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Here is my "river of life" visual CV.

Click here for a one-page printable PDF version (without the photos)

Click here for a traditional CV.

Click here for a full publications list.

Mi currículum en español está disponible aquí

If what you are looking for is not here, you can email me at harry@harryshier.net

Born Belfast, Ireland


Educated Friends’ School Lisburn and Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

Graduates in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Worcester College Oxford.


  Working on adventure playgrounds in South-East London.

Starts Playtrain in Birmingham



UK National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) publishes “Adventure Playgrounds, an introduction”.

NPFA publishes “Computers in children’s play, a creative approach with Logo”.





While attending the “World Play Summit” in Australia, discovers the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and specifically Article 31: The child’s right to play.

On return to the UK, founds the
Article 31 Action Network”.

Playtrain publishes “The Article 31 Action Pack: Children’s Rights and Children’s Play”.



Awarded Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Researches “Innovations in antiracist and multicultural work with children in the USA”.

National Representative and UK Branch Chair of the International Association for the Child’s Right to Play, IPA.


Develops the Article 31 Children’s Consultancy Scheme, enabling children to act as expert consultants to cultural institutions throughout the UK.

Illegally carries a screen-printing workshop in a suitcase overland into Northern Iraq as community arts trainer with the Mines Advisory Group. While there – under armed guard for his own protection – designs and runs a training programme for local Kurdish education workers on using community arts techniques to protect children and families from landmines (report here).




   Joint Co-ordinator “Kids Against Racism”, Birmingham

Coordinates “Playfest 2000”: IPA Millennium project bringing together children from the five countries of Britain and Ireland in a creative celebration of the right to play. The kids seized control of Cardiff Town Hall for a weekend.



Moves to Nicaragua, Central America, to work for CESESMA, the Centre for Education in Health and Environment, in Matagalpa. Co-ordinates impact eval- uation, strategic planning and staff development programmes

"Pathways to Participation" published in the UK.


Gives keynote presentation "Sailing the Seven C’s: A child’s journey into the Future", at biannual conference of the Network of Community Activities, Sydney, Australia

Attacked and robbed late one night in Matagalpa. Severely beaten about the head resulting in fractured skull, and left for dead. Is still alive (barely) when found at dawn the next morning and rushed to hospital.


Flown to UK for recuperation. Receives no medical attention as specialists advise head injuries are untreatable. Makes a good recovery without medical help, sells home in UK and returns to Nicaragua to continue work with CESESMA

Acquires permanent residence in Nicaragua. Becomes permanent member of CESESMA co-ordinating team. Marries María de los Ángeles Espinoza.

Develops and co-ordinates training programme for young community education activists  (Promotores/as).




Member of Nicaraguan National Coordinating Council of NGOs working with children (CODENI): works with Non-Violence Commission and in promotion of children’s participation.

Coordinates “Children’s Rights Development Partnership” between CESESMA and Irish teachers’ union INTO.

Member of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child International Expert Group, advising on final draft of General Comment No 12 on the child’s right to be heard.


Awarded Practitioner Fellowship at University of the West of England as part of ESRC “Non-Governmental Public Action” research programme

Pathways to Participation” becomes one of the most widely used models for analysing children and youth participation around the world.

An interview with Harry Shier” published in International Journal of Children’s Rights.


    Pathways to Participation Revisited” published in UK, with new ideas drawing on Nicaraguan experience

Swedish translation of “Pathways to Participation” published.


Children as Public Actors, Navigating the Tensions” published in the UK.

Coordinates CESESMA’s input in piloting Save
the Children’s
Toolkit for Monitoring and Evaluating Children’s Participation


Produces report on violation of children's right to play around the world that helps convince UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to develop a new General Comment on the right to play.

Develops and pilots Spanish-language training resource packs,"Children and young people's participation in the real world" for Save the Children
Nicaragua, in both adults' and young people's versions.

Gives keynote at International Children and Youth Research Network conference in Preston UK, “Children and young people as transformative researchers in Nicaragua”.


Starts PhD studentship at Queen’s University Belfast, researching children’s
 perceptions of rights in rural schools in

Facilitates Playboard Young Researchers Team in Belfast investigating the right to play in Northern Ireland after the UN General Comment
on Article 31.

How children and young people influence policy-makers” published in UK.



Facilitates participation training for members of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

Visiting Scholarship at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.


Awarded PhD.

Learning and Development Officer at Misean Cara, Dublin, Ireland.


Researcher on COVISION project, University College Dublin.