Analyzing the Logic Behind Youth Voice

I’ve been concerned lately about why people are trying to do the youth voice activities they do. Too often their activities actually work against their stated intentions, actually defeating their goals and objectives. I have seen pattern emerge again and again in the programs I have learned about, either through my consulting, training, or research.

Following is a form I’ve developed I have developed to assess the logic behind youth voice programs. You are invited to use it – please cite me when you do.

Analyzing the Logic Behind Youth Voice
by Adam Fletcher – copyright 2008.

The Logic of [name of activity]
  1. The main purpose of this youth voice activity is… State as accurately as possible the planner’s purpose for the activity
  2. The key issue addressed by the program is… Figure out the key issue in the mind of the planner when s/he developed the activity
  3. The most important parts of this activity are… Figure out the experiences, information, and skills the planner is assuming participants have in order to participate in the activity
  4. The main outcomes of this activity are… Identify the main outcomes the planner intends from the different parts and the whole of this activity
  5. The main assumption(s) behind the planner’s thinking is/are… Figure out what the planner is taking for granted that might be questioned.
  6. The implications of this activity are… What consequences are likely to happen because of the activity?

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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