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E-Consultation, Controversy and Youth

This paper presents the results of a completed research study the aim of which was to identify ICT tools suitable for engaging with young people in dialogue on a complex policy issue. The study involved a review of current research and practice, development of prototype tools, ‘scenario-based workshops’ with groups of young people, and interviews with organisations experienced in involving young people in complex policy-making debates.

Our literature review indicated a lack of interest among young people on the specific policy issue. However the results presented here show that, despite this barrier, there was interest and enthusiasm in using ICT tools for dialogue embedded in the activities of organised groups, i.e. school classes or youth groups. On the other hand, we encountered very little appetite for sustained involvement in the debate by individual young people acting on their own accord.