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Abstract

This exploratory paper focuses on participation in decision-making processes and how rural youth could benefit from its use in development projects and initiatives. General literature and relevant international experiences related to participation mechanisms aimed at youth show that participation boosts interventions linked to improvements of young people’s livelihoods and developmental opportunities. Participation also makes interventions more responsive to the actual needs of young people. However, participation mechanisms are less explored (and used) in rural settings: we know little of the effectiveness of rural participation, especially for youth, in developing countries. Different contexts associated with varying extents of structural rural transformation call for better understanding of what works on participation/engagement in different rural areas (traditional, transformed, in transition, etc.). There is not a strong conceptual or generally accepted practical guide to youth participation in rural settings and no major discussions on the role of participation in the rural transformation process or about the opportunities to implement participatory approaches to enhance youth opportunities within rural transformation.

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