The Civil Society Strategy: Engaging Young People

As a young person volunteering at the IARS International Institute, it is encouraging to see the how the Civil Society Strategy has emphasised the crucial role of young people in shaping the future of our society. The Strategy outlines government’s commitment to ensuring that all young people have opportunities to develop the skills, networks and resilience that can improve their life chances, fulfil their potential and to support them to avoid negative pathways in future. The Civil Society Strategy’s strengths certainly lie in the youth engagement and youth-led approaches. After reviewing the Strategy, it was exciting to see that the Strategy co-operates with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in developing proposals to help young people play their part. Some other highly positive aspects of the Strategy covered the youth voice commitments, the involvement of young people in policy design, and setting out three new youth voice projects, which are: A Civil Society Youth Steering Group set up within the DCMS to oversee the development and implementation of policies affecting young people, including the plans set out in the Civil Society Strategy. DCMS will also set up a national Young Commissioners and Inspectors Group to involve young people directly and meaningfully in the commissioning, monitoring and evaluation of national programmes affecting young people. With respect to future policy, the government will build systems to ensure that young people both have their views heard and are able to play a role in delivery. As a youth-led institute and expert in youth-led research, IARS has its own youth steering group – the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) – which...