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Government budget monitoring: as easy as child’s play (PLA 64)

Understanding how government works is potentially a very complicated topic to discuss with children. This article describes a capacity building initiative with children in South Africa to support them to engage in government budget monitoring and advocacy. This initiative used learning through games to make difficult governance issues accessible to children. The project highlighted that children, including those with disabilities, are able to share and learn knowledge and skills relating to governance. We explain the different approaches used to develop children’s skills as peer facilitators; to support them to understand and share information about governance; and to build their confidence to do advocacy. We conclude with tips for adult facilitators and child advocates and other practitioners who may want to build children’s capacity to engage in governance.

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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