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Enhancing youth civic engagement

In 2014, with funding from OSCE Presence in Albania, ANTTARC has designed and implemented a project to “Enhance civic engagement of young people”. This project aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of high school students to participate in the public life. Overall Project Goal is “to enhance the engagement and participation in local decision-making of high school students.” Specific objectives include: To strengthen the capacities of civil society and youth on civic engagement in 4 main project intervention areas (Kukes, Lezhe, Peshkopi, and Puke); and To enhance democratic participation among young people, youth civil society organizations and promote the interaction between young citizens and local and central level institutions.

Main project outputs include: Increased capacity of round 200 high school students regarding debating skills, culture of dialogue, decision making including role of civil society in democratic process (i.e. such as election), concepts and models of civic engagement, understanding of the role and functioning of the local government units and state institutions (i.e. watch dog function), relevant legislation, project design and implementation, youth strategies and action plans, etc; Youth will have resource materials that will help them in their effort to better engage and participate in local decision-making; Best practices regarding youth engagement and participation in local decision-making are shared; training workshops with high school students (training sessions and final public debates); Youth activities such as meetings with CSOs and public personalities, local action initiatives, analysis of the youth strategies, policies and programmes, etc.; Development of training materials on democratic institutions and processes; Closing event to exchange best practices.

Project beneficiaries included: High school students from Kukes, Lezhe, Peshkopi, and Puke, including youth from the above-mentioned municipalities as well as surrounding communes; CSO representatives from these cities; Community representatives; LGUs including municipalities and communes.

For its implementation, ANTTARC cooperated with its partners at central as well as local level. It engaged public personalities for the public debates and local coordinators for the organization of training sessions and public debates and realization of different youth activities during the project life.