What is the Lundy model?
The Lundy model of child participation was established in 2014 at Queen’s University Belfast as a practical conceptualisation of Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – the legislation that requires governments to ensure that children’s rights are respected. This model suggests that implementation of Article 12 requires consideration of four interrelated concepts: space, voice, audience and influence.
Its impact has been to dramatically change the global understanding of child rights-based participation in both policy and practice – including shaping our processes at Participation People. It’s a model we regularly use and truly love!
Professor Laura Lundy (expert in children’s rights) proposed the model following research on the implementation of the CRC undertaken by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY). This found that children and young people regularly reported frustration that their views were not being listened to and taken seriously – and one main contributor to this was the fact that Article 12 was not fully understood by CRC duty-bearers.
How to implement the Lundy model
The common challenge we find is that decision-makers and leaders are unclear on how to implement the Lundy Model’s framework across their organisations. This is because it requires expertise and investment in structures and processes, plus a change in attitude from leaders, to look inwardly and adapt to a different approach.
If you’re looking to implement the model, we’ve drawn up a checklist of questions to ask yourself under each of the four elements, which you can follow to bring to life children’s right to participation.
Space – this is about providing a safe and inclusive space for children and young people to express their views
- Have young people been asked for their views?
- How many opportunities have there been?
- Is the venue accessible, friendly and safe?
- Are the staff team trained and supported appropriately?
- Have young people been proactively recruited to take part from a variety of backgrounds?
Voice – this is about providing information and support for children and young people to express their views
- Have young people been provided with the information they need to form a view?
- Do young people know their participation is voluntary?
- Are creative and fun activities being used to support young people to express their view on topics?
- Is there enough time scheduled to delve into the topics?
- Are workshop resources accessible to young people; youth proofed; and youth friendly?
Audience – This is about ensuring children’s and young people’s views are taken seriously and acted upon
- Are appropriate decision-makers involved and engaged?
- Is there a clear and agreed process for communicating back young people’s voices and views?
- Do young people know who their views are being shared with and what will happen to them afterwards?
- Do decision-makers know how young people’s views will feed into their decision-making processes?
- Is the person ‘receiving’ young people’s views the person with the power to make (or influence) decisions?
Influence – this is about making sure children’s and young people’s views are communicated to the right people
- Were young people’s views considered in the decision-making process, and how is it recorded?
- Have young people been told about how their views have impacted a decision – and if not, why?
- Are there procedures in place for young people to hold decision-makers to account for their decisions?
- When and how will young people know or see the impact of their participation?
Have you answered no to some of the above questions? Speak to our youth engagement experts. We help organisations just like yours bring youth participation to life, ensuring a fresh perspective and better business decisions.