The federal government has developed a model 'Procedure for Youth Participation in Local Level Planning, 2021' with a view to increasing meaningful participation of youths in the planning process of the local levels as per its need and priority.

This procedure will come into force in local levels after its approval by the concerned executive. It accords priority to youths aged between 16 and 40 years belonging to geographically, socio-culturally, economically and politically disadvantaged communities.

Youths with disabilities, conflict victims, vulnerable, marginalised, and endangered communities, minorities, Dalits, Muslims, and backward regions have been listed under 'youths of special priority group'.

According to the procedure posted on the website of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, the local level is required to maintain and update the records of youths on the basis of population, sex, ethnicity, language, religion, educational status, economic condition, disability, occupation, among others, by using information technology.

"The local level will collaborate with organised youth groups such as youth clubs, youth social associations or organisations, scouts, political parties, entrepreneurs and volunteers for data collection and compilation.

"The youths will be involved in different planning processes of the local level on the basis of their expertise or experience after preparation of a roster. Similarly, youth participation will be ensured in the implementation and monitoring of various thematic plans inside the local level," the procedure says. It also envisages the participation of youths in policy-making and implementation.

"An institutional system will be developed to involve youths in the selection and implementation of plans, while establishing them in leadership roles. The local government will create an enabling environment for discussion, interaction and advocacy to formulate youth-friendly plans and programmes, in addition to optimum utilisation of their knowledge, skills and time in the economic, social and cultural development of local units," the procedure reads.

The local level will also adopt a policy of inclusion and positive discrimination to bring youths of special priority group into the mainstream for policy-making and implementation process.

As the condition and need of youths of various age groups are different, they will be classified into two age groups.

According to the procedure, provision will be made for participation of youths from the initial stage of identification of the project or programme at the ward-level.

The youths will have their share of participation in the formation of user committee, while allocating necessary budget for implementation of youth-centric programmes.

The procedure also stipulates a provision of an 11-member youth coordination committee for the operation of programmes.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 19 2021, of The Himalayan Times.