Giving a voice to youth – promoting greater civic engagement for young people at local level
Young people face difficulties in effectively articulating their needs and interests to influence policy-makers and are often unable to secure the social benefits they need. With only a small proportion of young people belonging to civic or professional organizations, the share of youth in the country’s social capital is low, undermining social cohesion. There is a pressing need to strengthen the voice of young people and to increase their civic engagement by treating them as social partners.
The purpose of this project is to increase youth participation in local governance and ensure more equitable social service delivery through social partnerships. It is expected that this project will contribute to greater youth participation in policy making processes. This is critical for the overall cohesiveness of society and an essential factor for enhancing inter-ethnic dialogue in the country.
The project is working on creating nationaly applicable concepts and models on youth good governance. Six municipalities were selected for project activity implementation: Bitola, Caska, Kumanovo, Ilinden, Stip, and Tearce - all diverse in size, type, ethnic structure and in location. Comprehensive assessments were carried out in all six municipalities to identify the existing gaps in local governance which exacerbate – or have the potential to exacerbate – the social, economic, cultural and political exclusion of young people.The focus of the assessments was put on youth needs and vulnerabilities, participation of youth in governance processes and social service delivery.
For the first time ever in the six municipalities, young men and women, local authorities, civil society organizations and business sector representatives gathered around the same table to discuss and better understand the challenges faced by youth at local level.
The comprehensive assessments resulted in specific recommendations and actions that need to be undertaken at both national and local level to ensure a greater engagement and participation and a stronger voice for young people in local government planning. For example, in the municipality of Stip, young men and women, local authorities and civil society organizations recommended that monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are put in place to ensure a smooth implementation of the local youth strategy. Such set of recommendations and actions will support the national and local level institutions to develop evidence-based youth related policies.
|2012||US $ 42,657|