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Young Nigerians at the National Day of Action demanding the passage of the #NTYTR Bill.

Champions and change-makers

Case studies of young leaders addressing inequality and promoting accountability in their communities


Young people’s exclusion from the democratic processes that drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a threat to their achievement.

Young people were actively involved in the development of the SDGs. They are key to ensuring that implementation policies remain true to this vision. Involving progressive young people and their movements is an important part of the transformation that the SDGs envision. Young people and youth movements are part of shaping the alternative solutions that are needed to move past “business as usual”. This can include pushing for more inclusive policies and laws, fighting for better working conditions and public services, and mobilising citizens around climate change.

This compilation of case studies highlights the work of young people and civil society working with or supported by ActionAid. These young change-makers are expanding the space for youth participation in governance. They are also fighting for inclusion of those who are marginalised due to their age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, sexuality, origin, religion, economic or other status.

Many of these case studies are on a small scale, and changes made may seem far from the broader transformative economic and social changes needed. However, they serve to highlight why it is necessary to include the voices of young people and youth-led civil society in the larger project of SDG implementation. They also show the critical role young people can play in holding governments to account for the SDG commitments.