Spotlight: Youth

We know that young people hold the power to create transformational change.


Young people (under 30) represent approximately 52% of the world's population - with this number expected to grow significantly in the coming decades.

Source: UN, 2023

However, they are often faced with barriers that prevent them from being seen or heard.

For example, despite their large share of the global population, youth represent only 2.6% of the world's parliamentarians. The exclusion of young people from parliament and other decision-making spaces limits the ability of youth to shape their own future.

Young people bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking, and inclusive, collaborative approaches that can build a better future for all people and the planet.

How can civil society organisations help to ensure that young people have the representation they deserve and that they can access their right to participate - particularly in making the decisions that impact them?

Accountable Now provides organisations with the information and resources they need to meaningfully engage youth and support youth-led organisations to grow and thrive.

Check out some of our resources, created with and for young people, on how to meaningfully engage youth below.

The ‘Youth Engagement’ podcast series

We asked - youth answered.

Hear from young people, speaking to other young people, about what meaningful youth engagement means to them, some of the barriers they face, and their ideas for how to create a better future for all.

Want to hear Accountability Pill episodes on staff health and well-being, gender, environmental accountability, and more?
Listen to the conversations here:

Learn about some of the challenges to youth participation and how CSOs can support young people in dismantling barriers, plus hear about the work that Restless Development is doing to ensure youth participation and strengthen youth civil society.

Find out more about Restless Development’s youth-led approach.

As part of the newly formed Youth Voice and Participation Team at Girlguiding South West England, Abiee Harris and Maddie Wrey-Reynolds discuss future plans for enabling young people’s participation in decision making processes, and the need to engage young people by meeting them where they are.

Learn more: Girlguiding SWE.

In Part 3, we speak with Vanessa Chisakula (from CIVICUS’ Youth Action Team) about the importance of creating an enabling environment for youth to innovate and thrive – and how to avoid tokenistic engagement.

Learn more about CIVICUS' Youth Action Team.

Are you a young person with a story to tell, or an idea for future episode?

Want to ensure that young people have the access and get the power and recognition they deserve?

Here are 7 ways.