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From voice to action: building capacity among women leaders in Latin America

Throughout the developing world, young men and women are facing high unemployment and experiencing strong feelings of dissatisfaction with quality of life amid weak governance and institutions, increased political instability, and growing state authoritarianism. These factors make societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization. The strategies in place to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of civil society stakeholders. Populations that suffer most from violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, such as young men and women, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance-related decisions. Nevertheless, youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural, and political issues.

To understand these processes, a closed call for proposals (“Giving youth a voice: promoting spaces for civic engagement, inclusion, and violence reduction in South Asia and Latin America”) was launched in June 2017 to generate knowledge on how to promote civic engagement of youth through social innovation for positive social change.

The aim of this project is to apply and refine the Ciudadano Inteligente’s “School of Incidence” methodology to specifically promote the prevention and reduction of diverse forms of violence affecting youth in Latin America. Ciudadano Inteligente is a regional non-governmental organization based in Chile working to improve transparency, accountability, and civic engagement in public affairs by supporting informed citizen action. It has a long track record of supporting young leaders through the School of Incidence methodology, which includes a combination of face-to-face and distance interventions, as well as an extensive use of new technologies as tools for empowerment. This methodology reduces the costs while expanding the reach of interventions, generating the possibility of scaling up capacity-building initiatives with limited resources.

In this project, specific interventions will include training, tools, and knowledge that enhance leadership capacity to impact public policy debates for 300 practitioners working on gender-related issues in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Training will be principally oriented to young women but may include male participants engaged in gender-related causes. The aim is to build capacity in areas such as social activism, advocacy strategies, gender analysis, community leadership, and evidence-based policy incidence.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
18 months
IDRC Officer
Florencio Ceballos
Total Funding
CA$ 299,900.00
Governance and Justice
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Project Leader
Margarita Maira
Ciudadano Inteligente