Citizen Participation in the Global Youth Wellbeing Index

2009 Elections in Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Josh Etsey and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade used under a creative commons license.

2009 Elections in Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Josh Etsey and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade used under a creative commons license.

Citizen participation is critical to fostering social cohesion, inclusive development outcomes, and to ensuring transparency and accountability. Many of us know from personal experience, that the opportunities that we had for meaningful and positive participation in our youth, encouraged leadership and “soft” skills development, and set us up for lifelong engagement in civic and political processes.

With strength in numbers, youth today represent a powerful and innovative force to constructively advocate for, and create solutions to community issues through volunteering, advisory councils, social media and communications, voting, and collaboration.

Yet global surveys reveal youth often feel excluded from society and political processes, and believe their voices remain unheard in larger political dialogues. Such exclusion perpetuates apathy and frustration; can fuel disruptive or at times violent behavior and contributes to economic and social instability. Continue reading