Young people’s participation in service evaluation

Michael Gaffney, Jenny Munro, Ben Inns, Damian Morgan-Hudson, Kymberley Kennedy, Lisa Nyman, Marina Buckley


The Otago Youth Wellness Trust is a charitable organisation that has been operating for 15 years in Dunedin, New Zealand. It decided to evaluate the wraparound service it provided to young people in the community. The young people are referred by other agencies, including schools, and are usually deemed to be in need of significant support. In this article, members of a Youth Advisory Group (YAG), describe the experience of being involved in this service evaluation project. The YAG was made up of a small number of ‘service users’ who developed methods for engaging young people as evaluation participants. Overall we reported positive experiences, but there was a steep learning curve for all of us to navigate the evaluation process. This article demonstrates that it is possible for young people to have a significant influence in service evaluation.


otago youth wellness trust; youth advisory group; service evaluation;

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