The impetus for this dialogue came out our first Rejuvenate working paper – which formed the basis of our living archive. In the paper, we tried to map the people, projects and publications that occupied the space at the intersection of child rights and participation. What we found in our review was that most of the ‘evidence’ presented by what we think of as substantively participatory work, the end point of which would be child/youth-led work, was evidence of how to do participation well.
As evidence, it was slightly circular because it started from an assumption that rights are intrinsically valid and then tried to show how to best engage with children/young people, focusing on process rather than outcomes. In a global context of shrinking civic space, and in which rights agendas are being systematically eroded, a conversation on how and why we evidence rights becomes even more important.
In this dialogue, we asked: Why do we measure what, and for whom? how can we include children and young people in these processes? and how can monitoring and evaluation work serve accountability to a diverse range of stakeholders?