Youth and policy makers design COVID-19 recovery solutions together

UNESCO (2022) Youth As Researchers Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Youth GLOBAL POLICY BRIEF

Launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO’s “Youth As Researchers on COVID-19” (YAR) is a signature global youth-led research initiative that consolidates evidence from youth across the world on their experiences of, and impactful action during, the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to contributing with youth perspectives to inform policy decisions, the goal of the initiative is to promote evidence-based policymaking, and to counter disinformation. Providing an overview of the initiative, this publication contains a summary of its key findings and recommendations, globally and thematically, aimed to inform youth-focused policy processes in the framework of post-COVID recovery. 



 Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Delivering for youth: How governments can put young people at the centre of the recovery

OECD (2022)

Governments across the OECD are investing significant resources to address the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that the crisis has affected different age groups differently and that its repercussions will be felt by many for decades to come, it is crucial to adopt an integrated public governance approach to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. This policy brief presents the views of a non-representative sample of 151 youth organisations from 72 countries, including 100 youth organisations based in 36 OECD countries, on how young people have been experiencing the crisis and related government action. It is complemented by an analysis of the measures adopted across 34 OECD countries and provides recommendations on how to deliver a fair, inclusive and resilient recovery for young people through a range of public governance approaches.



 Study on child participation in EU political and democratic life. Final Report

Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission

This study focuses on child participation in EU political and democratic life, covering a broad range of mechanisms – such as consultations, polls, ad hoc meetings and structural consultation bodies – that have been implemented after 2012 across 28 countries (27 EU Member States (MS) and the UK). The study covers also mechanisms at the international, EU and national level, and at the local level in 10 selected MS – namely Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.



 Flash Eurobarometer. European Parliament Youth Survey Report

European Parliament

Conducted in June 2021 by Ipsos European Public Affairs among 18 156 young people from 16 to 30 years old, this public opinion survey gathers insights about young people’s attitudes and behaviors in respect of politics, political engagement and the EU. Specifically, the survey covered the following topics: Young people’s general level of interest in politics and the issues and values they feel should be prioritized. The extent to which they participate in political and civic activities (including voting) and barriers to such participation. Their understanding of, and attitudes towards, the European Union. Their awareness of, and experiences of, the European Parliament’s Youth Offer. Their sources of information on political and social issues, and the perceived veracity of different sources.



 “Glocal” and Transversal Engagement in Youth Social Movements: A Twitter-Based Case Study of Fridays For Future-Barcelona

Frontiers in Political Science, Ludovic Terren, Roger Soler-i-Martí

Based on a social network and a content analysis of Fridays For Future-Barcelona’s Twitter account since its creation, this article explores the organization’s “glocal” and transversal dynamics, the relationship that might exist between these two, and the potential influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on these processes.



 Civic Participation of Youth in the Digital World


This analysis aims to understand how young civic actors in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region use digital tools for political and social participation, the topics they are motivated about, and the opportunities and obstacles they encounter in their digital activism. The goal of the analysis is to serve as a conversation opener and to lead to more in-depth research and dialogue between stakeholders interested in advancing digital youth activism and civic engagement.
The analysis revealed that for youth activists, internet access gives them a strong sense of empowerment and belonging. Young civic actors see it as a tool for inclusivity and to engage with others directly and reach and mobilize more people, even beyond borders.



 Online political behaviour and ideological production by young people

DigiGen project

This report showcases online observation and 65 interviews, conducted between September 2020 and April 2021 in Estonia, Greece and the United Kingdom, comparing the reasons and the means by which youth engaged in online civic participation, focusing on online movements mobilising for racial, social and environmental justice. Overall, participants who are active members of civic society organisations which are robustly organised (decentralised or hierarchical) utilise specialised types of platforms for different activities and are mindful of internet safety and surveillance issues, while those that are members of less organised movements rely on more commercial and general platforms to organise, communicate, coordinate, and publicise their



 Youth and COVID-19: Response, recovery and resilience

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Based on survey findings from 90 youth organisations from 48 countries, this policy brief outlines practical measures governments can take to design inclusive and fair recovery measures that leave no one behind. The recommendations include development of youth work.



 To Lockdown and Back. Young people’s lived experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research report. November 2020

Ecorys and University of Huddersfield. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation

The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 62 young people. It shows young people personal experience during the pandemic, but also their oppinion on public attitudes and issues, including young people activism and their influence on the public responding to the crisis.



 Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth Sport and Physical Activity Participation Trends

MDPI Journals

The COVID-19 pandemic offers youth sport organizations the opportunity to anticipate consumer behaviour trends and proactively improve their program offerings for more satisfying experiences for consumers post-pandemic. This conceptual paper explores potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on changing youth sport and physical activity preferences and trends to inform sport and physical activity providers. Drawing from social ecology theory, assumptions for future trends for youth sport and physical activity are presented. Three trends for youth sport and physical activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are predicted: (1) youths’ preferences from organized to non-organized contexts become amplified; (2) reasons for participating in sport or any physical activity shift for youth as well as parents/guardians; (3) consumers reconceptualize value expectations from youth sport and physical activity organizations. The proposed assumptions need to be tested in future research. It is anticipated that sport organizations can respond to changing trends and preferences by innovating in three areas: (1) programming, (2) marketing, and (3) resource management.



 Engaging Citizens for Inclusive Futures: Rebuilding Social Cohesion and Trust through Citizen Dialogues

World Economic Forum

The economic and social disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic is severe. Loss of lives and livelihoods, poverty and inequality are rising in every country on Earth. Social movements such as Black Lives Matter have brought attention to systemic injustices across our societies. The compounding effects of different crises present a serious threat to social cohesion and global cooperation, potentially setting off a vicious cycle of economic despair and social unrest.The findings highlight the effects of COVID-19 on the participants and their priorities for the post-pandemic recovery, as well as the importance of social cohesion and trust. The report concludes with a proposal to spur collective action for a transformational recovery.



 COVID-19 impacts youth voices and hampers participation


How Covid-19 has changed the relationship beween teachers and student partcipation, more particularly regarding school closures and how social distancing has become a barrier in education.     



 Transparency, communication and trust: Responding to the wave of disinformation about the new Coronavirus 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

This policy brief provides an overview of a new wave of disinformation associated with the Coronavirus pandemic which can undermine policy responses and causes distrust among citizens. It notes some emerging examples of OECD member countries’ responses to it through public communication initiatives specifically. It also offers preliminary guidelines on engaging with citizens during the crisis to help address this challenge.  



 Eastern Partnership Youth Engagement Summit Final Report (2020)

European Union

This report details the findings of the Eastern Partnership Youth Engagement Summit which was held online in July 2020. A total of 457 youth leaders and youth workers and 33 speakers from 28 countries engaged in a dialogue amongst themselves and with EU and EaP policy makers on achievements and challenges in the youth field in the European Union and its Eastern Neighbourhood region including the impact of Covid-19. Topics discussed include Youth Dialogue and youth participation in policy making.



 Building on Rainbows: Supporting Children’s Participation in Shaping Responses to COVID-19 (2020)

Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation/Eurochild

This rapid evidence report contains findings from a survey conducted in April 2020 with 95 professionals contacted through children’s participation and rights networks in 20 countries, including their reports of children’s perspectives.



 A Comprehensive Plan To Innovate Democracy In Europe, Civil society vision for the European Democracy Action Plan

European Partnership For Democracy

It is no secret that democracies around the world have been faced with a series of interrelated challenges in recent years and European democracies are no different. Amidst the immense socio-economic and political fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU commitment to and support of democracy is more important than ever. In 2019, the European Commission set out plans for a new push for European democracy which included a European Democracy Action Plan. This paper underlines how the Action Plan can provide a comprehensive framework and vision to guide the EU and its Member States to strengthen and protect democracy in Europe.



 Safeguarding Civic Space for Young People in Europe

The European Youth Forum

Over the years, we have, unfortunately, witnessed a crackdown against civil society, including youth organisations, in various European countries. This trend is continuing in 2020, with extremely worrying signs that the COVID-19 health crisis is being used to gain political control, putting many dimensions of civic space under threat. With the new study, Safeguarding Civic Space for Young People in Europe, the European Youth Forum aims to put the spotlight on challenges faced by youth organisations in Europe.



 Student voices: Fighting to be heard during the Covid-19 exam chaos


This is the first in a series of articles on the effects of Covid-19 on youth participation, especially targeting university students and their involvement (or lack of it) in educational decisions that were being made in the early days of COVID-19.



 Community participation is crucial in a pandemic

The Lancet

Community participation is essential in the collective response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), from compliance with lockdown, to the steps that need to be taken as countries ease restrictions, to community support through volunteering. Communities clearly want to help: in the UK, about 1 million people volunteered to help the pandemic response1 and highly localised mutual aid groups have sprung up all over the world with citizens helping one another with simple tasks such as checking on wellbeing during lockdowns.



 Youth participation during the pandemic in Russia

SALTO Participation and Information Resource Centre

In the context of European Union programmes, youth participation in democratic society is seen from two perspectives: how to influence decision-making processes, and how civic engagement/youth activism takes place. This understanding largely overlaps with the definition of youth participation as outlined in the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life. While making links with the reality of the pandemic, we can say with certainty that we have witnessed both civic activity and youth activism. But to what extent has the first aspect, namely the impact on decision-making processes, been realised?