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Digital mapping: a silver bullet for enhancing youth participation in governance? (PLA 64)

Linda Raftree, Judith Nkie

Journal article

When armed with solid information and community backing, young people can successfully engage local and divisional authorities in resolving issues youth care about. Starting with the desired goals, understanding local context and building youths’ self-esteem, building confidence as well as research and communication skills are key. A variety of tools – community mapping, participatory video, painting, songs, theatre, dance, photos, cartoons and digital mapping – can support this process. Digital mapping is potentially useful for youth to initiate and follow up on conversations with local authorities around allocation of services and resources. However, digital mapping in isolation from other participatory processes holds limited value. This article aims to share experiences with practitioners and theorists interested in using information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) in youth and participatory governance work. It explores Plan’s use of digital mapping in the Youth Empowerment Through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) project in schools and communities in the Pitoa, Ndop and Okola areas in Cameroon.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

Keywords: Children, youth, young people, child rights, participatory governance.

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