More than half the world is currently under the age of 30 but decision-making largely remains in the hands of older generations. Young people - particularly girls, young women, and other marginalised groups - are not adequately represented in political processes or institutions. Yet they are among the hardest hit by the effects of poverty, climate change and inequality.Young people are frequently over-looked as leaders in decision-making processes and their engagement is often tokenistic. This limits their potential to determine their own future and the future of their planet.
The Global Goals will not be delivered if half the world are left out of the conversation. Ronagh Craddock, UK Youth Delegate
- Ronagh Craddock, UK Youth Delegate
Restless Development supports young people to meaningfully participate in global decision-making and policy-creation processes. We work with our global networks and country units to effectively influence policy and decision-making on sustainable development, most recently the Global Goals. We also work with institutions from the grassroots to the global level to ensure young people are participating in decision-making as equal partners and leaders.
1. ENGAGING YOUNG PEOPLE to participate in decision-making at the global and national level and influence the policy that affects them.
Snapshot: We supported young people to attend various stages of the negotiations to agree the Global Goals and to speak to decision-makers with a valid and valuable voice. In 2015, Restless Development attended the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit with a delegation of five youth advocates. They hosted side events, sat on high level panels of speakers and brought the voice of young people to these vital discussions through the findings from our Big Conversation.
2. SUPPORTING INSTITUTIONS to incorporate youth-leadership and participation in their practices and structures.
Snapshot: Restless Development builds the capacity of big bilateral and multilateral agencies to ensure young people’s inclusion in their governance and programming. We support these agencies to incorporate youth priorities into their work and to harness young people’s energy, ideas and leadership. Through this, young people are seen not only as beneficiaries, but inspiring partners and inspired leaders.
3. CONNECTING WITH YOUTH NETWORKS to create an enabling global environment for youth advocacy.
Snapshot: Restless Development is linked to global youth movements and networks to ensure young people’s voices are heard and sought after in global decision-making spaces. Restless Development connects young advocates to global decision-makers and facilitates their engagement. Much of this is achieved through networks such as the Major Group for Children and Youth.