Young people (18-35 years) constitute one-third of Bangladesh population (BBS, 2015). This youth bulge offers a great potential of demographic dividend for the country which is going to end in 2040. Harvesting the benefits of demographic dividend depends on how young people are integrated into the development process. According to UNDP, achieving the 2030 Agenda will require strong partnerships between young people and all stakeholders so that the challenges faced by youth are addressed, contributions recognized and included at all levels of decision-making.
Taking note of this context, ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) and JAAGO FOUNDATION aimed to work collaboratively to take forward the agenda of democratic participation of young people and youth-led accountability to delivery of SDGs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion was needed for future generations to be inspired to stand up to communalism, anti-democratic stances, and extreme values.
- To contribute in policy interventions that create space for young people in the decision-making process at all levels
- To promote the inclusion of young people in the COVID-19 response mechanism to make COVID-19 response more inclusive and accountable.
A virtual dialogue “Promoting Youth Participation in the Democratic Space and Accountability of SDGs” was organized through social media on 8 August 2021 collaboratively by ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) and JAAGO Foundation, to promote youth’s democratic participation and youth-led accountability in policy interventions and delivery of SDGs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 30 youth from all over the country received a platform in which they can communicate freely and directly with policymakers and youth stakeholders in Bangladesh. Politicians, civil society members, student political leaders, various organizational leaders, as well as youngsters and volunteers from all across Bangladesh were present. The discussion focused on the challenges and prospects encountered by youth in the political process, as well as methods for young people to participate in Bangladesh’s administration. Simultaneously, it also addressed how Bangladesh’s youths can effectively express themselves through creative, democratic actions, viewpoints, and mindset.
This discussion took place for the youth generation to connect with the political leaders and youth leaders, the youth were enthusiastic to ask questions on entrepreneurship, employment, and skill development, as well as understand their ability to grow as leaders in the change process and raise their voices.