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Section 3: Principles & Methodologies

Quality: Applying Principles

We define a quality Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting experience as REAL: relevant, exciting, accessible and learner-led. To make youth participation meaningful, we must also make it REAL, by applying certain principles to our work

1. Transparent

2. Accountable

Participants must be given information about their right to participate in an age-appropriate format. The information should include: How they will participate Why they have been given the opportunity to participate The scope of their participation The potential impact their participation could have. 

3. Accessible

Age-appropriate approaches should be used to ensure that participants are well prepared for their role and can contribute meaningfully to activities. Participation approaches and methods should be designed or adapted based on ages and abilities; particular adaptation is necessary for children. Adults must also be sensitive to the culture and social context of the participants involved in participation activities. 

Young people must be informed and supported in general – equipped with the tools and knowledge to be able to participate effectively. The participation process should meet young people where their capacity is and help them to build it at their own pace.

4. Supportive

Youth participation should be a learning opportunity for all involved, and girls and young women should be excited to take the lead and make their voices heard. Wherever possible, we should make youth participation innovative, active and enjoyable – just like any other Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting activity.

5. Engaging

After they have been involved in participation activities, girls and young women must be provided with feedback and/or follow-up that clearly explains how their views have been interpreted and used, how they have influenced any outcomes, and (where appropriate) what opportunities they will have to be involved in follow-up processes and activities. 

Girls and young women need to have actual decision-making power. They need to be able to act independently and be responsible for their decisions. Adults must recognise that this means in some cases taking a step back and letting go of some of their power.

Participants must choose the level of their engagement and be able to withdraw. They must not be coerced or pressured into participating or expressing their views. 

7. Voluntary

6. Authentic