Young people are underrepresented in government leadership positions, such as elected office. This section includes resources that describe trends regarding youth participation in governance and provide guidance to inform assistance for young people to effectively engage informal politics and governance.

Youth Participation in National Parliaments - Inter-Parliamentary Union

Based on a survey of nearly 100 countries, this resource describes trends regarding youth participation in national parliaments. IPU's analysis identifies some encouraging trends, such as an increase in youth representation in many countries' parliaments. It also notes some challenges, however, including a large gap in representation between young men and young women. The report concludes with recommendations for how to increase youth representation in national parliaments. 

New and innovative forms of youth participation in decision-making processes

This study of new and innovative forms of youth participation was commissioned by the Council of Europe’s Youth Department. The study focuses on young people’s participation in decision-making processes at national, regional and local levels, recognizing that young people are increasingly disengaging from formal means of political participation, such as voting and joining political parties, and turning to other forms of political expression. The findings and recommendations in the study are intended to inform the Council of Europe youth sector’s future work in this field and its strategic objectives to support young people’s (positive) attitude to influence decisions in democratic processes and increase their involvement in the development of inclusive and peaceful societies. The research findings contribute to discussions around "innovative" forms of participation in public decision making and provides recommendations for how government bodies can provide better channels for young people to participate in decision-making processes.

Youth, Political Participation and Decision Making

This resources describes issues related to youth participation in governance and highlights case studies of different types of programs that have been implemented across the world to support youth participation in politics and governance. The resource concludes recommendations for democracy and governance assistance providers to provide more effective support to improve meaningful youth political participation. 

Youth Councils - An Effective Way to Promote Youth Participation

Drawing on examples of Youth Councils, or government advisory bodies representing the interests of youth, in Africa, this resource describes the function of youth councils, how they can be beneficial for young people and broader society. The resource also highlights best practices for establishing and operating youth councils, as well as common challenges encountered by youth councils. It also describes six examples of different types of youth councils in Africa.