Webinar Series: Administering Elections in Europe During a Pandemic

A poll worker looks at a set of ballot boxes during Ukraine's 2019 presidential election.

The COVID-19 crisis has made citizens across Europe more cautious about engaging in political and civic life and postponed or halted many political and electoral processes. While many countries in the region have started to reopen, public health concerns for the present and future remain unclear. In this environment, the challenges young people face when participating in political processes are exacerbated, as there are fewer opportunities for them to engage in face-to-face community activities and in formal and informal democratic processes.

As a result, many young people have taken to digital activism. These new conditions for youth civic engagement require innovations for online engagement to expand entry points for young people to develop their capacity to advocate for change. Young people remain the primary disseminators and receivers of online information, and they are most adept to employ digital skills such as social media campaigns, countering disinformation or creating and disseminating content. Given the proper skills and channels, young people can continue to take on leading roles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 30, in honor of the upcoming International Youth Day on August 12, join the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), young leaders and experts from around the world to discuss the importance of young people’s participation in elections during the COVID-19 crisis. We will examine how young people can harness their skills to address challenges many are facing around digital activism, such as engaging young people who lack internet access and navigating the COVID-19 “infodemic.” IFES will bring in three different perspectives to speak to an international audience, including donors and beneficiaries. This will include voices from several youth-led civil society organizations and a young community mobilizer from North Macedonia.

The event will feature a Q&A discussion and the following speakers:

  • Caro Loutfi, Executive Director, Apathy is Boring, Canada
  • Keti Chikviladze, Executive Director, Hillel Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Aleksandar Mitanoski, Youth Community Mobilizer, North Macedonia
  • Iryna Techukova, Project Coordinator, Fight for Right, Ukraine
  • Anna Yeghoyan, Co-Founder, Board Member and Project Consultant, Gyumri Youth Initiative Centre NGO, Armenia

In line with the previous two installments of the webinar series, the event will be held live via Zoom and feature simultaneous interpretation from English into Armenian, Georgian, Macedonian, Russian and South Slavic language. Sign up below!

Interpretation Language Zoom Language
Armenian French
English English
Georgian Portuguese
Macedonian German
South Slavic Language Spanish
Russian Russian

 

Session 3: Exercising Your Voice Is Just a Click Away! Promoting Digital Youth Civic Engagement

 

Thursday, July 30, 14:00-15:30 CET/8:00-9:30 a.m. EDT

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Illustration of a voter wearing latex gloves and casting a ballot that reads "IFES COVID-19 BRIEFING SERIES" with a check next to "BRIEFING"