Call for Papers: Participation of Youth in Ukrainian Politics.

Terms of Reference

Assignment title: Call for policy paper ‘Participation of Youth in Ukrainian Politics’ (tentative title)

Reporting language: English and Ukrainian

Expected duration: Three months


The Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD) is a democracy assistance organization that promotes the deepening of democracy through interparty dialogue and capacity strengthening of political parties. Based in Georgia and Ukraine, EECMD is affiliated with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), the organisation which works with over 200 political parties in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Caucasus. Together with the political parties and the local implementing partners, EECMD contributes to inclusive and stable political systems in these countries. Furthermore, EECMD assists political parties to become more responsive and policy-focused. Special attention is paid to empowering members of marginalized groups. To foster the democratic culture in a country, EECMD also provides political education programs that focus on democratic values, knowledge and skills.


About the project

EECMD invites Ukrainian think-tanks, academics, policy analysts and practitioners with an expertise in modern political party studies to contribute policy paper for the upcoming EECMD publication on participation of youth in Ukrainian politics. Based on the general scope of the paper, the pre-selected authors/organizations shall submit a draft paper proposal for further consultations with and final approval by EECMD. The authors of the published papers will be invited to speak at a presentation discussion organized in the framework of the project.



According to the law of Ukraine “On Promotion of Social Formation and Development of Ukrainian Youth”, youth are defined as Ukrainian citizens from 14 to 35 years. The United Nations characterize this age group as a dynamic force, change-maker and catalyzer of innovations. They create a favorable environment for social and political transformation of the society.

Although youth represent around a fifth of the world’s population, its participation in politics depends largely on the political, socioeconomic and cultural contexts. In Ukraine, a dangerous tendency was revealed in the nationwide poll conducted by the New Europe Center and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in 2017: most young Ukrainians are disinterested in politics. The reasons could be various: from a negative perception of politics to a high centralization of state which complicates mobility for young leaders.

To engage youth in politics, political parties create “wings”, youth divisions which act as “social elevators” and an entry ticket for young people to government institutions. The practice being widespread in the EU countries, it should be still explored in Ukraine to examine whether youth have a necessary political platform to play a role in Ukraine’s development.


Objective of the paper

The paper aims at examining the functioning of youth wings of Ukrainian political parties and analyzing their role in party structure as well as access to politics. Furthermore, its objective is to examine the policies of Ukrainian parties towards youth and their forms of communication and engagement with young leaders. The paper should also highlight the innovations observed in cooperation of Ukrainian political parties with youth and, in case of the absence of sustained efforts by Ukrainian political parties to engage more young people – discuss what discourages political parties from involving young political activists in their work. In addition, it should reflect on a question as to what extent the existence of “youth wings” represents an effective vehicle for providing real access to politics to young people.


Scope of the paper

The role of youth in politics shall be analyzed from different perspectives – structural and political.

Structural perspective focuses on analyzing the functioning of a youth wing, its organisation and coordination with a mother party. Innovations, the ways a political party engages youth in its work should be considered under this perspective.

Political perspective represents a realist approach to assess a real decision-making power of a youth wing, its ability to influence and shape policies. It shall examine whether a political party has commitments to involve youth in politics; and in case there is absence of political will to do so, it shall dwell on possible reasons for this alienation.

More specifically, the paper shall examine:

  • Organizational structure of the youth wings and their relations/coordination with parties including in terms of funding and financial arrangements to encourage and enhance youth participation
  • Participation of young politicians in elections as candidates from political parties
  • Participation of young politicians in regulatory activities;
  • Youth policies developed by a party itself based on the studies of the programmes of political parties, their activities and communication targeted at young people
  • Where applicable, elaborating interesting and relevant proposals in this regard
  • Finally, based on research and the discussions undertaken in the framework of the development of this paper, providing the analysis of the best available, realistic intervention strategies that democracy assistance organizations can adopt to facilitate participation of youth in politics and improve their access to power


Submission procedure

The policy paper proposal must include research methods (where applicable), an outline and the timetable of suggested activities in the course of its development, a tentative outline of the paper, a working bibliography and the timetable for producing a paper (deadline for the 1st draft and the approximate time required to complete the paper after comments from EECMD). Early drafts will be peer-reviewed and the authors requested to consider the comments and suggestions before submitting the final versions.

The applicants shall also provide a breakdown of fees/costs related to the development of this paper.

The final paper shall be provided in both Ukrainian and English languages and shall not exceed the length of 6,500 words in English with the inclusion of references.

A policy paper proposal of maximum 500 words and the author’s CV/organization’s profile must be submitted by 27 April, 2018 in English. Please, e-mail both documents to Kyrylo Tretiak at The submissions will be reviewed by EECMD and successful applicants will be notified.


The organization/authors of the approved proposals will be offered a fixed honorarium/fee as well as the coverage of related institutional and organizational costs.