An impact assessment will help you demonstrate what you have achieved with your project. It can, however, be a difficult task to document and measure political impact. But if you initially set up clearly defined goals, you’re off to a good start. An impact assessment is always useful. If the impact is low you will learn what to do differently in your next project. If the impact is high you can use it when convincing the decision-makers to endorse your next youth eParticipation project, when applying for funding, or when promoting youth participation in general.
It is highly important to remember that impact is so much more than making concrete political decisions. Therefore, the impact assessment is your chance to showcase the impact that the project has had on many different levels. Firstly, there are the more indirect results which could be the positive impact that the project has hopefully had, both on decision-makers and on the young people. For instance, these results could be that the young participants’ knowledge of politics, decision-making and the specific topic(s) discussed has been raised, and – for stakeholders and decision-makers as well – that they have formed (new) attitudes and opinions on the specific topic(s) discussed. And hopefully the experience has planted a seed in the young participants for more active citizenship! Secondly, the deliberations can uncover positions and issues that decision-makers haven’t previously been aware of. This might lead to a reframing of the political debate. Furthermore, and this is our wish, the eParticipation project will contribute to introducing new ways of governance within the organisation involved.