Governance can be a clunky word - what does it mean exactly? It’s basically a term that refers to all processes linked to governing. As our globe is divided into multiple nation states - which then are split up into countless federal states and municipalities - governance affects each and everyone of us on a daily basis.

National and local governments are responsible for the wellbeing of their citizens and supposed to build vital infrastructure, make education accessible for all, set up health care facilities, maintain a functioning legal system and protect civilians. All too often unfortunately, some or all of these responsibilities aren’t met by governments, due to a lack of resources, corruption or discriminating policies.

In democracies, national and local politics focus on winning over voters so that political parties can move into government and (successfully or unsuccessfully) serve its citizens. In non-democratic countries, governments aren’t elected by the people but imposed - this often leads to a situation where some parts of the population are neglected.

In any type of government, it’s crucial that young people have platforms where they can voice their opinions and participate in shaping, implementing and evaluating government policies. In most countries however, youth participation is still underdeveloped. Young people have to keep holding their governments accountable and advocate for more mechanisms that allow meaningful and sustainable youth engagement!

Researching issues connected to governance, you might want to check out these resources:

United Nations Population Fund - Youth Participation and Leadership

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund - Child and Youth Participation

World Assembly of Youth - Assembly of National Youth Councils

Transparency International - Coalition Against Corruption


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