Composed by the European Democracy Youth Network in cooperation with the European Partnership for Democracy on the occasion of the Summit for Democracy.
The Handbook contains 24 case studies from our Cohort members from 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe where youth movements, networks, governments and notfor- profit organizations working to empower youth share their best practices on how to effectively drive youth political and civic engagement across different countries, sectors, socio-political contexts, economic conditions, and local needs.
The Summit for Democracy Youth Participation Cohort Handbook serves as an inspiration for youth organizations and democracy organizations seeking to strengthen young people’s voices in democratic processes; their understanding of democratic principles; diversity and inclusion within youth groups; and support young people, youth organizations, and youth movements in reimagining a more robust, inclusive, effective, transparent, accountable, and equitable form of democracy – one that works for young people.
The possible commitments include several thematic focus areas, namely: prioritizing youth in governance, supporting youth in government, supporting youth freedom of expression, promoting a culture of youth political participation, and promoting a culture of human rights amongst youth. The diversity of focus areas reflects the current state of youth political and civic engagement, because, far from being a niche issue, young people’s disengagement from democracy is a cross-cutting problem that affects all levels of political and civic engagement.
These model commitments were put together through a consultative process involving democracy support organisations, youth representatives and youth-focussed organisations from all continents. As such, the Menu of Possible Commitments also includes commitments concerning the broader context of human rights and democracy, which were raised by youth representatives as being crucial to creating an enabling environment in which young citizens – especially girls and young women – can thrive and safely participate in democratic processes.
The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) welcomes proposals for the Young Researchers’ Network initiative in the framework of the European Democracy Hub with the support of EPD’s Women and Youth in Democracy (WYDE) programme, supported by the European Union.
Making young people’s voices heard is necessary to make democratic systems sustainable and representative of all generations. To further understand youth issues with nuance and complexity, it is important to position young people as the best suited for political research participation as it most affects themselves and their peers.
To do so, the Young Researchers’ Network initiative will bring together a diverse group of international young scholars and democracy support practitioners to foster cross-regional and cross-disciplinary exchanges on the topic of youth participation in democracies across the world.
Young selected researchers will follow a three-year programme, supported by the Youth Democracy Cohort. They will have the opportunity to exchange and learn from researchers and key people working on the topics of Youth Participation, Civic Engagement and Democracy. The programme foresees tutor support and regular meetings to check with participants how their research and data analysis is proceeding and if they need support from their peers. In addition to this, there will be online training sessions on research methodologies, data collection, and paper drafting, as well as recurring webinars on interesting topics for the young group of researchers.