Youth Engagement

The project tackles the issue of the challenge of including youth in the local democratic processes. In today`s situation, the strategic and political decisions in the municipalities concerning youth are not always knowledge-based. The knowledge on the situation of youth, their opinions and how they lead their lives, is inadequate. In addition, the knowledge and information at hand is not being used efficiently.

Due to the lack of innovative platforms for youth influence in both municipalities, Buffalo City and Gävle have a challenge of including youth in the democratic processes – youth councils, elections, public participation and citizen dialogue. The municipalities need effective tools to reach and include youth in local democratic processes.

Today both municipalities face a risk of higher number of youth that experience social exclusion, and also increased youth unemployment level. If youth are not included in the society, long term effects like increased poverty, crime, violence and inequality can emerge. In addition to that, there is the risk that educated and motivated youth move away, to find better opportunities. Both municipalities need to build trust in local government and institutions and achieve youth participation in local government processes. The project will carry out activities that aim to achieve that strategic and political decisions on youth related matters to be more knowledge-based.

Innovative platforms for youth influence will be implemented, and the Youth Councils capacity will be strengthened to be used as a tool for the Municipalities to reach and include youth in local democratic processes.