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DYPALL Network – Developing Youth Participation at Local Level

National Network: 
Urbanização Jardins de Bemposta. Lote 80 1B
8500-371 Portimão
E-Mail (2): 
Mobile Phone: 
Organisation Type: 
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment: 
General Information: 

DYPALL is a European network composed by over 30 municipalities and civil society organisations from more than 20 countries that aims to involve young people in decision-making processes at local level.

In terms of activities, we organize Study Sessions and Study Visits to explore local practices with regards to youth participation and we hold training courses on the participation of young people, in general, and/or of specific themes (e.g. development of local youth councils, or participation of migrant youth, etc.). Around 3 times per year we apply for funding for new projects at the Erasmus + Programme of the EU (mainly KA1 – trainings and study visits, and KA2 capacity building and dissemination of good practices),at the Europe for Citizens Programme of the EU, and at the European Youth Foundation (e.g. long term training courses and research).

Mission and Objectives: 

DYPALL Network stands for the creation of effective and sustainable involvement of Youth in decision-making, in cooperation with local authorities, through the development of strategies and the building of structures and relations of mutual trust. We believe that, by creating an effective and sustainable Youth involvement in decision-making and by improving the relationship between Local Authorities and Youth Organisations, we can contribute to implement more sustainable youth policies at local level.

In this sense, DYPALL Network aims at the creation of partnerships and at building a network composed by local municipalities and civil society organisations active in the youth field, to jointly achieve the following main objectives:

(1) Developing youth participation structures and mechanisms in decision-making at local level;

(2) Identify best practices and introduce innovative approaches to public governance;

(3) Foster youth engagement and inclusiveness in representative and participatory democracy processes;

(4) Build capacity and provide technical assistance on various areas and processes like policy making, advocacy, structured dialogue, co-management and more;

(5) Mainstream youth policies at local and regional levels (e.g. youth guarantee schemes) to develop cohesive and engaged societies.

Main Projects / Activities: 

We have developed expertise on the field of capacity building where we have a team of international trainers, working on several international pools of trainers, such as SALTO (Support Advance learning and Training Opportunities), Council of Europe among others, supporting our educational programme development and implementation. Research is also one of our pillars.

During the last years we have also organized many international conferences, for academics, practitioners, policy makers and youth workers. Main activities implemented so far include: International Conference “Youth Policy at Local and Regional Level:

(1) “Developing our Territories through Youth Participation in Decision-Making” 12-15 April 2016, Portimão (Portugal) - This Conference brought together 22 partners from local youth councils and other organizations, from 17 European countries, to share best practices that may contribute for better local youth policies on youth participation, employment and inclusion. It was an exercise grounded in group-learning, sharing of different practices around Europe that inspired action, critical and liberating dialogue;

(2) Study Session “Transferring positive practices of Democratic Youth Participation Models from the European to the Local Level”, 9-15 October 2016, Strasbourg (France) - This study session offered the space for 35 youth workers, representatives of institutions and decision makers to gather and research the positive practices of meaningful participation implemented on European Level. The main idea was to go into depth discussion of these processes, and have practitioners sharing their experiences, including difficulties and obstacles faced, as well as effective methods and systems of democratic youth participation models on European and local level;

(3) Training Course “Young Migrants Voices: a training course for boosting participation of young migrants in decision-making processes at local level”, 15-21 November 2016, Odiliapeel (the Netherlands) and 3-9 December 2017, Lisbon (Portugal). This 6-day training courses were the space for development of competences, dialogue and sharing of experiences among 26 youth workers, local authorities/municipal officers and youth leaders working with young migrants and youth with migrant background, to see together how local institutions can better respond to the need of young migrants and concretely encourage their participation;

(4) Training Course “Youth actors in decision-making”, 7-13 January 2017, Rezekne (Latvia). Sharing of experiences among the 30 youth workers, local authorities/municipal officers on the areas of youth participation, with specific focus given to the structures and mechanism for participation in decision-making.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

DYPALL Network, being an international network based in Portugal that counts on the membership of 10 Portuguese Municipalities, can contribute to involve these Local Authorities in the EuroMed cooperation. The Municipalities that are Members of DYPALL Network are particularly interested in establishing contacts and in creating partnerships with South-Mediterranean countries and DYPALL Network is the ideal platform to create these bridges and allow these first contacts.

Within the strategic priorities for 2018-2020, DYPALL Network has identified the cooperation with the South-Mediterranean Countries, particularly on the topic of youth participation in policy decision-making, has a major priority. The reason has to do with the democratic context in the post-Arab Spring, and the current process of decentralization of competences in favor of local authorities, that many countries in this region are going through. DYPALL Network can play here a valuable role in enhancing democracy and building capacity of Local Authorities in involving youth in democratic decision-making processes.

Therefore, DYPALL Network will bring to the Anna Lindh Network an undeniable value in enhancing democracy in the South-Mediterranean region by creating opportunities for the exchange of good practices and knowledge between the Portuguese Muncipalities that are Members of DYPALL Network (e.g. Municipality of Cascais, Municipality of Portimão, Municipality of Lagos, Municipality of Fundão, etc.) and the Local Authorities from the South-Mediterranean Countries.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?: 

By joining the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Network, we aim at bringing our knowledge and practical experience on the topic of youth participation in decision making and, by this means, we aim also at contributing to enhance quality to democracy as the ideal of system of governance.

As members of the Anna Lindh Network, we will look to enlarge our scope of partners for future projects to be developed in the concerned topics.