• Country: Sub-Saharan Countries
  • Project Name: Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative (WYDE) Civic Engagement
  • Contact person: Sebastian Bloching bloching@elbarlament.org
  • Project duration: 2022 – 2026
  • Project objective: The overall objective of the WYDE project is to fund and implement national and transnational projects in support of youth civic engagement and participation in the decision-making processes across the Sub-Saharan Countries.

Anni-Loo Viljamaa, Student Assistant  
Democracy Needs Civic Education – a civic education platform for Iraq

From 2022 – 2026 elbarlament will be implementing activities within the EU funded WYDE Civic Engegament project as a member of the EPD network.

The Youth Participation in Public Affairs programme of the EU’s Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative (WYDE) aims to improve the enfranchisement, empowerment, and inclusion of youth in all levels of democratic participation at the national, regional and global scales. WYDE Civic Engagement’s approach is informed by the need for youth engagement and inclusion not only at national level, but beyond and above it. With half of the world’s population being under 30, the continued survival of democracy is highly dependent on buy-in and support among its youth. The overall objective of the WYDE project is therefore to fund and implement national and transnational projects in support of youth civic engagement and participation in the decision-making processes across the Sub-Saharan Countries.

Young people, particularly from marginalised communities, are chronically underrepresented in politics, including in parliaments, political parties, local governments, and at the ballot boxes. Economic and educational barriers to youth participation are exacerbated by a lack of information and knowledge about democratic processes and accountability and ways of becoming active citizens, as well as disillusionment with formal political structures common among young people. As a result, voter turnout among youth is consistently lower than older age groups, and if young people engage in politics they more typically do so through informal channels including civic activism and protest. This type of informal engagement is nonetheless key to fostering active citizenship among youth, and needs to translate into inclusive participation in democratic processes along with a simultaneous effort to remove barriers to participation.

WYDE is targeting these issues working at three levels: at global advocacy level through the co-coordination of the Youth Political Participation and Civic Engagement, a collaborative platform of the Global Summit for Democracy which also includes a research component (pillar 1) and at regional level through the co-creation of Youth Clusters implemented by EPD member organisations (pillar 2). Actions within the second pillar aim at engaging young people active in public affairs, from civil society activists to politicians in an effort to empower them to advocate for more youth inclusion in society. A third pillar consists of quick-impact actions that will provide strategic support to local actors working on youth political inclusion and participation, always at the request of EU delegations. 

Elbarlament’s activities within the WYDE project are situated within the second pillar. In particular, we will be supporting youth-led organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa through coaching and mentoring on project development, project management and through a leadership programme. Elbarlament will also be in charge of supporting local youth organisations advocating for the establishment of National Youth Councils, assisting them through the provision of expertise to share best practices with key national stakeholders and to assess the feasibility and most appropriate format of such councils.

You can find a currently open call of proposal for youth organisations to participate in the project here:

https://www.alda-europe.eu/news/women-and-youth-in-democracy-initiative-wyde-call-for-proposals/ (EN)

https://www.alda-europe.eu/fr/news/women-and-youth-in-democracy-initiative-wyde-call-for-proposals/ (FR)

For more information please visit:


This project is funded by the European Union

Democracy and Civic Education