YPS (Youth Peace and Security) in practice: (Self-)analysis and leadership reinforcement of young people in preventing political violence in Côte d’Ivoire
Funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), this 18-month project aims to support the practical implementation of the United Nations’ Agenda on Youth Peace and Security (YPS), mainly by supporting and “working with” existing youth-led initiatives that engage in peacebuilding activities in their respective communities. The Ivorian youth is commonly perceived as a key actor of political violence, being the victims of political instrumentalization and violent mobilization, especially in electoral contexts. To change this limiting perception and to highlight youth’s commitment to, and potential for peace, the project recognizes and strengthens youth leadership in the prevention of political violence - 2020 and 2021 being sensitive election years in Côte d’Ivoire. In this sense, the project does not perceive young men and young women as mere “beneficiaries” but as active participants, responsible for the design and the implementation of key components of the present project. The youth groups/associations targeted by the project will thus carry out a Participatory Action Research (PAR) on the role of youth in political violence themselves, with our support; on the basis of the research results, they will design new political violence prevention actions, also building on the new skills they will acquire during the project, through capacity-building activities; they will have the opportunity to apply to, and manage micro grants; and they will develop and implement advocacy and communication campaigns based on the project’s results. At the end, the project will have reinforced the capacities of the selected youth to make their initiatives on violence prevention and social cohesion more strategic, efficient, impactful, inclusive and sustainable. The project’s approach also aims to foster constructive dialogue between young people and the elderly, political decision makers and other key actors in the peacebuilding field. To that end, a mentorship program enhances the collaboration, exchange of experiences and transfer of knowledge and capacities between the targeted youth and adults/resource persons of their communities. To further address the problem of youth exclusion from decision-making in the field of peace and security, the project will create bridges between young leaders and key actors in the peacebuilding area, in order to reinforce the youth’s voice and contributions on youth, peace and security issues. This project is implemented by Interpeace and its local partner Indigo Côte d’Ivoire in Abobo and Youpougon, two Communes of Abidjan renowned for their vulnerability to political violence.