Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-building organized National Level Sharing Program on Jun 29, 2015 at the Royal Banquet, Tinkune. The main objective of the program was to launch the country report, disseminate the findings and, recommendation of the participatory evaluation on Child and Youth Role in Peace building conducted in Doti, Rolpa, Nawalparasi, and Mohattari districts from January to March 2015. It is a part of global campaign called a Global Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace building being organized simultaneously in DR Congo, Nepal and Colombia.The program was jointly organized by the Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-building consortium partners: Alliance for Peace (AfP), Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal (JCYCN), Save the Children (SC), Search for Common Ground (SfCG), World Vision International Nepal (WVIN), and Youth Network for Peace and Development (YNPD) Mahottari. Mr. TilottamPoudel, members of Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-building was master of ceremony of the National level sharing program.
Country Report was launched by Dr. Bimala Rai Paudel, Member of the National Planning Commission. She not only spoke about the importance of involving youth and children in peace-building, but also applauded the participatory tools, which according to her ‘provided a holistic lens to participation of youth and children in peace-building in the country.’
Mr. Krishna Subedi,Children as Zone of Peace (CZOP), Dr. Kiran Rupakheti, Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW), Mr. Tarak Dhital,Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), Mr. Gauri Pradhan, former Member, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) who hold specialized knowledge in the field of children and youth, also echoed the innovation in evaluation pedestaled by the Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-buildingby ensuring the meaningful role of children and youth in the overall evaluation process. They also commented on the major findings and recommendations of the Multi-agency, Multi-country, Multi-donor (3M) evaluation. Other eminent guest included Mr. Yubakar Raj Rajkarnikar, Director of Programs, Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Mr. DevBahadur Ale,Nepal Steering committee member, Mr. Bibhuti Bista, Country Evaluator of Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-building shared striking findings of the evaluation. He also clarified on the various factors, principles, overarching findings, and the key recommendation derived from the evaluation work. The thought that ‘peace-building involving children and youth should be a cross cutting issue in the development process’ was echoed during his presentation.
Representative of Local Evaluation Team (LET) of four districts too shared their experiences of working in evaluation including Mr. Sher Bahadur Thapa, LET coordinator Rolpa, Mr. Hem Raj Joshi, LET coordinator Doti, LET member from Mahottari, Mr. Akwar Ansari. Another LET member from Nawaparasi, Ms. Jamuna Kharel shared that the evaluation process gave them an in depth and wide knowledge on the involvement of youth in peace-building which they were priory unaware about. She expressed her happiness that her engagement in local organization led her to become the member of US embassy, youth advisory committee. Each of them requested all key stakeholders and concerned agencies to ‘implement the recommendations of the findings and recommended to have policies that promote youth and children involvement in the village, district and national level.’
The partnership has been able to publish a national evaluation report with major eight findings with recommendations. Mr. Deepak Sharma General Secretary of JCYCN stated that peace building is incomplete without the meaningful involvement of youth and children in peace-building stressed upon the implementation of the recommendations. The program was concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr.Suresh Thakur, President of Youth Network for Peace and Development (YNPD) Mahottari and also members of Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peace-building. He encouraged partner organization and influential government stakeholders to address peace-building from a practical lens. He also stressed on building a practice in evaluation that involved target audiences, to ensure the practicality of the issue.
Major finding of the 8 principles that determine the quality of child and youth participation in peace building were as follows:
- In some initiatives information is effectively shared among children and youth but not in others. in general there is less transparent information sharing by adults with children, than with youth.
- Some child and youth clubs and initiatives are making efforts to include males and females from diverse caste, ethnic and religious background.
- Clubs provided important opportunities for males and females to collaborate with one another.
- More efforts that are systematic are needed to assess and address protection and security risk that may be faced when children and youth participate in peace-building with particular attention to challenges faced by girls and young women.
- Increased investment in inter-generational partnerships involving youth, children and adults is required to enhance collaboration and accountability.
- In some initiatives, there is insufficient accountability to children and youth, particularly younger children from both their peers and adults.
- Children and youth emphasized the need to establish legal provisions for child and youth participation in the local peace committees ant the VDC , district and central levels.
Based upon the above findings, a set to specific recommendations have been developed for concerned agencies, which are:
- Political authorities to develop policies and procedures to support representation and meaningful participation of youth and children in Local Peace Committees
- Community members to stop discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, gender, disability, age and other factors and collaborate with children and youth to prevent and address different forms of discrimination and to help build social cohesion and peace in the community
- Agencies working on peace-building or child/youth related programs should support inter-generational dialogue and capacity building of children and the youth in peace-building, including training in conflict analysis and conflict management, peace building, non-violent communication, child/women/human rights
- Children and Youth should increase efforts to support gender sensitivity and inclusive participation of child ad youth from Dalit, Janajati and children/youth with disabilities, in their club and peace building activities.
- Female and males form diverse backgrounds should be meaningfully involved in the planning, budget allocation, implementation and monitoring of their peace-building activities.
- The media should disseminate information regarding child and youth participation and peace-building efforts to increase awareness and encourage positive support among children, youth and members of the public.
Donors should mainstream peace-building in their programmes, they should invest in vocational skill training, and income generation programmes for female and male youth especially the most marginalized.