PARTY - Participatory Tools for Human Development with the Youth

Research summary

The objective of the research and innovation staff exchange project is to contribute to solving the issues related to the youth unemployment in developing countries by developing participatory tools for human development that enable transformational change for the youth. Based on a service design approach, the project will provide tools for the marginalized youth suitable for daily use, enhancing regional democracy, increasing equal opportunities and contributing to human and service development with a particular target group: the San people, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and in the Omaheke region in Namibia.


This research project will be carried out with an action research approach. The cycles of action research are constructed around case studies which include and engage local public sector representatives, local and international research institutes, government representatives, civil society organisations, private companies supporting the local youth initiatives and of course the youths themselves.

The case studies with the youths focus on the thematics of (un)employment and education and are carried out with service design approach which enables the dialogue between the stakeholders connected in each case study. In this research project the important issue is to enable and integrate service design methods in the working culture and use them as enablers in creating the dialogue between stakeholders.

The three developmental goals of the project are:

1.To provide tools for the service development integrating into the everyday life of the young people

•These tools support the motivation and abilities of young people to participate in their own community development. Young people's opinions and participation are the main focus in this development process.

2.To facilitate the dialogue between the marginalized youth and the interest groups working with them

•The project works towards agile and human-centred methods and processes for service development with the NGOs and other service providers. The usage of design tools supports the development of local innovation in service structures and systems.

3.To support the uptake of service design methods and tools in practical development work

•The project disseminates information about the service design methods for the people working with the development of services for young people. The project aims to encourage the use of service design and design methods in the local service development field.

More information

Project information

Research info

Research title
PARTY - Participatory Tools for Human Development with the Youth

Research timeline
1.2.2015 - 1.2.2018

Co-creation creative industries employability research Service Design unemployment youth


Finland, Italy, Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom

University of Lapland
Faculty of Art and Design
Rovaniemi, Finland

Funding instrument
Academy of Finland, European Union Funding

Head of research
Prof. Satu Miettinen

Research team
Satu Miettinen, Hanna-Riina Vuontisjärvi, Retha de la Harpe, Vikki du Preez, Heike Winschiers, Shilumbe Chivuno-Kuria, Tang Tang, Paul Wilson, Hennie Swart, Fabrizio Pierandrei, Silvia Remotti

University of Lapland (Coordinator), Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Namibia University of Science and technology, University of Leeds, South African San Institute, PACO Design Collaborative

Contact information
Satu Miettinen
+358 40 484 4367
Open link

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