Voter engagement technologies for young people in resource constrained communities

The main objective of this proposal is to develop an informative, pleasing and flexible technology that integrates the tangible with the digital. Building on technologies developed for a ‘Vote Advice Application’ (VAA) website for the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, we will run a series of political engagement sessions with 16-18 year older students in ‘communities first’ educational institutions. This pilot will take the first steps towards refining existing VAA technologies in order to bring politics to life for young people. This proposal addresses the core themes of CHERISH-DE in several ways, but what this proposal especially seeks is to do is put the voice of Welsh young people in resource constrained communities at the centre of the development process. For this research, the major parties running in the campaign have consented to provide the project with their official stances on each of the survey questions, giving the project greater validity and legitimacy. Levels of political engagement among young people in Wales, particularly those in resourced constrained communities, are very low and the development of online technologies, together with ‘live’ sessions, can facilitate voter engagement. This proposal is inherently interdisciplinary as it brings together specialists in political science, computer science, and a technology company focused on voter engagement. The two main outcomes of this research are:
  • To develop a prototype digital and physical infrastructure and related teaching materials building on VAA technology
  • It will be of direct benefit to those students and educational institutions who are chosen to take part.
The total work plan will take over five months and the total project cost will be £4,731.76