Meeting with PARTISPACE consortium members, 12 May 2017

On occasion of the fifth consortium meeting of our sibling project PARTISPACE (Spaces and Styles of Participation), which took place in Bologna, members of the UNIBO research team took the opportunity to exchange results and experiences from our respective projects.
With both projects already more than halfway through, the meeting allowed the researchers to confront similarities and differences in ideas and approaches for addressing youth participation in Europe, as well as to update each other on advancements in the research.

CATCH-EyoU coordinator Elvira Cicognani and PARTISPACE coordinators Andreas Walther and Alex Pohl presented the aims and the structures of the projects, the achieved milestones, as well as the challenges encountered along the way and those still ahead. Consortium members Morena Cuconato, Siyka Kovacheva, Demet Lüküslü, Dominic Zimmerman and Barry Percy-Smith presented also results in each work package of the PARTISPACE project so far.
In both projects, some efforts have been devoted in identify key youth policy documents that were analyzed on national and European level, revealing similar limited (and normative) conceptions of youth participation and different representations of young people across countries.

While the case studies of CATCH-EyoU’s WP8 are currently underway, PARTISPACE members have recently concluded the extensive ethnographic work of their WP4 and could share with us first impressions from the data analysis. We shared with pleasure the very comparable issues arising in the choice of case studies and in the definition of forms of engagement considered, as well as the challenges in conducting in-depth research with time constraints.

We were able to also share the parallel experiences of conducting action-research with young people (in the case of PARTISPACE), and participatory intervention in schools (in the case of CATCH-EyoU). Although working with different approaches, we noticed analogous concerns on how to involve youth as agents of change.
In the following months, the next challenge for PARTISPACE is to use the country-level observations in a cross-country comparative and thematic analysis in order to develop a theoretical integration from understanding youth participation in European cities. On the other hand, CATCH-EyoU members will be working on the formidable task of integrating the findings of the different WPs into a larger theoretical model.
Overall, it was very stimulating to be able to exchange views and experiences with researchers of an akin H2020 project and see the similar challenges we address everyday in our quest to understand young people’s active engagement in Europe: a wonderful opportunity for networking that surely will continue during the next stages of both projects.

More info:

See what our sibling project said about the meeting