Lessons learned on political participation and strategies to overcome violence in Latin American and South Asian youths

Throughout the developing world, young men and women are facing high unemployment coupled with strong feelings of dissatisfaction with quality of life in contexts of weak governance and institutions, increased political instability and growing state authoritarianism - factors that render societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization. Predominant strategies that are in place to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of civil society stakeholders. Populations who suffer most from this violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, such as young men and women, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance related decisions. But youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural and political issues.
To understand these processes, a closed call for proposals (“Giving youth a voice: promoting spaces for civic engagement, inclusion and violence reduction in South Asia and Latin America”), was launched in June 2017 to generate knowledge on how to promote civic engagement of youth through social innovation for positive social change.
This project, supported by Asuntos del Sur, a think tank based in Argentina, will focus on knowledge synthesis, dissemination and networking of the cluster of X projects in Latin America and the Carribean. This project will work closely with the knowledge leads for the Africa and South Asia cohort of projects to find synergies and opportunities for collaboration.

More specifically, Asuntos del Sur will:
- Develop knowledge synthesis aiming to identify lessons and evidences from each project of the cohort and produce a comparative reflection on elements that may enrich the knowledge basis regarding youth and civic engagement in contexts of violence.
- Facilitate knowledge exchange and networking capacities among members of the cohort, both internally and with other institutions conducting similar action-research (particularly in South Asia and Africa).
- Disseminate and position the results and findings in the global and regional arena through the publication of books, video, infographics and papers.

Risks and ethical considerations

The project does not consider field research nor direct management of collected data. Those task will remain under each individual project belonging to the cohort.

Nevertheless, the nature of the project involves a higher level of collaborative work between Asuntos del Sur and local institutions member of the cohort. Some of those. local institutions are small and thir research capacity is limited l, therefore Asuntos del Sur will have to pay particular attention in ensuring those institutions are ready to get involved in higher level discussions .

Synergies with other G&J projects and relation to G&J impact pathway

This initiative would fit very well in the program cohort approach as well as research objectives to reduce youth violence and create safer spaces for vulnerable populations. Further, a gendered approach will be pursued throughout the initiative. In addition, it would be complementary to and builds on the recent call for proposals in Africa titled “Understanding and Addressing Youth Experiences with Violence, Exclusion and Injustice.”

*This project is part of the cohort “Giving youth a voice: promoting spaces for civic engagement, inclusion and violence reduction in South Asia and Latin America” and as well as the cohort “Understanding and addressing youth experiences with violence, exclusion and injustice in Africa”. As such it will connect with 20+ projects with similar beneficiaries working on related issues and will build on those synergies and interactions.

Project ID


Project status



24 months

IDRC Officer

Florencio Ceballos

Total funding

CA$ 181,300


South America, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Matías Bianchi


Asuntos del Sur Asociacion Civil

Institution Country


Institution Website