T17P03 - Youth Inclusion in Public Policy

Topic : Sectorial Policy Topics

Panel Chair : Rama Al Jayyousi - rama@bhuth.ae

Panel Second Chair : Lana Abdelhameed - lana@bhuth.ae

Panel Third Chair : Mohammed Baharoon - baharoon@bhuth.ae

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1

Youth engagement and public policy impact: a case study

Fatima Alowais - fatima@bhuth.ae - Dubai Public Policy Research Center (B'huth) - United Arab Emirates

Lana Abdelhameed - lana@bhuth.ae - Dubai Public Policy Research Centre (b'huth) - United Arab Emirates

Rama Al Jayyousi - rama@bhuth.ae - Dubai Public Policy Research Centre (b'huth) - United Arab Emirates

Several major international political and economic events have demonstrated the impact they could have on the future of youth worldwide. The significance of the methods used for youth engagement and inclusion in development plans has become more obvious. This paper will look at methods for youth engagement and their influence on public policy, looking at the Emirates Youth Council example.

In February 2016, the United Arab Emirates reintroduced the role of the minister of youth to be taken over by a young person to represent youth issues in the cabinet and contribute to developing “plans and strategies for improving youth capabilities.”  It has more importantly set up the Emirates Youth council to engage the youth in policy planning.

This paper aims to look at example of the Emirates youth council and its role in engaging youth. It will look at the changes that were introduced into the UAE cabinet to bring more focus to youth issues, the situation before 2016 in UAE, and relevance to other youth councils worldwide.  The paper will look at the structure of the Emirates Youth Council, the tools that it uses to engage with youth and to find answers to policy questions.  It will also look at the Council’s role in conveying youth priorities to policy makers, and attempt to find examples of the impact of such methods on policy making.


Filmmaking as a tool for youth engagement in politics and society: From problems to a happy ending?

Bosko Picula - boskopicula@yahoo.com - University College of International Relations and Diplomacy Dag Hammarskjöld, Zagreb - Croatia

Provided the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, what is the power of a multitude of pictures any film contains? The power of motion picture has been known since the beginnings of cinematography and films have become important tools for articulating specific political positions and initiating particular policies. As a consequence of a remarkable development of film technology, particularly its digitalisation in the last three decades, film as a form of expression has become more available than ever before. This ‘democratisation’ of filmmaking is especially perceivable among the young who often voice their problems and needs in contemporary society and propose particular measures and solutions to them in a most impressive way exactly by making films. Furthermore, the role of filmmaking of the young gives a key contribution to their mutual interconnectedness in a globalised world. Today more than ever before young people from all over the world can identify one with another and learn about others by reciprocating their different experiences. What a great number of young filmmakers have in common is the opportunity to influence the conscience about certain issues in society by selecting particular topics and addressing them in their own creative ways. These include, for example, violence, discrimination against minorities and devastation of the environment. The representation of these and similar problems in films by young authors are an example of the young generation’s important engagement in articulating important social problems and ways of working out the respective public policies. The best confirmation for that are international film festivals of young authors which are held throughout a year in a number of countries. One of the biggest among them is Four River Film Festival which is to be held for the tenth time in the Croatian city of Karlovac, celebrating thus its jubilee. Several hundred films made by young authors from every continent have competed in the festival so far. A great number of presented works have been socially engaged and dealt with precisely abovementioned topics. As far as Croatian authors and their films are concerned, several of them have raised awareness of particular problems in their respective communities and stimulated adequate social and political engagement. By comparing individual films made by young people coming from different countries, this paper investigates the extent of their impact on detecting key social problems and the role of film as a medium by means of which public policies and politics in general can be influenced. The research question reads as follows: In what manner is film, both as art and as a medium, an effective instrument for young people to sensitise society and political institutions with respect to specific problems and ways to resolve them?

All that glitters is (not) gold: A critical approach to the CLLD methodology in the context of local youth policy

Marko Kovacic - marko@idi.hr - Institute for Social Research, Centre for Youth and Gender Studies - Croatia

Despite its relevance, local youth policy is still inadequately explored field of public policy. On the one hand, at the EU level, there is a proliferation of policy initiatives regarding local youth involvement, however academic literature on youth involvement at the local level and youth interaction with the municipal governments does not follow these policy innovations. The focus of this paper is to critically examine one policy initiative originated from the European Union, which aims to enchase local development. Namely, the paper examines Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) methodology, a tool which encompasses networking and cooperation among local-action groups in order to meet local needs and fulfill sub-regional potentials, and all that in the context of youth policy. The main research question this paper is: to what extend does the CLLD methodology support local youth development and how it contributes to local youth policy in general?

The CLLD methodology will be a mandatory part of development politics, strategies and plans in the whole EU since of 2020 and, according to its proponents from the EU, is considered to be an adequate tool for supporting youth voice in local decision-making. In spite of this, is stays unknown how exactly it affects young people. What we do know is that the CLLD methodology was developed within the regional policy framework with the goal to strengthen regional development where young people are just one of groups this tool effects. Thus, it is not clear if the CLLD goals are complementary with the goals of youth policy or is the CLLD’s contribution to local youth policy just a matter of rhetoric. Youth policy as such, aims to create enabling environment for youth participation and inclusion in society and politics thus it requires carefully designed and planned activities in order to meet these requirements. Due to scarce academic literature on the CLLD methodology, at this point we do not have a clear picture if it will enchase local youth involvement and if so, in what way. Based on the research conducted at the local level in Croatia where the CLLD methodology was experimentally used for the purpose of assessing its impact on young people, this paper offers theoretical and empirical contribution to the literature on local youth policy and the CLLD methodology.

Youth participation in youth policy development - theory & reality: A cross-country comparison

Maria Cristina Bacalso - cristina@youthpolicy.org - Youth Policy Labs - Germany

Karsten Andreas - andreas@youthpolicy.org - Youth Policy Labs - Germany

“Participation” in policy-making is mentioned in nearly every prominent international, regional, and national strategy on youth (ex. African Youth Charter (2006), UN System Wide Action Plan on Youth (2014), Baku Commitment to Youth Policies (2014)), and enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where the views of young people are to be considered in all matters affecting them, including public policies. Participation of young people in general, and participatory policy-making with young people in particular, is also theorised in a variety of frameworks and models, ranging from Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation (1969) to Wong’s Typology of Youth Participation (2011), and beyond.    


This paper examines at the various ways the “views” of young people were incorporated into the development of national youth policies, which as of April 2014, exist in 122 countries in the world (Youth Policy Press, 2014). Using research from Youth Policy Reviews (Youth Policy Press), which are national-level case studies focused on youth policy development, implementation, and evaluation in 12 countries (Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mongolia, Nepal, Serbia, Swaziland, Tunisia, and Uganda), and reflections based on Youth Policy Labs’ technical assistance for youth policy development (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea), this paper will explore the recent trends in participatory policy-making with youth, comparing and contrasting with theoretical forms and models of youth participation. How far has theory influenced how youth participation is “practiced” on the ground? Or how has youth participation influenced current thinking and models? Sources will include empirical research from the youth policy reviews, practice-focused reflections, and theoretical models and frameworks from both academia and grey literature (ex. think-tanks, NGOs/INGOs, international sector including the UN).

Session 2

Monitoring of Emiratis Youth: Socio-Economic Characteristics and Values

Tatiana Karabchuk - tkarabchuk@uaeu.ac.ae - UAE University - United Arab Emirates

The research on “Monitoring of Emiratis Youth: Socio-Economic Characteristics and Values” is a unique and very new idea of obtaining the information on Emiratis Youth (annual panel survey of 1600 respondents), studying the happiness and life satisfaction in relation to work, family and values, and use of the outcomes for the relevant social policy programs in UAE. Regular data collection under the developed issue-oriented methodology will allow to set up very good grounds for social science research development in the UAEU and outside. Moreover, it will become the main source for the scientific-based social policy programs and will create a high demand from the Government organizations for the continuous and expand Monitoring.

The project is focused on the following three issues:

1) the transfer from university/school to job and career development: what positions the youth take, what problems they face, how the education affects their first job choice and future career, is their shift for gender equality in the labor market, how are they compatible with expats in terms of wages and promotion and etc.;

2) values and beliefs, religion attitudes that are changing fast nowadays and their effects on personal achievements and their socio-economic status;

3) family values, family formation, fertility, family problems and divorces would another important issue to tackle under the study.

Finally, the important added value of the study is that these three issues will be studied to give an answer of how much each of the mentioned three issues affects the subjective well-being of Emiratis Youth. What makes them more or less happy: career, family or religion, and values? What should be changed in the society for the better to have healthier and happier Youth?

A particular advantage of the project which makes it extremely relevant to the current UAE development goals is the gender-oriented research. It means that all three mentioned above research lines will be taking into account the gender issues. Therefore, the project is having direct links with UAE vision and Abu-Dhabi development vision.

In the long-run perspective, the project might become a brand UAEU project and be used to attract sponsors, government and other professional groups outside.

Youth inclusion in European cultural institutions: social interplays and political challenges

JAFFRE Maxime - maxime.jaffre@univ-amu.fr - CNRS - Centre Norbert Elias, Marseille - France

Elena Raevskikh - elena_raevskikh@yahoo.fr - Centre Norbert Elias - France

Emmanuel Pedler - emmanuel.pedler@univ-amu.fr - EHESS - France

The European cultural policy programs, such as ECC (European Capitals of Culture), seek to develop new forms of civic cohesion through inclusive and participative cultural events. The cultural assets of a city elected "ECC" are mobilized to attract a wide range of new audiences, including young populations poorly integrated into local cultural life – and consequently distant from pre-existing cultural offers. In the current context of increasingly heterogeneous individual perceptions of Europe, the ECC program encourages young people to be active citizens and participate in society in order to ensure their involvement in the European democratic processes and cultural values.

The cultural offers of the cities elected “ECC” are conceived to stimulate integration and mobility and also create a legitimate and transnational ideal young European citizen type. As culture strengthens local communities and forges a sense of identity and belonging to the larger community of Europe, contemporary forms of cultural consumption promote cultural forms and institutions that should accelerate both territorial and cross-border European cohesion. However, cultural struggles and identity conflicts emerging in Europe, particularly in the current context of increasing immigration issues, raise new challenges for inclusive cultural policies to cope with inclusion and integration of young populations poorly integrated into local cultural life.

Our research is focused on the young people’s perception of democratized cultural institutions (theaters, museums, operas, etc.) seeking to get in tune with their expectations and cultural preferences. By analyzing the cultural dynamics in "European Capitals of Culture" from the south and from the north of Europe, cities recently concerned by the ECC political mechanism and cities that were elected ECC in the past, multi-centered cultural models vs. highly centralized cultural models, we aim to explore the interplay between the political vision of inclusive culture and the youth cultural needs.

Youth Empowerment and Sustainable Development: An Evidence from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Youth Program

Shahzad Ali Gill - shahzadaligill@gmail.com - Riphah International University, Islamabad - Pakistan



Purpose – The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between youth empowerment and sustainable development with regards to the Prime Minister Youth Program (PMYP).


Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from randomly selected respondents (n=275) studying in Higher Education Institutions through online and self-administered structured questionnaire and from multiple secondary data sources.


Findings – The research findings infer that youth empowerment is significantly affected by the PMYP and there is significant positive relationship between youth empowerment and sustainable development. Overall, respondents appear to be satisfied with the program offerings and consider it a genuine effort towards youth empowerment for sustainable development but such notion also necessitates an integrated youth development paradigm in Pakistan.


Implications – As the cornerstone of nation’s development, there is an established realization worldwide that the involvement of youth in development processes is essential to save the country from ‘youth bulge’ while converting this contour into a ‘demographic dividend’. It was, therefore, pertinent to explore how development actors can engage youth in order to transform priority areas into development programming and policies.


Originality/value – This study deals with quite an unexplored phenomenon of youth empowerment hence serves as one of the first studies to provide evidence of the relationship between youth empowerment and sustainable development in Pakistan’s perspective. Further, it also provides a basis for carrying out advance research on youth empowerment which may assist the government, NGOs and other donor agencies to understand youth issues and blueprint apposite strategies accordingly.


Keywords:     Youth Empowerment, Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Youth Program (PMYP), Youth Bulge, Demographic Dividend, Pakistan.

Participation of Youth in ‘Left-Wing Extremism’: A Case from the State of Chhattisgarh, India

Nayakara Veeresha - nayakaraveeresha@gmail.com - Institute for Social and Economic Change - India

Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is a new terminology in the policy domain of the Government of India that has come into existence in 2014. It is an official term used by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to describe the insurrection of central and eastern states. It also denotes an ideology of replacing the existing socio-political order with the means of extra/un constitutional methods motivated by the combined political philosophies of Marx-Lenin-Mao. Until 2014, it has been referred as ‘Naxalism’ by the Government of India. 

Apart from the Central leadership of Communist Party of India (Maoist), most of the lower rank cadre consists of youth population. Among the youth most of them are Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes), Dalits (Scheduled Castes) and other backward class (OBCs) communities. As per the Census of India 2011, out of 640 districts in the country the insurrection is prevalent in 108 districts of ten States.  The proposed paper analyses the factors responsible for making youth to participate in insurrection related activities.  Dominant theories argue two important reasons for the youth resorting to extreme kind of political acts is (i) underdevelopment and (ii) unemployment. 

Chhattisgarh State is one of the new States which carved out in 2000 from the State of Madhya Pradesh.  It is one of the most tribal populated States in Central India with 30.6 per cent of population belonging to adivasis. The Bastar region of the State is the central place of insurrection. The research questions that are raised relate to see why local youth are participating in insurrection? What made them to join the armed path of insurrection? How can we explain the influence of political ideology among the youth?

The answers to these questions are discussed within the broader framework of ‘process-tracing’ methodology.  Findings suggest that although unemployment and underdevelopment issues are relevant in general yet they are not the sole and critical factors for the local youth to take part in insurrection. Everyday experiences with the State apparatus, bureaucratic exploitation, legacy of ‘insurrectionary culture’ and role of ideology matters a lot in drawing youth into the extremist activities. Youth participation in socio-political uprisings needs to be understood as one of the manifestations of disengagement of youth in politics and governance.


Youth, political participation and social media

Rafiullah Kakar - rafiullah_780@yahoo.com - University of Oxford - United Kingdom

Youth participation in civic and political spheres is important in and of itself but also for the potential consequences that the involvement – or lack of it - of young people in decision-making may have. The past few years have seen an upsurge of interest in young people’s participation in the political sphere. The events of Arab spring and the relatively recent student protests and youth-led pro-democracy demonstrations across the world have shaken government order in many countries and prompted scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners to take keener interest in youth participation in civic and political spheres. This trend has been reinforced by the recent US presidential election and the Brexit referendum in the UK, which confirm existing fears about decreasing rates of turnout amongst young voters.

The afore-mentioned developments have reinvigorated the debate on youth (dis)engagement in politics and elicited a range of explanations and hypotheses, which can be categorised in to those that focus on young people themselves and those that lay much more emphasis on the wider socio-economic and political contexts within which participation is meant to take place. The first part of this paper aims to understand the declining youth interest in formal politics across the world.

The Arab spring and subsequent events have also fuelled interest in how social media might affect citizens’ participation in civic and political life. The ubiquity of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is widely believed to be a game-changer as far as youth participation is concerned. The teen and youth use of social networking sites has risen exponentially over the past decade. The second part of this paper seeks to assess whether the surge in youth use of social media has translated in a corresponding rise in youth participation in politics, especially formal politics.

Significance of the Study

There is a growing body of literature that examines youth participation and the role of social media in improving young people’s involvement in political affairs. The first part of this paper challenges the traditional explanations of declining youth participation in formal politics—i.e. youth disengagement is explained by their immaturity, apathy, and lack of civic sense. This paper seeks to highlight the role of wider socio-economic and political factors—i.e. disenchantment with traditional modes of politics, prevalence of strong entry barriers to politics, dilution of ideology-based politics, weakening of labour and student unions etc—in influencing young people’s will and ability to participate in politics.


There are serious gaps in the literature on the link between youth participation and social media. While there is some evidence to suggest that the use of social media increases youth participation in civic and political life, this evidence is at best mixed and inconclusive. Questions remain about whether the relationship between social media use and youth participation is causal and transformative. Additionally, concerns have also been raised about susceptibility of social media to greater control and policing by both state and non-state actors. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of existing studies focus on young people in the advanced democracies of the world. There is a dearth of original research social media’s impact on young people’s participation in developing countries or the relatively weak or fledgling democracies. This research project aims to fill some of these gaps by examining how the use of social media affects young people’s participation in political spheres.

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