The Youth Advisory Board (YAB):
Two of the most important principles of restorative justice are power sharing and involvement in decision making.
Therefore, we have created a standing Youth Advisory Board to disseminate power more evenly within our organization. This self-governed body, continues to be a key governance and project feature of RJ4All that meets on a regular basis to scrutinize, quality control and monitor our work, and give us advice on our strategy. Similar to other prestigious research bodies and Institutions (see: Harvard YAB, UNICEF YAB, University of Birmingham YAG) RJ4All YAB is a team of young volunteers aged 15 – 25 from different backgrounds and circumstances who are aware of the problems facing young people in today’s society and who are interested in an opportunity to do something positive about these issues.
The Youth Advisory Board provides validity to our studies and our work. They work as the triangulation process for qualitative research.
- Triangulation is a method used in qualitative research to check and establish validity in the studies.
- Validity relates to whether the findings of your study are true and certain.
When it comes to project management, the Youth Advisory Board provides a clear evaluation of the impact and the quality of the outcomes of the project as an independent body, that means, outside of the decision making process of the partners involved.
When the Board comes together, a facilitator from our organization provides them with certain structure and a predetermined set of questions that the Board will need to answer in order to successfully evaluate the entirety of the project. During the preliminary phase, the members of the board are free to ask any questions to the facilitator, however, in order to maintain an independent and clear approach, the facilitator is not present during the meeting(s) this also allows for more interaction among the members of the group, which often stimulates further discussion and uncovers unanticipated issues and insights.
The aim of the YAB is to identify issues that impact on young people and to play a strategic role in meeting these needs. Their approach to the evaluation of this project was of independent youth users new to the created platforms, they assessed the role of each partner in each meeting, intellectual output, Event and the outcomes of the project as well as the e-learning platform and the website from their professional experience and perspective while maintaining a strategic overview of youth interests and needs.