Health Governance: Ensuring Youth Participation in decision making process

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Saad Farooq is a 2nd Year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Health Governance ensures that new policies and technologies are introduced in the pursuit of a better health care system. Empowering young people and ensuring their meaningful participation in decision making processes helps them develop their skills to become effective leaders and also the countries to benefit from their potential.

Engaging young people in decision making activities also creates a sense of belonging in them. This decreases the traditional behavior problems and promotes positive civic actions. Youth if given a proper opportunity can play a significant role in lifting the society whether its related to health or any other sector.

The International Youth Strategy by Amnesty International sets key directions from 2017 to 2020 and provides a framework for implementation of youth work at global, regional and national levels. It envisions young people to play an active role in creating a better world. Hence its important to engage the youth in decision making processes and adequate steps should be taken in this regard.

  • Allocation of funds

Sufficient amount of grants must be alloted for organizations and funding models to support the youth and provide them with maximum opportunities to enhance their skills for health care.

  • Offering of Positions/Jobs

The young people who have interest and experience in the relevant field should be offered roles so that the organization can make use of their energy and enthusiasm.

  • Appreciation of Youth Contribution

The contributions made by the youth in these organizations must be valued and appreciated in order to develop a sense of belonging in them and raise their confidence.

  • Accessibility of Opportunities

The opportunities for the youth must be within their reach such that they should be time friendly as well as the location should be approachable.

  • Acknowledgment of cultural beliefs/values

Youth coming from different cultural backgrounds must be acknowledged in order to ensure their participation in these decision making activities. This helps in connecting a diverse range of youth that would not normally get involved together.

  • Positive Relation between youth and organization

A positive link between the youth and organization will help them learn better Healthcare skills and make key decisions within the organization.

  • Developing sense of security

The organizations should develop trust within the young people in order to create a sense of belonging within them. So that they can work in a comfortable environment.

  • Providing feedbacks

Feedbacks will help the young people be updated and informed about their decision making process and also how to make improvements.

Effective youth participation helps in creating opportunities for the youth to be involved in influencing, designing and contributing to the policy and different health programmes. With recent evidence showing that programmes and activities designed with youth consultation are more effective, we can conclude that youth participation ise not only important for them but also the community.

About the author

Saad Farooq is a 2nd Year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. He is also a member of IFMSA-PAKISTAN. He is an enthusiastic person whose passion is contagious. His hobbies include music and reading. And he dreams of making this world a better place to live for everyone, a world free of sorrow and misery.

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