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The Impact of Youth Participation in the Local Government Process

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The Impact of Youth Participation in the Local Government Process

Book · January 2007 with 4,404 Reads

ISBN 978-971-529-066-1

Publisher: UNICEF Manila – Faye Balanon

Abstract

There is an emerging movement worldwide to give the youth a direct role in shaping policies and programs. The Philippines has institutionalized the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), a youth governance mechanism created by law, with its own budget and a national agency as secretariat. The law creating the SK, however, is now more than a decade old. The Department of Interior and Local Government sought the assistance of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-Manila. UNICEF-Manila funded a systematic and nationwide assessment of the SK’s impact on the youth as basis for more rational and effective recommendations. Researchers used an extensive nationwide survey as primary tool, and validated findings through a study of related literature, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions where the youth actively participated. Among the key findings of the study was that the SK’s performance for the past ten years has been generally weak. This is especially true in terms of coming up with legislations, promoting the development of young people, submitting reports and holding consultations with their constituents. The study also discovered notable strengths of the SK, including its tremendous potential to develop the next generation of leaders, engage the youth in the community and teach them accountability, honesty and creativity. These findings led to the conclusion that the potentials of the SK are not being maximized, resulting in projects that are largely limited to sports, infrastructure development and environmental protection.

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