Principles of Youth Participation

Table of Contents


Youth participation overview..

Derek Wenmoths 4 C’s model

Tony Karrer 4 L model .




Introduction to Youth Participation Model

Youth plays an important role in the planning process, when they are trained properly they acquire the skills and when they are engaged actively they can benefit the society as well as the community. Youth participation is an essential part of public participation and social justice (Cushing, 2014). The report will provide detailed information about youth participation and elucidate the participation model namely; Derek Wenmoths Four C’s model and the Tony Karrer Four L Engagement Model. Moreover, a comparison of the two models is presented.

Youth Participation Overview

There are various social, political, and technological changes that have taken place globally these are associated with youth participation in the online communities. The digital technologies are an effective tool to promote or undermine the inclusion as well as the participation of individuals (Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World, 2015). Youth participation is necessary as when the young people actively participate in the online communities, it enhances their knowledge base brings out their expertise, and helps them to gain the necessary confidence to bring out their views on an issue (Cacheiro González, 2018). Not only it promotes personal development but makes them familiar with the topic and enhances their practical skills.Young individuals are strategic participants on their social worlds, they pursue their interests, explore and identify communities of other people who tend to share their interest. People can not connect to their likeminded people which is not constrained by geographical distance and not just with people of the same age group but with people who are experts in the domain or have been analyzing the discussions from quite some time (Youth Work: Global Futures, 2019).

Derek Wenmoth Four C’s Model

The main aim of Derek Wenmoth's four C's model is to show the number of participants in the online environment growth as they attain understanding and higher confidence. The model shows that most of the individuals operate in one of the four phases in the journey to become an online citizen, moreover, there is some growth in their progression. The four C's of the participation in online communities are Consumers, Commentator, contributions as well as a commentator ( Wenmoth, 2006).

Consumers in the first phase wherein the individual ook into the post of others, they collect information and acquire an understanding of new ideas for this purpose they visit different forums and gather information. This helps them to develop a knowledge base. They actively participate in the online community however their presence is not felt by others.

The Next phase is Commentor: In this phase, individuals tend to make comments, the response to the blog, and posts of other people. The purpose of doing this is to appreciate the work of others or reject the work, provide feedback, ask for any clarifications, and provide suggestions. It helps them to gain confidence and further improve their understanding.

Contributor forms the third category, these individuals initiate discussion and writes blogs. They aim id to publish, this further enhances the knowledge base and provides new ideas to the community.

The last category is of Commentator, thy will analyze other contributors and conclude. They evaluate the work of others and provide leadership within the online community.

Tony Karrer 4 L Model

Tony Karrer 4 L model specifies that in an online community, there are four types of roles and participants will be performing one or more of the 4 roles. Although these roles cannot be clearly defined yet they have certain basic characteristics that help to differentiate from one role to another (Karrer, 2006).

Linking: In this category, there are only visitors, they read and they see if the community of any interest and worth their times and attention,

Lurking: These individuals occasionally participate in the group, they try to get involved in the group but do not do so as they lack the knowledge of how to do it, or the content may be outside the domain.

Learning: These individuals' activities participate in the community. In case of unavailability, they make take up the role of leadership or audience. They may pursue a new project and can act as leaders while at other times they participate as the audience. 

Leading: These individual acts as leaders of the community. They consistently participate, it is the responsibility of the leader to keep the discussion flowing so that people are attracted to participate in the community. 


The 4 C participation model and the 4 L engagement model are quite similar in the sense that they have 4 categories. However, the model is different in the following aspects. Lurkers are passive while consumers are active participants in the online community (Neelen, 2009). The lurkers have a neutral perspective towards the knowledge sharing barriers, however, the active participants tend to disagree. The linkers just observe the community to see if it is of their interest or not, however, the consumer observes the community enhance their knowledge base and gain new insights. The commenters participate occasionally to put their views forward however the lurkers do not actively participate.

Conclusion on Youth Participation Model

The report has discussed how the youth can participate and engage themselves in the social aspect and provide the community with their views, ideas, and different perspective In their digital era, the digital means provides them with a platform to actively participate in online communities which they find highly connected to. They associate themselves with the people who share the same interest. Moreover, the study discusses in detail the two models; the Derek Wenmoth four C model and the Tony Karrer Four L Engagement Model, and make a comparison between the two. Although these two models tend to categorize people into 4 different categories however not all people can fit into only these four categories.

Reference for Youth Participation Model

Cacheiro González, M. L. (2018). Education and technology: Didactic strategies for the integration of ICT. Spain: UNED.

Cushing, F.D. (2014). Promoting youth participation in communities through master planning. Community Development, 46 (10), 43-55. DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2014.975139

Derek, W. (2006). Participation online – the four Cs. Retrieved from

Karreer, T. (2006). Role in CoP’s. Retrieved from

Neelen, M. (2009). Lurking; a challenge or a fruitful strategy? A comparison between lurkers and active participants in an online corporate community of practice.

Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World. (2015). United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Youth Work: Global Futures. (2019). Netherlands: Brill.

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