Step 6: After participation

Let participants know their opinions and insights were valuable, and tell them about the outcome of the activity even when a solution to the issue wasn't achieved.

Value participants

Be open and transparent. Tell participants how valuable their involvement was and whether there are any ways they can continue to contribute. For example, online or via email if they have other ideas or want to be involved in things like the write up.

Send everyone a formal thank you soon after the participation activity.

Consider other ways to recognise contributions, such as:

  • certificates of attendance and contribution signed by an executive
  • support with how to include the activity in the young person’s CV
  • invite children and young people to be involved in future activities (such as facilitation) and including them in the planning
  • let participants know when to expect an update on the next steps and explain any risks of not meeting timeframes
  • send a summary of insights with an invitation to make corrections or improvements.

In the summary:

  • Use simple language to express what you heard from participants.
  • Ask: Did we understand properly? Did we miss anything? Would you like to add anything?
  • Note: if the review work is lengthy, it should be considered part of the hours being remunerated.

Synthesise and translate views into action

Collate all the shared insights, including any divergent perspectives.

Analyse what was captured in the participation to look for themes and key issues. These policy insights will feed into the drafting process.

Wherever possible, invite young people to help with the analysis. This may include:

  • young members on project governance groups who may be close to the policy issues and well-placed to help make sense of the insights and relate them to policy
  • individuals from the target group who have the skills to analyse input for themes
  • young people employed by the department and who have awareness of the policy.

Follow up

Follow up may include:

  • Close the loop with all the participants by letting them know what the outcomes were, even if a policy or service solution was not achieved.
  • If appropriate, consider finding a way to celebrate if the initiative was successful.
  • Tell participants if there are any opportunities for ongoing involvement in implementation planning or other activities.
  • Seek feedback from children and young people on the process – either informally or through a more formal evaluation to understand what worked and what didn’t
  • Remind children and young people of the complaints process for the project.
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