Governance and Youth Participation in local policy making: The case of health policies in Denmark

Leena Eklund Karlsson, Charlotte Louise Haaber Pettersen, Arja R. Aro

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt i tidsskriftForskningpeer review


Background: An evidence-informed approach to public health policy making can support tailor made health-enhancing physical activity policies (HEPA) at the local level. Youth is often a core target group of physical activity policies and their participation in the policy making also should be seen as a potential way to make policies through including their views and preferences in the policies. This research aimed to examine the role of youth in developing HEPA policies in Odense and Esbjerg municipalities in Denmark and how the policy making culture supported their participation.
Methods: A qualitative research strategy was applied to examine these two case studies. Data was collected under the REPOPA Project (Research into Policy to enhance Physical Activity) though semi-structures interviews (N=11), analysed through content analysis and supported by analysis of 123 background documents.
Results: Youth were not directly included in developing healthy public policies in Odense and Esbjerg municipalities mainly due to lack of tradition and supportive mechanisms for including youth in policy making. The mechanisms and pathways to facilitate their involvement were lacking from both communities. Youth was involved in policy making only through adult representation. These adult stakeholders became part of participatory governance in developing the healthy public policies in both Odense and Esbjerg municipalities.
Conclusion: Youth participation in local HEPA policy making in Esbjerg and Odense did not meet the Danish principle of participatory policy process and good health system governance.
Main messages:
Mechanisms to facilitate youth participation in policy making in the study communities were lacking.
The Danish goal of improved participatory policy making at the local level was not met.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Public Health
Udgave nummerSuppl. 1
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Begivenhed9th European Public Health Conference: all for health-health for all - Vienna, Østrig
Varighed: 10. nov. 201612. nov. 2016


Konference9th European Public Health Conference