CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS FROM RESEARCH
The study on “Effective Youth Engagement in SDGs” identifies some interesting facts and findings related to the ideas and perceptions of Nepali youth. Proper utilization of the findings of the study will give vital information and guidelines for governmental and non-governmental bodies who are promoting SDGs in Nepal.
SDG Awareness Among Youth
A large proportion of youth; 88.29%, were found to know about and understand SDGs. Only 11.71% of youth were found to be unaware. 46.86% of respondents were found to have good knowledge and 22% to have very good knowledge on SDGs. These youth are huge resources for promoting SDGs in Nepal. Planners and policymakers should take into account that online media and education institutions are the major information sources for sensitizing youth. In light of the findings, the following recommendations are made to improve the engagement of youth in the SDGs process and fast-track its achievement.
Since youth cover 40% of the country’s total population, it is vital to raise awareness about SDGs among youth and create an inclusive platform for discussion through different media.
Educational institutions play a key role in cultivating knowledge on SDGs. Inclusion of SDGs in school-level textbooks will have valid impacts.
Without the participation of informed youth, achieving SDGs will be challenging. Youth partnerships in both private and public sectors, as well as local, provincial and national levels are key factors in promoting and achieving national SDG targets.
Youth in Governance
Youth emphasized the need for participatory and transparent decision-making and planning processes. They felt left out despite their capacity to contribute from planning to monitoring stages. In order to achieve “Leave No One Behind”, the major promise of the 2030 Agenda of UN, youth should be included in the SDGs process to achieve the SGD goals. Currently, there is no clear understanding or strategy to engage youth in the SDG process nationally or across the three tiers of governments. Listed below are a few recommendations to the identified challenges.
Promising youth should be identified, promoted and empowered to promote and achieve SDGs.
Capacity building and multidimensional exposure should be a priority of stakeholders to unlock and leverage youth potential.
Youth should be actively engaged in policy-making, planning as well as monitoring processes of the local, provincial and national level governance.
Youth and Environment
As agents of awareness and change, youth showed concern about nature and the extent of environmental problems we face. A majority of respondents understood their responsibilities towards the environment and were ready to contribute or tackle the challenges. Despite this, respondents considered current efforts on conservation to be less participatory. Listed below are a few recommendations to the identified challenges.
Effective environmental education programs should be incorporated in all education projects to enhancing the knowledge base of youth.
The state should create a dedicated public forum where youths can express their views and spread messages on environmental concerns.
Institutionalized youth participation in environmental conservation should be ensured at all levels from grass-root to policy, and executive bodies of the state for successful implementation of SDG plans and policies.