Positive Youth Development: A Bridge to Connect Civic Education and Sustainable Development
Keywords:civic education, youth participation, international development, Sustainable Development Goals
Young people are not consistently or adequately valued by other global and community actors as contributing members and leaders. Given the current political context of democratic backsliding, school closures, and social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, young people are facing increased barriers to developing their democratic identities, learning how to be active citizens, and exercising their rights to participate in civic and political life. Now more than ever, development practitioners and the international community need to shift their approach to engaging young people in democracy and governance programs from one that views them as recipients to one that treats young people as partners and considers the unique environments in which they live. This paper argues that civic education programs that apply a positive youth development (PYD) approach can inform and shape how young people develop democratic identities and habits and directly link these identities and behaviors to building and sustaining democracies. The paper illuminates good practices and lessons learned through an exploration of global civic education programs demonstrating the utility of a PYD approach. The final section identifies areas to consider for the expansion and future of civic education programs to ensure their effectiveness and better link them to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Atkinson, V., Applegate, M., & Aaberg, R. (2020). IFES COVID-19 briefing series: Inclusion and meaningful participation. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. https://www.ifes.org/publications/ifes-covid-19-briefing-series-inclusion-and-meaningful-political-participation
Burroughs, G. (2019). Democracy: From theory to practice evaluation report. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. https://ifesukraine.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/IFES-Ukraine-Democracy-from-Theory-to-Practice-Pilot-Eval-v1-2019-05-23-Eng.pdf
Bussolo, M., Fox, L., Raju, D., Bundy, D. A. P., Viner, R. M., Brudevold-Newman, A., & Gill, I. S. (2006, September). World development report 2007: Development and the next generation. World Bank Group. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-0-8213-6541-0
Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening. (2019). Raising their voices: How effective are pro-youth laws and policies? https://www.ifes.org/publications/raising-their-voices
Crittenden, J., & Levine, P. (2018, August 31). Civic education. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.) The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2018 ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/civic-education/
FactBar EDU. (2018). Fact-checking for educators and future voters. https://faktabaari.fi/assets/FactBar_EDU_Fact-checking_for_educators_and_future_voters_13112018.pdf
Hart, R., Daiute, C., Iltus, S., Kritt, D., Rome, M., & Sabo, K. (1997). Developmental theory and children's participation in community organizations. Social Justice, 24(3 (69)), 33-63. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29767020
International Foundation for Electoral Systems. (n.d.) Who we are. https://www.ifes.org/who-we-are
International Foundation for Electoral Systems. (2018, March 9). New intersectionality assessment framework. https://www.ifes.org/news/new-intersectionality-assessment-framework
International Foundation for Electoral Systems. (2018, October 16). “Democracy: From theory to practice” university course starts in Ukraine. https://www.ifes.org/news/democracy-theory-practice-university-course-starts-ukraine
International Foundation for Electoral Systems. (2020, February 6). Civic education course alumni unite to engage more citizens in democracy. https://www.ifes.org/news/civic-education-course-alumni-unite-engage-more-citizens-democracy
International Foundation for Electoral Systems Ukraine. (2020, October 27). Go vote on local elections 2020: NGO “Youth Democratic Association” (YODA) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWR41cwIrh0
International Foundation for Electoral Systems Ukraine. (2021, February 25). Innovative university civic education course expands to the digital space. https://ifesukraine.org/news/innovative-university-civic-education-course-expands-to-the-digital-space/?lang=en
Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2021). Youth participation in national parliaments: 2018. https:// www.ipu.org/resources/publications/reports/2018-12/youth-participation-in-national-parliaments -2018
Kahne, J., & Bowyer, B. (2019). Can media literacy education increase digital engagement in politics? Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2019.1601108
Kaufman, L. (2011). Community youth mapping, a tool for youth participation and program design. USAID. https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pnadz225.pdf
Kemp, S. (2021, January 21). Digital 2021: The latest insights into the ‘state of digital’. We are social. https://wearesocial.com/blog/2021/01/digital-2021-the-latest-insights-into-the-state-of-digital
Larreguy, H., & Marshall, J. (2017). The effect of education on civic and political engagement in nonconsolidated democracies: Evidence from Nigeria. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(3), 387-401. https://doi.org/10.1162/rest_a_00633
Law, A. (2020, May 22). How to boost youth political participation during COVID-19. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. https://www.ifes.org/news/how-boost-youth-political-participation-during-covid-19
Ministry of Youth Development, Government of New Zealand. Youth parliament 2019. (2019). http://www.myd.govt.nz/documents/youth-parliament-2019/final-youth-parliament-2019-a3.pdf.
Pirio, G. (2019). Improving development outcomes through social and behavior change communication, applying a government lens. U.S. Agency for International Development. https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00TG2X.pdf
Reppell, L., Martin-Rozumilowicz, B., & Mohan, V. (2020). IFES COVID-19 briefing series: Preserving electoral integrity during an infodemic. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. https://www.ifes.org/publications/ifes-covid-19-briefing-series-preserving-electoral-integrity-during-infodemic
Sherrod, L. (2007). Civic engagement as an expression of positive youth development. In R. K. Silbereisen & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Approaches to positive youth development (pp. 59-74). Sage. https://in.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-assets/15175_book_item_15175.pdf
Suciu, P. (2020, May 20). Screen time and social media use among teens continues to rise. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/petersuciu/2020/05/21/screen-time-and-social-media-use-among-teens-continues-to-rise/
Trevett, C. (2011, March 23). Hughes sought career in politics from early age. NZ Herald. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/hughes-sought-career-in-politics-from-early-age/3W4WUVXUDSBVWHBJI2FU677UDE/
UNESCO. (2020, June 6). United Nations secretary-general warns of education catastrophe, pointing to UNESCO estimate of 24 million learners at risk of dropping out. https://en.unesco.org/news/secretary-general-warns-education-catastrophe-pointing-unesco-estimate-24-million-learners-0
UNESCO Bangkok. (2020, May 4). Empowering students with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. https://bangkok.unesco.org/content/empowering-students-disabilities-during-covid-19-crisis
United Nations. (2018). United Nations youth strategy. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-00080_UN-Youth-Strategy_Web.pdf
United Nations. (2020). The sustainable development goals report 2020. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2020.pdf
United Nations. (n.d.-a) SDG indicators. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/goal-04/
United Nations. (n.d.-b) Youth – United Nations sustainable development. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/youth/
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2020). World youth report 2020. https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2020/07/2020-World-Youth-Report-FULL-FINAL.pdf
United Nations Security Council. (2015, December 9). Security council, unanimously adopting resolution 2250 (2015), urges member states to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels [Press release]. https://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc12149.doc.htm
USAID. (2012). USAID youth in development policy. https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1870/Youth_in_Development_Policy_0.pdf
USAID. (2016). Positive Youth Development measurement toolkit. https://www.youthpower.org/sites/default/files/YouthPower/resources/PYD%20Measurement%20Toolkit%20Final.pdf
USAID, Office of Democracy and Governance. (2002). Approaches to civic education: Lessons learned. https://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNACP331.pdf
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.