• Can Children and Young People be empowered in Participatory Initiatives?: perspectives from young people’s participation in policy formulation and implementation in Ghana

      Adu-Gyamfi, Jones (2013)
      Empowering children and young people is often cited as the goal of participation. However projects that seek to empower children and young people show little attempt to define what empowerment means. There is an implied but inadequately explored conceptual link between participation and empowerment. This paper explores the link between participation and empowerment by discussing a research with 15–17 year young people involved in two participatory initiatives in Ghana. The paper discusses the various typologies of children's participation and the concept of power, and concludes that participation does not lead to empowerment. Therefore the increasing theorisation of children and young people's participation as empowerment is flawed. The paper argues that children and young people's participation should instead be conceptualised as recognition and dialogue.