audience for decision-making. This new approach is supported with the Prilep Youth Voice in E-Participation programme, carried out with the help of the Youth Advisory Body in Prilep, Macedonia. The aim of this local project is to raise awareness of and develop youth participation in decision-making processes of the Municipality of Prilep.

The project included a set of online activities and events implemented from March to December 2017 to develop youth activism in participatory processes. The information was disseminated through social media, traditional media such as local TV channels and radio as well as with promotional material. The OPIN digital platform was used to collect proposals, as well as to allow the users to comment and evaluate on them. Events, campaigns and educational workshops were organised in the municipality and in high schools to inform about the opportunities of e-participation. The use of this interactive platform allowed to young people to familiarise themselves with the concept of e-participation and the possibility to use new technological tools to engage in decision-making processes.

Achievements:

The ‘Youth Voice up’ campaign raised awareness among the local community about the opportunities of youth activeness in the community. 19 project initiatives for improving living conditions at local level were collected and published via OPIN. From this gathering of initiatives, 5 were selected on the grounds of digital responsiveness (more commented, liked, followed posts). These included:

- the renovation and creation of cultural establishments and museums in the Municipality;
- the opening of a Youth Culture Centre, a Karting Centre, or a covered swimming pool;
- the establishment of a shelter centre for the care of street dogs; and
- the urbanisation of the area around the Prilep lake.

The findings were submitted to the Youth Advisory Body in Prilep in the form of a Position paper, and a final debate with youngsters, representatives of the Youth Advisory Body in Prilep and the Municipality was organised to discuss conclusions on the achievements of the Youth Voice programme at the local level.

Begoña Trujillo