Reaching and Engaging the Cambodian Youth on Issues of Civic Participation
The Multimedia Initiative for Youth Civic Education in Cambodia’ is a governance project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of its Strengthening Democracy Programme. Renamed to the public as ‘Loy9’, since September 2010, BBC Media Action in Cambodia has been funded by UNDP to reach young people aged 15-24 with key information about democratic institutions and civic participation through this multimedia intervention of TV, radio, online and mobile content and live events. In 2012, UNDP also submitted to the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) a concept note for the extension of the Multimedia Initiative until the end of 2013. As a result, SIDA have also contributed significantly to further funding for Loy9 in 2013.
Media Habits and Information Sources of Youth in Cambodia
Cambodia has the youngest population in Southeast Asia, with up to 30 percent of its 14.7 million people being between 15 and 30 years of age. Many in this young population group, just a few years ago, were found to have little awareness about participation in civic life to address issues concerning them and their community.
That has begun to change, however. Youth have demonstrated greater interest to actively contribute to civic life as well as to promoting a prosperous and equitable future for their country thanks to initiatives such as Loy 9, the multi-media programme on youth civic participation in Cambodia.
The latest study about Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) to measure impacts of the Loy 9 programme has found that most youth in Cambodia are positive about their capacity to participate in civic life. Ninety percent agree they feel brave enough to say what they think and take action in their community. Similarly, 92 per cent agree they feel confident they could get permission from older people in their family to participate in their community. But youth exposed to Loy 9 were more positive about the idea of young people participating in decision-making within their local community. More youth exposed to Loy9 compared to those unexposed agreed that young people should be involved in decision making at the village and commune level (89 percent vs. 84 percent) and young people should become more involved in their commune councils (91 percent vs. 87 percent).