Valuing Children’s Knowledge: The politics of listening?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter I take a critical look at one domain of evidence – that of children and young people. The analysis I present shows: firstly, that children’s voices matter and can help us to understand the complex realities of their lives; secondly, that for children and young people to be heard, people in positions of power need to be included in participatory processes with children and young people and that interaction between decision makers and children can help to build confidence in the value of children’s evidence. Having revisited participatory evaluations in the UK and Nepal, and speaking to managers, staff and children and young people who had previously been involved, I draw out examples where children and young people’s evidence can lead to transformational change at individual, organizational and to some extent societal levels. Further analysis shows that children and young people’s evidence is valued in different cultural and political contexts if local power dynamics, including those between adults and children, are recognised and addressed. Mechanisms for how this can be done are collated from the evaluations revisited and presented so that practitioners can build on these in future evaluations conducted with children and young people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Evidence in International Development
Subtitle of host publicationPlaying the Game to Change the Rules?
EditorsRosalind Eyben, Irene Guijt, Chris Roche, Cathy Shutt
Place of PublicationWarwickshire
PublisherPractical Action
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781780448862
ISBN (Print)9781853398865
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Children, young people, participation, power, context, socio-ecological theory


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