When child-, youth-, and family-serving agencies facilitate systems change efforts without those who experience and are impacted by these systems, they run the risk of perpetuating inequity and causing harm to the very people they intend to serve. Participatory systems change involves community members and system leaders to collectively identify, design, decide, implement, and assess priorities, actions, and investments that work toward eliminating systemic oppression and generating system conditions that promote equity, opportunity, and well-being.
System leaders can use this guide to help facilitate participatory systems change. The guide features elements of participatory systems change that institutions and organizations can apply depending on local context and locally defined goals. With this guide, system leaders will:
- Understand what participatory systems change is and how it can contribute to transformative change at the systems level that promotes equity, opportunity, and well-being for young people, families, and communities
- Gain insights into integrating elements of participatory systems change into any initiative at any phase of implementation
- Consider key questions and resources in order to align change initiatives with elements of participatory systems change