Introducing The New OPIN-Pilots (2): Youngsters in National Politics and Participative Journalism

The new OPIN pilots have just started their eParticipation projects across Europe. In the upcoming months they will involve youngsters in various diverse activities on local, regional and national levels, bridging the gap between youth and decision-makers. At the same time they will intensively use and test OPIN. In the following we will introduce three further pilots from Malta, Slovenia and Italy.

iParticipate (Malta)

The Maltese government agency Agenzija Zghazagh, aims at involving more youngsters in decision-making on local, regional and national issues through eParticipation. The project’s objective is to explore new ways to reach and involve young people as well as contribute to the National Youth Policy. In three different settings, the project will be implemented: the regional youth service in Cottonera, so-called Youth Hubs in post-secondary schools, and local youth councils.

This way youngsters between 15 and 25 years will be invited to contribute their opinions on current issues through sharing and rating ideas on OPIN and drafting own proposals. Possible discussion topics will range from the improvement of leisure spaces and revisiting organisation process of Student Representatives to the law on the age of sexual consent, which is a topic that is currently discussed at the national level. The goal of iParticipate is to engage 500 youngsters and the results will be discussed at a final event with policy makers and other stakeholders.

Youth Parliament (Slovenia)

The project Youth Parliament (YOU-P), initiated by the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth will involve 15-19-year old youngsters on a national level, culminating in a public event in the Slovenian National Assembly. The project will advance and upgrade the well-established National Children’s Parliament (NCP), in which children from primary schools take part in and adopt conclusions every year. Exemplary issues it takes up range from the future of children and intergenerational cooperation to sustainability and health. For the first time and with the help of OPIN, teenagers will now become active participants in the dialogue and be given the opportunity to comment and vote on the conclusions of the NCP. Another novelty is that the youngsters will present concrete suggestions for policy changes to the Slovenian Government at the end of the participation process.

 

BAO-BLOG PLUS (Italy)

The Project BAO-BLOG Plus (BB+) is a local project in the Italian municipality of San Lazzaro di Savena, set up by Open Group. It was started as part of a broader initiative aiming at bringing citizens and administrators closer together and involving them collaboratively. The newsroom Bao-Blog was opened at the local youth centre in September 2016. Part of it are 10 young journalists between the ages of 15 and 29, who are guided and trained by professional journalists and social educators.

The young team is informing its peers about news and stories on the local community – in a different way than mainstream media do, adapted to the needs of local youngsters. Through OPIN, Bao-Blog becomes Bao-Blog Plus, as it will be enhanced with two participation processes. Through OPINs idea collection function, members of the local community are enabled to actively set issues onto the journalists’ agenda, which they will subsequently discuss with the administrators and report about them. Mobile polling will, additionally, allow local decision-makers to learn about the community’s opinions regarding certain issues and planned actions, like the construction of a sustainable public transport route or the usability of municipal services.

 

Want to know more? Check out the projects on OPIN: https://opin.me/en/orgs/