Following is a simple assessment organizations can use to determine whether they really want to create youth-driven programming. I repurposed it from a tool the spectacular Michael Fielding of the University of Sussex originally created for schools, with his permission.
- Who is involved in Youth Driven Programming?
- Why are they involved?
- How are they involved?
- Which young people are allowed to be involved in driving programming?
- Who are they allowed to create programs for?
- What are they allowed to create programming focused on?
- What language, behaviour, and activities are encouraged and/or allowed?
- Who decides the answer to these questions?
- How are those decisions made?
- How, when, where, to whom and how often are these decisions communicated to young people and adults?
Skills and Attitudes
- Are the skills of Youth Driven Programming encouraged and supported through training or other appropriate means?
- Are these skills understood, developed and practiced within the context of other democratic values and dispositions?
- Are these skills themselves changed or informed by those values and dispositions?
- How do the young people and adults involved regard each other?
- To what degree are the principle of equal value and the dispositions of care felt reciprocally and demonstrated through the reality of daily encounter?
Systems and Spaces
- How often does dialogue and engagement between youth and adults currently happen in the organization and its programs? Who decides?
- How do the systems highlighting the value and necessity of Youth Driven Programming mesh with or relate to other activities, especially those involving adults?
- What action is taken for Youth Driven Programming?
- Who feels responsible for Youth Driven Programming?
- What happens if aspirations and good intentions are not realised?
- Where are the spaces (physical and metaphorical) in which Youth Driven Programming might take place? Who controls those spaces?
- What values shape their being and their use?
- Do the cultural norms and values of the organization proclaim the importance of Youth Driven Programming within the context of communities as a shared responsibility and shared achievement?
- Do the practices, traditions and routine daily encounters demonstrate values supportive of Youth Driven Programming?
- Do we need new structures for Youth Driven Programming?
- Do we need new ways of relating to each other as youth and/or adults?