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ELECT! - Elections & Citizenship Today
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of the training course ‘ELECT! Elections and Citizenship Today’ is to foster a shared understanding between youth NGOs in Europe about democracy-building and the role of elections in enhancing active citizenship. During six training days the participants will engage with various aspects of democracy-building and will use the case of electoral processes to discuss both why and how conceptions of democracy and citizenship diverge between different national and local contexts and how youth NGOs can strengthen their work in better engaging in democratic life in the event of elections (for instance, through advocacy work, events or by empowering marginalized group in voting or participating in elections). To this end, the participants will first discuss how various civic, social and political structures related to elections foster various conceptions of democracy and citizenship and what impact these diverging conceptions has on strengthening or hampering transnational cooperation in the context of democracy-building in Europe. Starting from this conceptual groundwork the participants will throughout the training course engage in various activities, such as an election observation course, an excursion to the Danish Parliament to meet with younger politicians, drafting advocacy plans for their NGOs and collaborative project proposals as well as meeting with two specialists in communication and advocacy from Danish NGOs. The training course will draw on informal and experimental learning methods (simulation games and role plays, working and buzz groups, brainstorming, wall writing and experience-sharing) to build up a conceptual grid for collaborative project proposals and to explore the practical needs and skills required to strengthen the role and participation of youth NGOs in local, national and/or European electoral process and structures.

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