Journal of Social Sciences

Barriers to Children and Young People’s Participation in Policy Making in Ghana

Jones Adu-Gyamfi

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2015.363.380

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 4

Pages 363-380


This research examined the barriers to young people’s participation as strategic stakeholders in the formulation of public policy, using the formulation of Ghana’s youth policy as a case study. The aim was to gain knowledge about the processes that facilitate or hinder young people’s participation in the policy process at national level. The study involved the use of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with 20 stakeholders in the policy process. Findings showed discrepancy in the attitudes and behaviour of policy makers towards young people. For example, on one hand policy-makers recognised young people’s right to participate but on the other hand they did not seek to involve young people in the policy process. This paper presents a number of factors contributing to this discrepancy and how to overcome them. The paper concludes that to effectively involve young people in the formulation of public policies young people must possess and exercise democratic franchise.


© 2015 Jones Adu-Gyamfi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.