Practice Note: Young People's Participation in Peacebuilding

12 Jan 2016

Throughout the world, more than 600 million young people live in fragile and conflict-affected contexts today.  They are among the most affected by the multiple and often interlinked forms of violence – from political violence and criminal gangs to organized crime and terrorist attacks that plague their countries and communities, bearing enormous and long-lasting human, social and economic costs.


Over the past decade, the involvement of some young people – particularly young men, but also increasingly young women – in violence and extremist groups has led some to paint youth generally as a threat to global security and stability. But research shows that youth who participate actively in violence are a minority, while the majority of youth – despite the injustices, deprivations and abuse they can confront daily, particularly in conflict contexts – are not violent and do not participate in violence. Moreover, a growing body of evidence suggests that young women and men can and do play active roles as agents of positive and constructive change. The recently adopted Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security marks the formal recognition of the positive role young women and men for the maintenance of international peace and security.


The primary objective of this Practice Note is to inform policymakers and donors of key strategic and programming considerations for supporting young people’s participation to peacebuilding. Specifically, this note has been developed to:


- offer evidence-based, promising practices in youth peacebuilding in the field;


- advance the understanding of donors and policy-makers of complex and often interconnected policy and programme considerations for more holistic support to youth peacebuilding interventions, and;


- enhance the effectiveness of policies and funding strategies of bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies supporting youth peacebuilding interventions.


The development of this Practice Note was a collaborative effort led by the IANYD Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding, which includes 40 partner organizations primarily from civil society and the United Nations.