Participatory Foresight for National Development Planning

How can we include youth and communities in dialogues about the future?

UNGP Finland and UNFPA Colombia in cooperation with the Colombian National Development Planning


In Colombia, a new participatory futures process was launched to ensure that the voices of young people and underrepresented communities are included in citizen consultations for the National Development Plan. The initiative was particularly aimed at indigenous Amazonian and AfroColombian people.

The process began with a training in foresight and innovation for youth leaders to equip them with the necessary skills for co-creating future dialogues. As a result of the successful experiment, a policy proposal was made to integrate a participatory futures approach as a new standard practice in planning.


The experiment provided a safe space for participants who are often overlooked to think about their futures and gain new insight into how to engage with stakeholders when it comes to regional planning.

Key Lessons

  • Engaging with young leaders is essential to building safe spaces for co-creation.
  • Futures and foresight approaches can foster strategic alliances between citizens and the government. 
  • Empowered communities become future shapers of their regions by understanding the planning process.


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