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Participatory Research in Asia 
Youth and 
Inclusive 
Citizenship: 
Challenges and 
Opportunities 
Dr. Rajesh Tandon 
M A K I N G D E M O C R A C Y W O R K F O R A L L 
Presentation made at 
National Conference on Adult Education in 
Uzbekistan: Reforms and Perspectives 
24-25 September 2014, Tashkent
Youth in Asia Pacific 
• Asia Pacific witnessing an 
important demographic shift 
• Youngest region in the world 
• 60% of the world’s youth (15-14 
years) reside here 
• 1 in 4 lives in South Asia 
• 1 in 5 is an adolescent living in SE 
Asia 
• In India, the median age today is 
24 years 
• Will this demographic dividend 
be a harvest or is it a ticking time 
bomb?
Challenges for Youth Inclusion 
• How to ensure the demographic dividend will yield a 
rich harvest? 
• Common identity of citizenship is relationship between 
individual and the state; conferred by the state: Vertical 
citizenship 
• Citizens equally have rights and obligations to 
kinship/families/communities: Horizontal citizenship 
• Role of youth needs to be actively shaped to meet both 
forms of citizenship 
• Shape the future of society keeping in mind youth 
dreams and aspirations 
• The fundamental issue is of learning and education
Opportunities for Youth Inclusion 
• Build capacity of youth: 
– youth volunteerism 
– youth leadership 
– youth as change agents 
– youth as global citizens 
• Youth learning skills for life and work 
• Opportunities for peer learning crucial 
• Review national policies (youth policies, youth 
education policy) in the above light
Ideas for Adult Educators 
• Explicit focus on youth learning with special 
emphasis on girls/women 
• Focus on combination of skills for work and life 
• Youth led educational programs 
– Pedagogy from the perspective of the youth 
• Connect with the WhatsApp generation 
– Promote alternative expressions of the youth 
(especially through new media)
PRIA’s Focus on Youth 
Recent focus 
on youth as 
change leaders 
Programs in 
rural and 
urban areas to 
address 
challenges and 
aspirations 
traditional institutions of authority are 
not designed to accommodate their 
aspirations 
sense of 
restlessness lack a sense of inclusivity
Aspirations of Youth 
• Break barriers and practices 
imposed by patriarchal structures 
• Freedom to speak up 
• Girls want mobility/freedom from 
restrictions. 
• Create a just and peaceful society 
• Take on leadership roles and work 
together to change power 
structures 
• Value education and want to get 
more skilled
Collective Footsteps of Youth 
Campaign 
Making pledges to end violence against women 
1 YOUTH AS CHANGE 
AGENTS 
Attitudinal and 
personal change: 
Raise awareness on 
the issue of violence 
against women 
3 MULTI-STAKEHOLDER 
INVOLVEMENT 
Promote institutional 
accountability 
(colleges, schools, 
municipality, 
panchayat) for safety 
of women 
Build support for the 
campaign 
2 YOUTH AS LEADERS 
Peer learning: 
Support youth 
leadership to take 
initiative to design 
and implement the 
campaign
Empowering Urban Youth 
1Community, who 
know their 
locality best, were 
organised to map 
their own 
settlement 
2 Urban slum 
youth 
motivated to 
learn and use 
technology to 
map their 
settlements 
3 
Trained in the 
use of GPS as a 
mapping tool 
and how to 
upload the data 
on to Google 
Earth 
Guidebook (in 
English and 
Hindi) prepared 
Participatory activity that encourages and strengthens community 
participation and relationships amongst each other
PRIA’s Capacity Building Efforts 
Support to: 
• civil society 
organisations 
• government 
agencies 
• educational 
institutions 
• local governance 
institutions 
• CSR foundations 
Support through: 
• Short term trainings 
• Facilitated 
workshops 
• Distance education 
• Mentoring and 
coaching 
• Technical support 
• Study 
tours/exposure visits 
Customised 
trainings 
& 
workshops 
Opportunities 
to learn 
for life & 
work
Capacity Building Tools 
• Participatory learning training 
methods 
• Learning needs assessment 
• Online interactive training 
Access to knowledge resources: 
•PRIA LIBRARY 
•PRIA’S KNOWLEDGE PORTAL 
Practice in Participation 
(www.practiceinparticipation.org)
Recent Capacity Building Programs 
• Deepening Local Governance 
in Asia 
– Improve democratic practices in local 
governance institutions in Cambodia 
and Bangladesh 
• Strategic Planning Workshop 
for Kyrgystan Adult Education 
Association (KAEA) 
• Program for Accountability in 
Nepal (PRAN) 
– ToT based on Participatory Learning 
Training Methods for CSOs 
• Staff Capacity Building and 
Institutional Development of 
AfghanAid

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Youth and inclusive citizenship by Dr. Rajesh Tandon at National Adult Education Conference Tashkent

  • 1. Participatory Research in Asia Youth and Inclusive Citizenship: Challenges and Opportunities Dr. Rajesh Tandon M A K I N G D E M O C R A C Y W O R K F O R A L L Presentation made at National Conference on Adult Education in Uzbekistan: Reforms and Perspectives 24-25 September 2014, Tashkent
  • 2. Youth in Asia Pacific • Asia Pacific witnessing an important demographic shift • Youngest region in the world • 60% of the world’s youth (15-14 years) reside here • 1 in 4 lives in South Asia • 1 in 5 is an adolescent living in SE Asia • In India, the median age today is 24 years • Will this demographic dividend be a harvest or is it a ticking time bomb?
  • 3. Challenges for Youth Inclusion • How to ensure the demographic dividend will yield a rich harvest? • Common identity of citizenship is relationship between individual and the state; conferred by the state: Vertical citizenship • Citizens equally have rights and obligations to kinship/families/communities: Horizontal citizenship • Role of youth needs to be actively shaped to meet both forms of citizenship • Shape the future of society keeping in mind youth dreams and aspirations • The fundamental issue is of learning and education
  • 4. Opportunities for Youth Inclusion • Build capacity of youth: – youth volunteerism – youth leadership – youth as change agents – youth as global citizens • Youth learning skills for life and work • Opportunities for peer learning crucial • Review national policies (youth policies, youth education policy) in the above light
  • 5. Ideas for Adult Educators • Explicit focus on youth learning with special emphasis on girls/women • Focus on combination of skills for work and life • Youth led educational programs – Pedagogy from the perspective of the youth • Connect with the WhatsApp generation – Promote alternative expressions of the youth (especially through new media)
  • 6. PRIA’s Focus on Youth Recent focus on youth as change leaders Programs in rural and urban areas to address challenges and aspirations traditional institutions of authority are not designed to accommodate their aspirations sense of restlessness lack a sense of inclusivity
  • 7. Aspirations of Youth • Break barriers and practices imposed by patriarchal structures • Freedom to speak up • Girls want mobility/freedom from restrictions. • Create a just and peaceful society • Take on leadership roles and work together to change power structures • Value education and want to get more skilled
  • 8. Collective Footsteps of Youth Campaign Making pledges to end violence against women 1 YOUTH AS CHANGE AGENTS Attitudinal and personal change: Raise awareness on the issue of violence against women 3 MULTI-STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT Promote institutional accountability (colleges, schools, municipality, panchayat) for safety of women Build support for the campaign 2 YOUTH AS LEADERS Peer learning: Support youth leadership to take initiative to design and implement the campaign
  • 9. Empowering Urban Youth 1Community, who know their locality best, were organised to map their own settlement 2 Urban slum youth motivated to learn and use technology to map their settlements 3 Trained in the use of GPS as a mapping tool and how to upload the data on to Google Earth Guidebook (in English and Hindi) prepared Participatory activity that encourages and strengthens community participation and relationships amongst each other
  • 10. PRIA’s Capacity Building Efforts Support to: • civil society organisations • government agencies • educational institutions • local governance institutions • CSR foundations Support through: • Short term trainings • Facilitated workshops • Distance education • Mentoring and coaching • Technical support • Study tours/exposure visits Customised trainings & workshops Opportunities to learn for life & work
  • 11. Capacity Building Tools • Participatory learning training methods • Learning needs assessment • Online interactive training Access to knowledge resources: •PRIA LIBRARY •PRIA’S KNOWLEDGE PORTAL Practice in Participation (www.practiceinparticipation.org)
  • 12. Recent Capacity Building Programs • Deepening Local Governance in Asia – Improve democratic practices in local governance institutions in Cambodia and Bangladesh • Strategic Planning Workshop for Kyrgystan Adult Education Association (KAEA) • Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) – ToT based on Participatory Learning Training Methods for CSOs • Staff Capacity Building and Institutional Development of AfghanAid