Moderator: Augusta Featherston, Youth Focal Point of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

13:00 - 16:30 CET

Wednesday 20 Oct.

Youth perspectives in the programming of organizations working with and for youth in the OSCE region

Guiding questions:

1. What support and training for staff of organizations is needed for developing effective youth-inclusive programmes? How to address potential barriers?

2. What are the benefits for involved young people? How to ensure that their rights are upheld throughout the process?

3. How can youth ownership of the successes and impact of the organization’s programs be ensured?


A number of international, regional and civil society organizations have dedicated programs to the work with and for youth, and several of them went a step further toward deepening efforts to enable youth participation throughout their overall programming. This roundtable will look into existing practices that build capacity for meaningful youth participation and youth considerations on an operational level, as well as the impact they have and how they are perceived by youth.

Parallel sessions

1. When and how WITH youth: on the intesection of expectations and realities

This parallel session will explore both the capacities of young people to participate meaningfully and the capacities of organizations and institutions to enable meaningful participation of young people. Some guiding questions are: What does it mean to work WITH youth? Can we unpack difference between working with youth and “youth (serving) work”? What competencies are needed when working WITH youth? How do international organizations and institutions ensure their own capacities to practice what they preach in terms of working both with- and for- young people?

2. Youth considerations and programming: between unified and customised approach

Youth voices are most commonly included on the programming level, especially when it comes to youth-related initiatives. Various organizations employ different methods and approaches to inclusion, yet there is little UNDERSTANDING of whether these methods actually work, that is, do young people have impact on the organization’s programs, policies, and procedures, or do they simply have access? Would a common approach across the practitioner community make sense with respect to developing internal youth mainstreaming strategies?   

3. Tokenism in youth involvement: the devil we know

Tokenism of youth is a major concern for their involvement in genuine inclusive policy and programming This conversation will explore how practitioners can CREATE mechanisms which are actually participatory and inclusive of diverse groups of young people, and avoids creating yet another process the simply ticks the box. How do we move away from symbolic mechanisms towards those that actually deliver for young people?