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How to Assess Youth Participation

For organisations and evaluators that work in the area of inclusion, Hart's ladder of participation is a useful rubric for assessing participation. Though the rubric was developed for the inclusion of the youth, it is also helpful for the engagement of other marginalised groups such as women, ethnic minorities, religious groups etc.

One limitation though is that the ladder may seem to suggest that the higher rungs are always ideal levels of participation. However, it is important to consider the context, including children’s “competence and confidence to engage” and adults willingness to support that engagement.

Nonetheless it is a useful framework.

Image courtesy of Heather L Ramey


Hart, Roger (1997). Children's Participation: The Theory And Practice Of Involving Young Citizens In Community Development And Environmental Care for UNICEF.


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​​​Ann-Murray Brown

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