Today, approximately half of the world’s total population – around 3 billion people – are 25 or younger. This could be the largest generation in history to transition to adulthood in the coming years. About 85 percent of today's youth live in developing countries.
Youth is a transitional time of life during which individuals' relationships with government change from passive to active. Reaching the age of enfranchisement is a milestone that enables individuals to formally participate in the political process of their country. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) works to design and implement youth programs that foster an understanding of citizens' rights and responsibilities in a pluralistic society and create a culture of engagement for those who have not yet reached the age of enfranchisement. IFES also works to provide training, incentives, tools and opportunities for newly enfranchised voters to participate in elections and advocate for positive change within their communities.
Recognizing the importance of engaging with youth, IFES' youth-focused activities have included organizing youth debate clubs in Afghanistan, creating a civic education curriculum in Georgia and Yemen, promoting voter awareness and education in Indonesia, holding democracy camps that emphasize critical thinking and decision-making skills and producing thought-provoking public service announcements and music videos in Kyrgyzstan.