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Will Young People’s Opinion be Worth for Policy Making?

There might be many challenges related to children’s rights in Indonesia as being published in UNICEF Indonesia Annual Report. But UNICEF Indonesia believes that you as young people could really make a difference. Thus UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab went to Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) in Medan, North Sumatera on 4 November 2016, presenting National Seminar about “Youth and Innovation: The Empowerment of Young People for Social Development in Indonesia”.

We shared a lot of youth engagement program conducted in Indonesia, starting from social innovation projects through Innovation Challenge until participation in policy making through U-Report.

As simple as sharing your opinions through U-Report platform, UNICEF Indonesia could get a better picture on what young people need. The results are then being used as a recommendation for UNICEF’s partners and stakeholders to make national action plans and/or programmes in the future to ensure it will be truly youth-inclusive and representative.

“We are all still very young. When it comes to the policy making, will our opinion be worth compared to the government officials who have had many experiences as well as earned Master, or even Professor Degree?” Edi*, a university student from Medan asked.

It was the most interesting question so far about U-Report.

Dear you, inspiring future leaders! You have to realize that you have the right to participate in development anyway. So speak up, let us know what issue matters to you and how the stakeholders can help making it happen. Because in the end, all policies being made will affect children and youth as the future generation. The other way around, your opinions will surely help stakeholders understand how to make decision better.

Don’t be afraid to share your findings as UNICEF Indonesia has its specialists for each topic being discussed in U-Report platform, be it in education, climate change, nutrition, et cetera. Your opinions are being gathered with other opinions all around Indonesia to be analysed further for understanding the situation better, what went right or wrong, and the trend from the perspective of young people. Then that analysis is finally being shared and discussed with stakeholders. So it all has its process – derived from your opinions.

Up to 150 participants of this National Seminar coming from Medan, Padang, and surround were excited registering themselves as U-Reporters. They experienced the online poll, sharing how young people could raise awareness on tolerance for diversity in terms of racial, culture, or religion. This result was being used as the underlying report by USU Committee as they hold the National Debate Competition under the theme, “Breaking the Barriers” on 5-7 November 2016.

At last, never underestimate yourself because your voice matters!


Join and be proud to be a U-Reporter with UNICEF Indonesia:

See by the numbers how we are engaging youth voices for positive social change.