Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New report on young people in governance

In October a report on young people's participation in the governance of charities and non-profits in England, called Young People in Governance, was published by the consulting firm nfpSynergy. The report's authors interviewed 15 representatives of small, medium and large charities and organizations that work with children and young people to identify the challenges to youth participation in governance and the strategies these organizations have used to address the challenges. The report includes a discussion of the most common objections to youth participation and the myths and misconceptions on which many of these objections are based, a section on the benefits of involving young people and a section on solutions to the challenges. The report also contains a table comparing practices that can lead to tokenistic involvement with corresponding practices more likely to lead to meaningful participation.

The section on challenges, myths and misconceptions will be especially helpful to those seeking to overcome resistance to engaging young people in meaningful ways.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

National Rural Youth Fest to be held in Mumbai January 15-19, 2011

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, School of Rural Development is presenting the third annual Rural Youth Fest in Mumbai January 15-19. The theme of the event is "Youth for Progress," and organizers seek to promote recognition among policymakers and leaders of the important role rural youth can play in development. The festival will include a youth parliamentary debate, poster sessions, athletic competition, theater, folk dancing presentations and "Cultural Kalaidoscopes," including a “Darpan" mime competition on the role of youth in governance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TAKING PARTicipation seriously

The New South Wales (Australia) Commission for Children and Young People has published a comprehensive guide to child and youth participation. The TAKING PARTicipation seriously kit includes seven sections covering topics such as recruitment, roles and responsibilities, induction, support for young people, involving young people in research, preparing young people for meetings, dealing with turnover, evaluation, planning conferences and events, and many others. Each section can be downloaded for free, and there is also a link to a document containing further participation research and resources.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Council of Europe introduces quality label for youth centers

The Council of Europe has published a guide for youth centers seeking the Council's seal of approval. The Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres can help existing youth centers determine whether their existing policies and programs support the values, standards and objectives of the CoE, and can provide guidance for improvement in these areas if necessary.

Indicators of quality contained in the guide include:
The centre promotes the priorities of the Council of Europe's youth sector by actively addressing human rights education, intercultural learning, youth participation, active democratic citizenship and social inclusion of young people in its activities, working practices and infrastructure.
The centre is an ally for youth civil society in advocating for decision makers and power holders to take young people's points of view and concerns into account when making and implementing policies.
This publication should be useful for youth service providers and others supporting youth participation even outside of Europe.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Voices of a New Generation at the UN Security Council

From December 2-14, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations is accepting videos and written submissions from young people around the world who respond to the following question:

“What is the most vital challenge to international peace and security facing your generation? Tell the UN Security Council what issue you believe deserves more attention, and explain why it is important.”

Selected submissions will be incorporated into the agenda of the Security Council event on December 21, which will be broadcast live via the web. For more information, visit

Azerbaijani youth minister discusses government's support for youth participation

According to Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's national government has financed more than 350 youth organizations over the past five years. The minister made this statement during a speech to the First Congress of World Azerbaijani Youth, which took place in Frankfurt November 27-28. Minister Rahimov also stated that young people make up 30% of local authorities in Azerbaijan, with 326 municipal councils chaired by young people.

First ever Azerbaijani World Youth Congress

Friday, December 3, 2010

European Youth Forum elects new leadership

On Monday, November 22 more than 250 young delegates participated in the European Youth Forum General Assembly 2010, hosted by the Ukrainian Youth Forum. Elections were held to elect the 2011-2012 general assembly leadership. The General Assembly adopted the European Youth Forum's Work Plan for the next two years, focusing on Volunteering, Youth Rights and the Building of a Stronger Youth Civil Society, and two Policy Papers on Global Governance and on Poverty and Young People.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Youth participation digest for December 2, 2010

UN-HABITAT Launches Global Youth Help Desk

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Partners and Youth Branch, in collaboration with partners, have developed a Global Youth Help Desk (GYHD). The aim of the site is to enable youth, youth practitioners and researchers to share and access information and tools needed to resolve social and economic problems at their work or within their community, or to improve or take developmental initiatives. This site will be user driven, meaning the users will be responsible for updating and adding to the information to the site. The GYHD will be a place to share best practices, participate in discussion, and ask questions. Youth, researchers, community projects, and NGOs worldwide are encouraged to contribute to the GYHD. A pilot site is currently set up and the final site will be launched in early 2011.

Generation Dialogue

Generation Dialogue is a new Facebook page which will host a weekly online conversation with decision makers and leaders. Guests will answer questions submitted by users. The organizer indicates that in the first few rounds he will host heads of state, media directors, economic leaders and many more. A recent guest was May Boeve, Global Policy Coordinator for

Youth Civic Participation in Action

Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) recently released a new publication providing brief snapshots of youth civic participation programs and policies in 101 countries across six continents. Based on research conducted and information received from previous participants of the IANYS 8th Global Conference and other ICP projects, Youth Civic Participation in Action: Meeting Community and Youth Development Needs highlights the growing momentum for youth civic participation worldwide as more countries develop programs to provide opportunities for young people to build skills for success while also addressing critical community needs. Each snapshot provides a brief glimpse into the status of youth civic participation in the countries included.

15th Annual THIMUN Youth Assembly

The THIMUN Youth Network (TYN) will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary and hosting the 15th annual session of its Youth Assembly in the Hague, the Netherlands from January 23-28. The THIMUN Youth Assembly is an international think tank that aims to bring young people (16 to 25) together to discuss the most pressing issues facing today's world. The network strives to strengthen youth participation by having participants research and develop achievable and sustainable projects in their own communities.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New paper from the Center for International Private Enterprise supports youth participation in development

The Center for International Private Enterprise has released a new economic reform policy paper called "Promoting Youth Development: Policy Options and Reform Recommendations." The paper is based in part on essays submitted by youth as part of the Center's International Youth Essay Contest, and offers recommendations for the inclusion of youth in development decision-making. According to the introduction, "Creating an inclusionary youth policy that focuses on the value of entrepreneurship, citizen participation, and the freedom of information is vital for the future of free markets and democracy."

Paper at a glance:
  • The burgeoning youth population in the developing world has created an impetus to alleviate youth unemployment and political disenfranchisement through reform.
  • Needed reforms must be influenced by the grassroots youth community, rather than limited to the traditional, top-down government approach to youth policy.
  • The institutional environment has to be improved to facilitate the growth of the private sector and provide employment opportunities to youth entering the labor market.