Youth-Led Decision Making in Community Development Grants

Abstract

This study examines youth-led decision making (YLDM) among groups of youth who are providers or recipients of community development
grants. Focus groups, interviews, and participant observation with 14- to 20-year-olds and supporting adults showed youth
have a preference for consensus-based decisions. Youth used due process to reach decisions while valuing differing viewpoints.
Adults created appropriate spaces and guided without controlling. Youth directly involved in the YLDM process experienced
the greatest and most immediate benefit though other youth, and the community as a whole also felt positive impacts over time.
The study considers the type of supports required for young people to make meaningful decisions and points to the capacity
of youth, and the potential of YLDM, for community development.

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