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.
The SELECT youth survey identified the following ‘priorities’ of young respondents to improve their ability to contribute to an enabling environment for peaceful elections:
The three-lens approach to youth participation brings a focus on working with and for youth for effective development by:
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.
Consideration for access to capacity development
Considerations for access to financial resources
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.