IFES Celebrates International Youth Day 2021


Illustration from DemoGRAtia, a choose-your-own-adventure game that teaches players about democratic tools.

Young people participating in the United Nations’ 1991 World Forum proposed International Youth Day, which was first celebrated on August 12, 2000. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is proud to celebrate this year with a monthlong social media campaign on Twitter @IFESYouth. IFES will also host a Facebook Live event on August 10 to discuss the rights of Indigenous youth. Through these events, IFES will highlight the innovative and creative ways that global young leaders are raising awareness about issues important to them and their communities. IFES will recognize how young people exercise their rights to influence decisions related to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, education, inequality, livelihoods, social justice, and human and planetary health.

The meaningful participation of young people is essential to addressing global challenges and advancing democracy. That is why IFES partners with young people to design and implement contextualized activities that reflect their priorities, broaden their skillsets and encourage their leadership in civic and political life. Further, IFES’ youth programming connects young people to decision-makers and creates spaces for them to participate in and influence decision-making as a way to ensure their innovative ideas are considered in solving complex community problems.

Learn more about how IFES’ youth programming breaks down barriers to young people’s participation and supports them to advocate for change across their communities and globally by visiting the Youth Engagement page on IFES.org and following @IFESYouth on Twitter.

Creating Policy Platforms to Elevate the Priorities of Pacific Island Youth

In partnership with the University of South Pacific Student Association, IFES implemented the Youth Advocacy for Inclusive COVID-19 Response and Recovery webinar series to empower Pacific Island youth from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to develop a policy platform from which they can advocate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the policy platform.

Using Social and Behavior Change Tools to Promote Youth Participation

Through the CEPPS Youth Democracy and Governance Cross-Sectoral Initiative, IFES and partners engage with young leaders and practitioners to explore how social and behavior change tools can shift negative attitudes, beliefs and norms into positive ones to bolster youth leadership and participation across youth development sectors. Learn more.

Leveraging Virtual Learning Games to Encourage Youth Engagement

As a complement to the Democracy: From Theory to Practice university-level civic education, IFES developed DemoGRAtia, a choose-your-own-adventure game that takes users through a series of everyday scenarios and asks them to make decisions on community issues ranging from road maintenance to bribery. Play the game.

Connecting Civic Education and Sustainable Development

Young people play a critical role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and can do so when civic education initiatives focus on positive youth development to build youth capacity, skills and meaningful opportunities for engagement. Find recommendations for linking youth participation to civic education and sustainable development in the “Positive Youth Development: A Bridge to Connect Civic Education and Sustainable Development” article in the Journal of Youth Development.

Published on July 29, 2021.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Optional Member Code