Increasing Youth Political Participation in Nepal
Active engagement of young people in political processes is critical to ensure governments are representative of youth and aware of their priorities. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports youth participation in elections and all political processes through contextualized civic and voter education programs. In Nepal, IFES partnered with the civil society organization Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON) to implement the “Youth for Good Governance” project, which aims to build the capacity of young Nepalis to engage with elected representatives and actively participate in political processes. AYON promotes collaboration between youth organizations and clubs across Nepal through joint projects, action plans and collective platforms that seek to increase youth representation in decision-making processes.
“We should create an environment where youth are engaged and excited about politics and are able to participate in policy development.” – Student leader in AYON civic education video
According to Nepal’s national youth strategic plan, Youth Vision 2025, youth are defined as being between the ages of 16 and 40. Currently, 40 percent of Nepal’s 29 million citizens are in this age range, 75 percent of whom are under the age of 40. With a younger population, it is imperative that the government of Nepal is responsive to the needs of its young citizens and that youth can make their voices heard through elections and active engagement with elected representatives. In Nepal’s next elections, expected in 2022, over 3 million young Nepalis will be eligible to vote for the first time.
Through the “Youth for Good Governance” project, AYON developed a social media strategy to encourage young people to become more actively engaged in Nepal’s democracy. AYON produced and filmed a youth participation video, highlighting the importance of youth inclusion across political, social and economic sectors. Currently, AYON is using the video as the cornerstone of its social media campaign and is also developing a policy platform based on consultations with its youth networks, which will be shared and promoted through social media. The policy platform will be used by AYON and youth participants to advocate to government stakeholders on the identified priority areas.
English version of the video
Nepali version of the video
IFES’ youth program in Nepal is supported by the United States Agency for International Development through the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS).
Established in 1995, CEPPS pools the expertise of three premier international organizations dedicated to democratic development: IFES, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. CEPPS has a 20-year track record of collaboration and leadership in democracy, human rights and governance support, learning from experience, and adopting new approaches and tools based on the ever-evolving technological landscape.