New methodologies to assess challenges and learnings on youth civic engagement in Rio de Janeiro
Throughout the developing world, young men and women face high unemployment coupled with strong feelings of dissatisfaction with their quality of life in contexts of weak governance and institutions, increased political instability, and growing state authoritarianism — factors that render societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization. Predominant strategies in place to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of civil society stakeholders. Populations who suffer most from this violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, such as young men and women, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance related decisions. But youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural, and political issues.
To understand these processes, a closed call for proposals was launched in June 2017 to generate knowledge of how to promote youth civic engagement through social innovation for positive social change. This project is one of 15 selected from this call. It aims to generate and refine a set of tools to assess the “state of citizenship” of young women and men in slum areas of Rio de Janeiro’s Metropolitan Area. It also seeks to validate methodologies to empower stakeholders in using research-based evidence to engage in more informed and rich policy debates.
Its intended outcome is to increase youth capacity for influencing policy and relevant governance aspects through civic and cultural participation. This includes the creative use of new information and communication technologies and social networks to promote equal citizenship rights and a culture of peace to enhance local networks of participation.