Young people now represent 41% of the global population, and the majority of the population in the 48 least developed countries. Yet, young people are rarely brought meaningfully into policy processes that affect their lives. The Open Gov Youth Collective is trying to change this within the open government field.
This year, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – with the help of Accountability Lab and Restless Development and thanks to the support of the Government of Canada – brought together a group of sixteen young open government activists as a part of their Break The Rolescampaign for the OGP Global Summit in Ottawa to discuss the role of young people in opening governance around the world. This group of incredible young people represented fourteen countries on six continents and included representatives from all OGP regions. Before the Summit, they learned about different models of involving youth in government, met with OGP Steering Committee members, and developed their ideas for youth inclusion in open government efforts.
During the Summit, the youth delegates were everywhere, from pitching their ideas to judges and speaking on panels, to briefing their government points of contact. Two youth delegates fiercely pushed for youth inclusion at the closing ceremony and announced the creation of the Open Gov Youth Collective. The Summit itself represented a change in the role of young people in this field and, at times, it felt like there was a youth takeover at the Summit.
*To read the rest of the blog, visit the OGP site here.