The Initiative is a discussion and knowledge-sharing forum dedicated to helping practitioners, donors, and young leaders across sectors explore opportunities and share promising practices that advance the political participation, representation, power, and leadership of young people in decision-making positions and processes. This Initiative is intended to complement existing communities of practice and knowledge sharing platforms to fill a gap in learning, to better cross-pollinate and coordinate efforts across the youth development and democracy and governance communities, and to identify, strengthen, and promulgate approaches that foster meaningful youth political participation across sectors.
The purpose of this Initiative
Young people’s participation in public life continues to be driven by specific issues or interests, which requires working across sectors to better engage them on issues they care about, while also connecting them to spaces for decision-making and political participation. Research also suggests that young people prefer more informal, grassroots forms of participation. However, if young people only engage with democracy through informal avenues, they will continue to be left out of crucial decision-making processes, resulting in policies and practices that don’t meaningfully represent them. It is therefore important to coordinate resources, networks, and expertise, across sectors to address the complex development challenges young people face and help amplify their leadership.
In response to the current trends in youth participation and development, the Initiative was created to:
Identify and deliberate trends and challenges impacting youth political participation;
Expand existing knowledge on cross-sectoral programming;
Identify good practices for employing intersectional approaches; and
Contribute to new and existing efforts to develop Positive Youth Development-informed initiatives across sectors.
Benefits of participating in this Initiative
- Connect with young leaders and practitioners to contribute to dialogue sessions on addressing trends and challenges impacting youth political participation and leadership;
- Identify lessons learned, effective approaches and updates related to youth political participation and leadership within a Positive Youth Development framework;
- Enhanced ability to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate integrated youth political participation interventions within multi-sector youth programs; and
- Network and build collaborative partnerships with other youth development thought leaders, practitioners, and donors across sectors
Under the USAID Global Elections and Political Transitions (GEPT) award, CEPPS kicked off the Youth DRG CSI with a launch event bringing together practitioners, donors, and young leaders from across the world. This initiative is a forum and learning community for youth development practitioners to explore challenges and opportunities that foster meaningful political participation and leadership by young people.
Young people constitute the majority of the population in conflict-affected countries and are often excluded from peacebuilding efforts and underrepresented in formal political structures. In December 2015, the UN Secretary Council officially recognized the positive role of youth in peace and security (YPS) in Security Resolution 2250, which urge states to both consider young people’s political exclusion and increase the representation of youth in all levels of decision-making. READ MORE
Young people are among a growing demographic who are uniquely impacted by health inequities and related threats created by disaster, climate change, and disease outbreaks. The impact of health and humanitarian crises, particularly on young women and people with disabilities, is often overlooked, as is their power to make change and actively contribute to public health initiatives.
Social and Behavior Change (SBC) interventions directly confront attitudes and beliefs and help shape social norms that can enhance young people’s participation in public life For example, programs targeting the behavior of community members who influence youth actions can shift social norms to ensure more inclusive and equitable youth participation and leadership opportunities.
The Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) established the Youth Democracy and Governance (DRG) Cross-Sectoral Initiative to examine the intersections between DRG and other youth development sectors, bringing together practitioners, donors and young leaders from across the world.
- Rachel E. Mims, NDI Senior Program Officer, Youth.
- Neetha Tangirala, IRI Youth and Inclusion Advisor.
- Ashley Law, IFES Youth Specialist.
- Alyson Kozma, CEPPS Inclusion Specialist