Social Science Baha



Joint Regional Conference: Governing Youth in South Asia

22-24 September, 2013, Kathmandu

Investigation into issues that are of core importance for youth is a major challenge not only for policy makers and development partners but also for academics. By their sheer numbers, youth is a core constituency and the provision of services part­icularly to this group is crucial in order to support them for setting up their lives, both pro­fessional and personal. Ideally, Youth Surveys not only aim at investigating into the roles of young people as economically and politically active citizens but also at strengthening youth policies. This also implies allowing them to have, and supporting them in having, a critical interest in inclusive democratic governance and active participation in (re-)formulating policies that are of crucial relevance to them, such as health, education, and access to labour markets.

To achieve this goal, a few research organisations in South Asia have taken the initiative to set up a regional network. These include Colombo University, the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) of BRAC University in Dhaka, the Social Science Baha in Kathmandu, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in New Delhi, as well as the Delhi Office of the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University. By doing so, we aim at providing a crucial forum for policy makers, development partners and scholars engaged in this field. Our first Joint Regional Conference was held at Colombo University in March 2012, (co-)funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in New Delhi, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), UNICEF, and the Affiliated Network of Social Accountability (ANSA South Asia) in Dhaka. The 40 participants included members from nearly all South Asian countries (Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan), and comprised of development partners, as well as policy makers, youth organisations and members from the Sri Lankan Youth Parliament, and scholars from the South Asian region and from Germany.

The second Joint Regional Conference will be held in Kathmandu on 22-24th September 2013. The topics to be addressed are inclusive democracy and post-conflict situations, health and education, access to labour markets (see below). Again, we aim at including participants from across the region, and allow them to critically address and discuss youth policies of their respective countries. In addition, we will also present further findings from the Sri Lankan and Bangladesh Youth Surveys and discuss how similar surveys could be carried out in Nepal and elsewhere in the region. Ideally, this Conference will also contribute to setting up the network at a regional level, comprising of researchers, policy makers and development partners.

The conference is scheduled for two and a half days. The opening session and the key note address (day 1) will be open to a wider public, in order to attract appropriate media coverage. This will also include members from civil society and youth federations, as well as policy makers from the core ministries (Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health). The thematic sessions (day 2 and 3) will include about 40 participants comprising of scholars, policy makers and development partners from South Asian countries and those with a research and policy interest in Youth in South Asia. This Call for Papers will be disseminated to the partners of the network and to universities across the region and international universities with a focus on South Asian studies (SOAS, Heidelberg, Edinburgh, Oslo, Vienna). For the opening session of the conference we plan to invite a prominent scholar from Europe as the key note speaker. 

List of Panels
Youth as Active Partners for Inclusive Democracy
Youth in Post-conflict Countries
Youth and their Right to Health and Education
Youth and their Search for Decent Employment
Youth Surveys – Contested Methodologies
Governing Youth in South Asia

Submission of abstracts
Scholars, policy makers, and development partners who are interested in presenting papers are kindly requested to submit their abstracts. 

Interested individuals are asked to submit an abstract of 400-500 words, a brief bio-note of 120-150 words, and 2-3 publications.

Please send proposals to by 20 May, 2013 (Monday).

Dates to remember
1. Submission deadline for abstracts: 20 May, 2013
2. Notification of acceptance of paper: ca. 15 June, 2013
3. Submission deadline for papers: 15 August, 2013
4. Conference dates: 22-24 September, 2013