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

The global growth of a younger population, albeit at varying rates in different regions, brings with it an ever evolving set of needs and required resources. The youth segment is now more globalized and inter-connected than ever. The high penetration of social media & the growing ‘international identity’ of youth has contributed to the shift in their expectations from their  country and government.

The growing size of the segment and the shifts in needs brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities for policy makers. The risk of government  not being attuned to the new needs of the youth segment is evident most recently in the events of the Arab Spring; which was driven by the growth of frustrated, unemployed and disengaged youth in the affected countries.

Research portrays the risk disengaged youth pose to the stability of a country; hence activating and engaging youth has found its way into national priorities with some governments. It is critical that schemas and attitudes are shifted from youth being seen as a risk, to being an opportunity that can be capitalized on to develop a new national competitive advantage.

This panel will seek to determine the main trends and shifts in youth needs and expectations from government and policy. The discussion and material ultimately aims to look into a framework for developing innovative and efficient measuring youth needs, and mechanisms for youth engagement policies.

An objective of this panel is to  also bring forward narrative that widens the scope of youth engagement and public policy; whereby youth are no longer only on the receiving end of policy developed with the aim of ‘engaging’ them, but rather explore new channels for involving youth in the process of policy formation, assessment and identification of priorities.

The channels would require an understanding of motivation drivers of youth in order to provide the appropriate and effective opportunities and platforms that would be accepted by youth.

The literature on the importance of youth engagement exists, but a research gap lies in the practical options for addressing the role youth can play in national public policy. The papers and concepts presented in this panel would be used to develop a volume on youth involvement in public policy, with an international approach to ‘global need’ for youth participation in setting national priorities.

The volume could be presented at other international platforms to present the suggested framework, or at least instigate the need for further research on developing national frameworks for youth engagement strategies in public policy formation.

Call for papers

This panel will provide a platform for policy practitioners, researchers and youth to discuss the role of youth in public policy, both as the target of engagement strategies by governments and the growing need to expand the role of youth in public policy. The discussion aims to establish a holistic understanding of how the needs of youth and their expectations have changed, and how governments can take proactive measures to address them. The objective is to identify a possible framework for developing channels and mechanisms for engaging youth in public policy.


The papers for this panel can consider the following subject areas:

The papers and discussions from this panel would be used to develop a volume on youth involvement in public policy, with an international approach to ‘global need’ for youth participation in setting national priorities.

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