A project of consultative youth participation

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), a team from Leuphana University Lüneburg led by Prof. Dr. Waldemar Stange advises federal ministries on the development of consultative participation formats for their youth-relevant activities and projects. The project explores the fundamentals of youth participation in the field of policy consultation, i.e. it investigates how youth can be involved in the preparation of political decision-making processes and how their articulated concerns can be taken into account in the best possible way.
It is about the planning and implementation of innovative youth participation procedures in the context of the respective concrete projects and measures of the ministries. To this end, the "Team YouthPoliticsConsultation" develops tailor-made concepts and new methods with the help of which young people can advise and support the federal ministries in opinion-forming and political decision-making. The project YouthPoliticsConsultation implements and evaluates these methods.
By developing and implementing these objectives, the project YouthPoliticsConsultation contributes to the participatory communication of federal ministries with youth. This is important because the decisions made in the ministries have a very concrete impact on the daily lives and realities of young people.
The project is a central measure for the implementation of the German federal government's youth strategy adopted in 2019 (coalition agreement 2018: "Development of the federal government's joint youth strategy and the principles of independent youth policy", "cross-cutting policy" and "far-reaching and joint strategy of the relevant policy fields "and cabinet decision on the implementation of the youth strategy of November 2019 (> brochure of the BMFSFJ: "In gemeinsame Verantwortung: Politik für, mit und von Jugend. The federal government's youth strategy. Berlin 2019)
The research team at Leuphana University of Lüneburg was constituted in July 2020 and will initially work until April 2022.

The subject of the project, YouthPoliticsConsultation (as consultative youth participation in the field of policy consultation) is a hitherto still very underdeveloped field, which was first made known to a broad public through a statement by the Federal Youth Advisory Board ("Young People of Policy Consultation - Recommendations for More Participation of the Young Generation at the Federal Level") in November 2019.
The YouthPoliticsConsultation project picks up this thread and is therefore distinguished by the special feature that this approach does not focus on the local or state level, but on youth participation at the very difficult complex federal level.
Although the project team encountered a field of political action that was only weakly developed, its broad expertise in the theory and practice of children's and young people's participation from previous projects enabled it to start consulting projects immediately. A predecessor project and reference project of the team was e.g. the Youth-Demography-Dialogue within the framework of the demographic strategy of the Federal Government in the 18th LP (AG Jugend gestaltet Zukunft) with design processes in model districts (idea and solution finding, concept development, realization, presentation, evaluation, sustainability strategies - always with intensive participation of youth and young adults). Another precursor and reference project is the project Strong Children and Youth Parliaments, which started in 2018 and is still ongoing (including a quantitative empirical survey for the State Report of the Federal Government to the UN in the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, qualitative interviews and group discussions and case studies, and currently ongoing consulting projects).
In addition to the systematic development work with regard to innovative formats of consultative youth counseling, the concrete counseling projects in the ministries and the scientific monitoring of the overall process, the project team's work also focuses on the step-by-step development of the professional and scientific foundations of the field of action YouthPoliticsConsultation (research, document analysis, structuring, connectivity to neighboring sciences). In terms of subject classification, this is a project from the field of social pedagogy and youth welfare (according to § 11 and 12 SGB VIII) with connections to the educational sciences (because of the didactic-methodical processes) and to political science (youth politics consultation as a subarea of political consulting and the political field of federal youth politics).

Methodologically, in addition to the fundamental orientation towards action research (action research paradigm), e.g. systematic case studies and case comparisons (e.g. in the participation formats to be developed), approaches of quantitative and qualitative evaluation are also used.

The core interest of the study is to scientifically develop new consultative participation formats in the context of the federal government's youth strategy, to put them into practice and to evaluate them. It is about developing department-specific and cross-departmental youth participation formats and advising the departments through the project YouthPoliticsConsultation (systematic support in the production of tailor-made participation concepts for existing or new measures of the ministries). The aim is to establish "consultative youth participation" as a realistic and appropriate participation format through good practice, to provide young people with improved access to political decision-makers and to enable them to participate in political processes.

Further information at: and

Project Manager

  • Prof. Dr. Waldemar Stange

Research Assistants