Archive for April, 2009
As a follow up to yesterday’s post you can visit the DfID Young Reporters blog at the link below:
And watch some brief interviews with attendees at the DfID Youth Consultation event, including our government minister Ivan Lewis MP and our very own Youth Participation Officer Barbara Soetan, here:
Enjoy!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Back in March, the three Youth Participation Officers based in London, were asked to help facilitate the DfiD White Paper consultation for Youth. The three of us, being interested in development matters and passionate about anything involving young people in a leadership role, jumped at the chance.
DfiD’s new White Paper is called “Eliminating World Poverty; Assuring our common future.” and it outlines four areas to focus on. these include; Climate Change, Global Economic growth and recovery, Conflict and Security and International Institutional reform.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Hello everyone! As our project progresses there is a real sense of momentum around this work, especially now that our colleagues in Uganda and Nepal are on board and have commenced work piloting the guide. Thus I thought it an opportune time to write a couple of posts sharing some information and reflections on the process that has brought us to this point.
The DfID/Civil Society Organisation Youth Advocacy Network (or just ‘The Network for short!) is a collaboration between numerous NGOs working in International Development and Youth Participation and the Equity and Rights team of the UK Department for International Development. Partners including the British Youth Council, the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, Student Partnerships Worldwide, Y-Care (the Development arm of the YMCA) V (A UK organisation developing young volunteers) and many more too numerous to mention here have been active in meetings, working groups and now projects focussed on driving the youth participation agenda into the collective DfID conscious; making sure that young people in the UK and the developing world get more of a proportionate say in the processes and decisions that affect them.
Over the past year or so I have participated as a delegate and a facilitator in numerous meetings of the network and witnessed a part of a number of positive changes. As a result of the ongoing dialogue the network has sustained DfID has
* Funded the production of our ‘Youth Guidance Project’ for National governments and international donor agencies showcasing best practice in youth participation projects across three areas: Governance, Voice and Accountability, HIV/AIDs and Sexual Reproductive Health and Post Conflict Transitions, currently being piloted in Uganda and Nepal.
* Commissioned two pieces of research on Youth Employment and Youth in Conflict and Post Conflict Situations to inform DfID practice.
* Recruited and trained ‘Young Reporters’ to document various key events, including the inaugural DfID conference and the G20, interviewing luminaries such as Bob Geldof (Former Pop star, media mogul and development campaigner, Krishnan Guru Murphy (National Television journalist and presenter) and David Milliband ( British Foreign Secretary) along the way.
* Organised a youth specific 1 day consultation, inviting representatives from various youth boards and organisations, including Oxfam GB, Plan UK, Peacechild International, Engineers without Borders, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the DfiD Platform 2 Youth Volunteering scheme. Participants discussed the themes of the new DfID White Paper laying out new directions in Development policy and the G20 event that took place in London this month and presented their own views and recommendations to DfID staff and ministers. (Look out for a more detailed post on this to follow!)
I feel privileged to have been a part of this work so far and look forward to seeing the developments that lie ahead as the network continuines to push youth issues higher on the agenda of key decision makers in DfID.
Please stay in touch with our particular project wherever you may be in the world via this blog and share your feedback, ideas and suggestions on youth participation with us!
Looking forward to hearing from you
DerekRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
At the end of February; Barbara, Derek and Hannah held their Focus groups at various locations in London.
Barbara’s focus group was held at the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and the topic was “Youth, Conflict, Peace Building and the Role of Donor Agencies.”
Barbara said; “The focus group discussion represented a consultative opportunity to engage with the Youth Guidance Project and its approach to working with and for young people in development, particularly in relation to “Post-Conflict Transitions and Youth Civic Participation”. The focus group looked at the importance of youth civic participation within pre-conflict countries for donor agencies; exploring issues of social exclusion and marginalisation as key barriers to young people becoming peacebuilders.”
“Was a very interactive session. Diverse ideas and opinions really came up and enriched my horizon” (Focus Group Participant)
Derek’s focus group was held at the British Youth Council and the focus was “Youth Participation: Governance, Voice and Accountability”
Derek said “The group was a nice mixture of people from different backgrounds and experiences which meant that a good rapport was built amongst participants. Through the duration of the discussions, the group remained engaged and gave equal contributions to the sessions.
I felt that for me the Roadmap analogy really was really useful in fully unpacking the role of donor agencies and the need to bridge the gap between them and youth participation. This was useful, as the stronger focus of the group discussions was on looking at preventative measures (pre-conflict) that donor agencies could work on.
Though I had a small group, I felt that I was really able to engage them in the project and manage expectations accordingly. The fact that participants were happy to contribute to the process and show an interest in joining the other focus groups later that week was also testament to the utility of creating a platform for such a unique dialogue to take place. “
Hannah’s focus group was held at Unicef Uk and focused on “Youth Participation in HIV and AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health.”
Hannah said ” For me, the focus group was all about encouraging the Young people attending to enter into an open dialogue about HIV and Sexual health and to gain an idea of what young people thought about projects that donor agencies were running and how engaged they were in sexual and reproductive health programmes.
I had concerns that often when you get young people together to talk about these issues there are some prejudices that people have been exposed to. To have real, meaningful Youth Participation in Sexual and Reproductive health projects is something which is vital to the health of the world’s population and I was so excited that the young people involved were able to explore the issues and ideas central to this.”
Below you can see pictures and videos from the focus groups.
Our learnings from the three sessions have influenced our work on the project in a number of ways. Firstly, we all felt it was important to have some real youth participation in the project, which is all about Youth participation! To be able to share some of our initial ideas and findings and gain some new perspectives on these was really helpful and I think we all appreciated the way in which all the young people involved were engaged and interested in what we were doing.
We’d like to say a massive Thank You to everyone involved.
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On the 17 April 2009 we began the process of launching the second pilot project in Nepal.
The aims of the workshop were to:
1. To inform key partners regarding the aims of the Youth Guidance Project. Notably, to pilot and test selected and manageable resources related to youth participation over a 10 month period, which will add value to ongoing initiatives (or those in the pipeline). These may be both initiatives already focusing on youth, or those where youth involvement has not yet been sought.
2. Increased awareness on youth participation issues and commitment built towards taking action in this area.
3. Collaborative discussion involving mulitlaterals, bilaterals, CSOs, youth representatives & government representatives on scoping the potential strategic opportunities for youth participation in policy, planning or programmes. For details of the workshop please see the presentation.
Some good initial discussions were had by all, and strong foundations set for the future. Please see the Workshop Minutes for outcomes and a list of participants.
Thank you to all who participated.
Sarah and the Team (including Samrat, our Nepali Youth Participation officer in the photo below)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )