Considerations to enhance access to resources and capacity development for youth

Young people are positive agents of change. At the same time, youth organizations, movements and networks often face challenges in accessing (1) capacity development to strengthen their efforts during elections and (2) relevant and flexible resources. The following section introduces entry points to improve access to financial resources and capacity development for youth.



As emphasized during the SELECT youth consultations, preparation in the form of capacity development is an important area of support for youth organizations, movements and networks. Capacity development can range from training on hate-speech mitigation and the promotion of peace and human rights to skill development to facilitate the delivery and development of civic education materials. National electoral stakeholders can consider supporting youth organizations’ access to peace, voter and civic education including digital literacy.

Young women and young people from marginalized groups may have specific needs that can be considered through electoral-related programmes in order to leave no one behind. For instance, there might be reason to organize training activities for young women only.

Moreover, in order to develop and implement relevant and sustainable activities and programmes, national electoral stakeholders and international partners may consider providing targeted and flexible resources for youth organizations, movements and networks. Currently, funding opportunities may not speak to or suit local-level, informal youth initiatives, yet community-level engagement remains an important area of intervention for youth organizations. Furthermore, support to local-level community engagement can increase the reach to a diversity of young people. Opportunities lie, for example, in building partnerships with national youth-led or youth serving CSOs that take on an intermediary role, or through the establishment of specific funds mechanisms.

Elements to be considered while providing resources and capacity-building for youth organizations:

The SELECT youth survey identified the following ‘priorities’ of young respondents to improve their ability to contribute to an enabling environment for peaceful elections:

  • Access to training, capacity-building and education on:
    • Peacebuilding and conflict prevention
    • The prevention of electoral-related violence
    • Violence monitoring
    • Countering hate speech and misinformation
    • Decision-making processes
    • The role of parliament
    • Young women’s participation and gender equality
    • Organization and participation to dialogue
  • Access to mental health and psychosocial support
  • Access to finance
  • Protection of youth

The three-lens approach to youth participation brings a focus on working with and for youth for effective development by:

  1. Working for youth as beneficiaries (target groups);
  2. Engaging with youth as partners (collaborators);
  3. Supporting youth as leaders (initiators)


These lenses are not mutually exclusive—electoral assistance can include different activities that concern working for youth as beneficiaries as well as supporting them as leaders.

Guiding questions to take into account while developing strategies to improve youth organizations’ access to resources and development

Consideration for access to capacity development

  • Do youth organizations, movements and networks have access to information and training on conflict prevention and the prevention of electoral-related violence in the pre-electoral phase?
  • Do young people have access to skills training on the conduct of peaceful elections, conflict resolution and fostering a culture of non-violence?
  • Are youth organizations recognized as partners and leaders in delivering non-formal education on peace and human rights, including through voter and civic education?
  • Is information on the electoral process and political and civic rights youth-friendly?
  • What does a safe, gender-responsive and enabling environment for youth participation in elections look like in the specific context? How does this affect challenges and opportunities to access resources?
  • Who are the young people with and without access to digital technology?
  • How can digital networks be expanded to remote communities to support the inclusive participation of young people?
  • Are there opportunities for partnerships with technology companies to invest in youth online participation and access for youth to technologies for peace?
  • How can digital technology increase young people’s access to the justice system and human rights protection mechanisms?


Considerations for access to financial resources

  • Are financial strategies designed in a youth-friendly manner taking age and capacity considerations into account? How can the availability of open-source data be increased in relation to financing of youth organizations, movements and networks?
  • How can electoral-related programmes contribute towards making innovative, flexible and relevant financing more accessible to youth-led organizations?
  • What are entry-points to increase coordination, collaboration and co-creation with young people on financing priorities, including in relation to political participation?
  • What does a principled, conflict-sensitive and do-no-harm approach to financing look like?











UNICEF et al. (2021). Financing for young people in peacebuilding: An overview.

United Network of Young Peacebuilders and Search for Common Ground (2017). Mapping a sector: Bridging the evidence gap on youth-driven peacebuilding.






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