All over the world we are seeing exciting experiments in participatory governance. But are they working for the young? This issue of PLA highlights how young Africans are driving change by challenging the norms and structures that eclude them, engaging with the state and demanding accountability. It is the result of a writeshop in Kenya in 2011, where a a group of adults and young people involved in youth and governance initiatives across Africa came together to share experiences, build writing skills, form new relationships and write articles for this issue. The articles are divided into four parts: from youth voice to youth influence; rejuvenating spaces for engagement; learning citizenship young, and power to young people.
This 66th issue of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) includes general articles on participatory approaches to development submitted by readers and explores the links between participation, sustainable natural resource management and improving livelihoods. It also includes a selection of other articles, including how urban community groups in Chile have opposed two urban redevelopment projects; the use of participatory impact assessment tools to define, measure, monitor, review and analyse progress; and a discussion of ethical issues and standards for participatory work. There are also reflections from members of the international Resource Centres for Participatory Learning and Action (RCPLA) network, a foreword from IIED’s Camilla Toulmin and reflections from Robert Chambers of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The PLA series was 25 years old in 2013 and at this milestone, IIED decided to take stock to look at PLA’s legacy and future direction. After this issue, the series will be put on hold, pending the findings from an external evaluation.