Children’s participation through community development
Children and young people are increasingly perceived not as passive recipients of services and policies but as political actors in their own right. Other chapters in this book examine how and why this change has come about (see Chapters 1, 2 and 4). The purpose of this chapter is to review a range of experience, from different countries and policy contexts, of the use of community development techniques to promote children’s involvement. Community (or social) development has been a long-standing technique for involving adults in identifying and meeting needs and shaping policy development (Craig and Mayo, 1995) in an increasingly wide range of policy arenas. There has, however, until now, been little attempt to apply its techniques and value base in working with children. Comparative study of such work with children facilitates the process of improving research, theory and action by providing insights from theory and practice elsewhere, enabling us to learn from others’ experience and critically to assess our own.