International Alert, together with partners Equal Access Nepal and Youth Action Nepal organised a series of interaction programmes with members of the Constituent Assembly (CA) of Nepal and representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The programmes were aimed at advocating for issues and concerns that came out of a research and dialogue process, part of a three-year initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which seeks to contribute to building and fostering a constructive role for youth by ensuring their access to security and justice in Nepal.
Following a programme of training, ten young interns conducted research on security challenges and responses amongst youths in four districts of Nepal (Bara, Dang, Sunsari and Kathmandu) during November 2009. The findings of the research were used to inform and stimulate debates at local level through open discussions and dialogue forums between youths and other stakeholders, including local government officials, police officials, representatives from the local judicial system, civil society and youth organisations. Young radio producers were also trained on media reporting and production on justice and security sector reform issues from the perspective of youth. The research conducted by the youth interns is now feeding into the local and national level radio productions through these radio producers who are set to produce more than 50 radio programmes by the end of the first year of the initiative.
In June 2010, youth interns and radio producers involved in the initiative also gathered in a youth retreat to share their findings and experiences from the districts. This gathering helped them to develop networks across different districts and build trust among each other to further their work, while at the same time developing advocacy messages and strategies for supporting improved public security together.
The findings and recommendations that came out of the research, retreats and dialogue forums in the districts were then shared in a series of roundtables and discussions with members of the CA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In sharing such research findings and recommendations, the project aims to increase knowledge amongst decision-makers regarding the public security needs and concerns of Nepal’s youth.
During the second year of this initiative, beginning in October 2010, Alert and partners will work to support the development and implementation of joint initiatives between young people and decision-makers aimed at tangibly improving the security situation in the project districts.