|Children and adolescents are different to adults in the way that they view, experience and communicate their concerns. They are often excluded from adult decision-making processes and face additional barriers to participation. Participatory assessment is a method developed by the UNHCR and is “an important way of ensuring that boys and girls of all ages and backgrounds are at the centre of decisions concerning their protection and well-being. Effective participation also recognizes children and adolescents as rights-holders, it builds their capacity and resilience, and allows them to better protect themselves and their peers.”
Should you decide to use the group agreement in your workshops accommodate a group-centric decision-making process involving all participants:
- Ask participants to think about the best group discussions they have been a part of, and reflect on what made these discussions so satisfying.
- Next, ask participants to think about the worst group discussions in which they have participated and reflect on what made these discussions so unsatisfactory.
- For each of the positive characteristics identified, ask them to suggest three things the group could do to ensure that these characteristics are present.
- For each of the negative characteristics identified, ask them to suggest three things the group could do to ensure that these characteristics are not present.
- Use participants’ suggestions to draft a set of ground rules to which you all agree.
Once a group agreement has been reached, make sure it is on display for all to see – ideally have it written up on a whiteboard, flipchart or overhead projector.