Engaging, Empowering, and Enabling Youth to Lead Social Action in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

This study is the result of over four years of active collaboration between the Poverty, Violence and Governance Lab (PovGov) and the Rio-based NGO Agency for Youth Networks (hereafter, Agency). What began in 2012 as an informal conversation between PovGov researchers and the program’s founder and director, Marcus Faustini, led to a solid partnership that has produced not only this research but also opportunities for engagement through events both in California and in Rio de Janeiro. A central objective of PovGov’s research agenda is to assess and disseminate knowledge about initiatives and policies seeking to benefit socially vulnerable populations throughout Latin America. Agency’s target population – namely, young people from the favelas and peripheries of Rio de Janeiro who often find themselves unemployed, out of school, and exposed to high levels of violence – being of great relevance to PovGov’s work.