Helpdesk Research Report - Youth and Governance

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This report seeks to identify the key governance issues in relation to youth, and to examine how these may be shifting. It concludes by identifying a few emerging good practices in relation to youth and governance programming. For the purposes of this report, the UN’s definition of youth which refers to persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years old will be adopted. Over the last six years, there has been growing awareness of the need to develop comprehensive and integrated approaches to youth policy, which move beyond sectoral interventions, and which address governance challenges alongside education, training and skills barriers (UNFPA no date, UNDP 2006, Walton 2010). Youth-related goals have increasingly become mainstreamed into donors’ core The central challenge highlighted in the literature on youth and governance - that youth participation in governance should be enhanced at all levels - has been a prominent theme in donor literature since at least 2005. In the last few years, there has been a shift away from more general calls advocating this approach, towards a growing emphasis on how this change can be made actionable. The focus has increasingly been on the mechanisms through which youth participation can be enhanced. The report highlights nine key issues. Some of these have been prominent issues for several years (e.g. participation and empowerment, information and communication technologies (ICTs), unemployment, conflict and violence), while others appear to have risen to prominence more recently (e.g. climate change, urbanisation).


Oliver Walton

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