Youth as ‘Critical Agents of Change’


PJN with it’s special emphasis on SDGs believes these should be monitored in a way that both captures the experiences and views of youth and includes young people in processes that hold government institutions to account for their national and global commitments. PJN has identified a list of indicators and methods for monitoring Goal 16 and Goal 5 of the SDGs. These targets were chosen for their focus on core aspects of rights and governance – effective, accountable and transparent institutions; responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making; access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms – which if achieved, will enable progress across the sustainable development agenda. Our recommendations contribute to a basket of Goal 16 indicators and encourage the use of multiple and diverse data sources, including civil society and citizens to monitor progress. The recommendations seek to ensure that national-level monitoring is youth-sensitive, by taking into account the role, position and experiences of young people.



The 2030 Agenda recognises children and youth as ‘critical agents of change’ in the SDGs platform and for the ‘creation of a new world’. This recognition must translate into actions that government and other stakeholders take to implement and monitor the SDGs, including in the selection of national-level indicators and the involvement of young people in implementing agends and monitoring progress. When made a reality, these commitments to listen to and act on young people’s views, including those most likely to experience discrimination and exclusion, will fulfill young people’s rights and ensure that government develop strategies and plans that build on and learn from young people’s experiences, innovation, and expertise. Young people are entitled to hold the state institutions and its decision-makers accountable for their duties and performance. We cannot let this opportunity slip by.         

Young people are already involved in monitoring the realisation of their rights in many countries, and many have demonstrated their willingness and capacity to contribute to good governance in examples throughout the world.  At the 2015 Global Youth Summit, young people declared that they ‘should be included as full partners in the post-2015 process and preserve the world we want for the youth of tomorrow’. It is time to build on these calls to action to ensure that we have robust strategies for measuring the 2030 Agenda. Ultimately, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda requires the inclusion and participation of all members of our society to monitor and implement sustainable development. Young people’s insights, energy and innovations are indispensable to the achievement of this collective vision.




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