Youth engagement in research and policy: The CO-CREATE framework to optimize power balance and mitigate risks of conflicts of interest

Samantha Nesrallah, Knut-Inge Klepp, Isabelle Budin-Ljøsne, Aleksandra Luszczynska, Hannah Brindsen, Harry Rutter, Elin Bergstrøm, Sudhvir Singh, Marianna Debelian, Claire Bouillon, Margrete Bjørge Katanasho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Including youth in the co-creation of policies that affect them has proven to be particularly impactful in public health. Using youth participatory action research methods, the CO-CREATE project engages European youth 16–18 years old in the co-creation of obesity prevention policies. To discuss the feasibility and implications of the policy, youth are invited to engage in an intergenerational dialogue. Given the youth–adult dynamic and policy discussion, conflicts of interests (COIs) can arise and impact the quality of the dialogue. COI frameworks are a tool that can help identify, mitigate, and address COIs. This paper presents a novel framework to mitigate COIs in intergenerational policy dialogues, with a focus on power imbalance. Following a series of youth consultations, interviews, and examination of existing frameworks, our findings suggest that safe, participatory, and empowering dialogues can take place if appropriate measures are integrated into all phases of a dialogue. The selection of stakeholders, use of accessible language, and youth moderation are all factors that can impact COI risks. Measures that promote mutual empowerment, such as equal representation of youth and adults, were deemed important. This framework provides a roadmap to ensure that youth participation in the formulation of policies is safe and empowering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13549
JournalObesity Reviews
Volumen/a
Issue numbern/a
Early online date12 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • conflicts of interest
  • overweight and obesity
  • policy
  • youth participation

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