No decisions for youth without youth: looking for best practices

Jul 25, 2017


Have you had a great experience with engaging youth in decision-making at the local level for the democratization and promotion of human rights in your community? The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine under UNDP support is looking for stories from the field to promote quality youth work and active citizenship of young people.

One of the largest population groups in Ukraine is youth. In 2016, the number of young people aged 14-35 years in Ukraine was 11,530,224 people (around 27% of the population).

However, the civic engagement of youth in Ukraine has a potential to grow. Even though in 2015 an estimated 54% of Ukrainian youth had participated in at least one civic initiative, these were mostly related to critical issues like support of the Ukrainian Army (36%), infrastructure development in neighborhoods (19%), help for IDPs (16%), children in crisis situations (16%), and other similar situations. Far fewer youth have engaged in policy development and reforms such as initiatives against corruption, discussions on draft laws and budgets (5% each), or fights against restriction of rights of various population groups (4%). Only 2% of young people are currently members of youth NGOs (Youth of Ukraine – 2015, Ministry of Youth and Sports).

Youth work is a “key word” for all activities of social, cultural, educational or political nature that are being conducted together with youth, for youth and by youth. It is a tool for the personal development, social integration and active citizenship of young people. The major purpose of youth work lies in creation of opportunities for young people to develop their own future for themselves.

In 2017, UNDP supports the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine in its effort to collect best practices of youth work in the country. The aim is to promote inspiring and promising experiences from Ukrainian cities and communities of engaging youth in decision-making, providing young people with wider opportunities to advocate for reforms, and developing their competencies and skills to build the future they want.

The Contest “Best Practices of Youth Work in Ukraine” provides young people with an opportunity to share best examples of youth work in the country, to demonstrate how many good and important things can be done at different levels by joining forces of the authorities and public, and by developing new initiatives, engaging youth into decision-making. We plan to use the summary of results also for promoting effective models of youth’s participation in the process of decentralization, in particular during the Parliamentary Hearings on youth policy, which will be held in November this year,” said Oleksandr Yarema, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, presenting the contest today.

Please share your story with us, if you have successful experiences of working with youth in the following areas:

  • Engaging youth in democratization processes (ensuring openness, transparency, accountability of the authorities, advancing democratic reforms agenda at the local level)

  • Human rights protection, education and awareness;

  • Ensuring youth participation in the life of communities;

  • Supporting youth projects and initiatives;

  • Development of youth civil society organisations;

  • Volunteering;

  • Meaningful leisure and camping for youth;

  • Inclusion of groups of vulnerable youth;

  • Sustainable development and environment.

Looking forward to hearing from you by October 1, 2017.

For information enquiries:

Please contact Ms. Anna Ostrikova by tel. +38-066-738-36-69 or e-mail

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