Archive for November, 2009

Youth and Political Participation in Nepal: SLN 4

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Part 2: Case studies and Resources, Part 3: Our process |

Before the Peace Agreement in 2006 and since then youth remain at the forefront of political change in Nepal. The largest political parties have always been the ones with the largest youth base. The nineteen days pro-peace agitation that reinstated democracy saw thousands of youth mobilised. Many of those who are engaged in non partisan development initiatives that are trying to tackle political issues such as unemployment and better education realise the importance of the youth demographic. But for many with little direct contact with young people, youth participation in political processes is simply only viewed as synonymous with violent demonstrations in the streets.  This is narrow and negative viewpoint – often propagated by media.

The fourth and final YGP Sharing and Learning Workshop (SLN) on “How have young people been involved in influencing the new political process in a positive way (i.e. in relation to voters’ registration, constitution building, influencing policies, etc)? What can we learn?” was hosted at DFID Nepal, and the conventional image of youth participation in political processes as simply rioters was challenged. The SLN aimed to unpack the following questions:

  • What initiatives (programmes) have donors, CSOs, government Ministries been implementing in order to engage youth in influencing the political process? How have youth been involved in the process? How has engaging youth affected outcomes?
  • What challenges/successes have we faced whilst working with youth on political processes?
  • What lessons have we learnt whilst involving youth in political processes i.e. solutions to challenges?

The participating youth at SLN IV shared examples of how they had been influencing political processes in a positive way. Alliance for Peace and Youth Initiative shared profound examples on how young people have raised awareness in over 30 districts on the importance of how and why they should vote in the 2008 elections (you can listen to a jingle the group created here) and what the role of the constituent assembly is in forming a new constitution for Nepal. In addition, these youth organizations have lobbied all major political parties to enable more young candidates to stand for representation at Parliament. This information on positive youth engagement in political processes – that is otherwise never visible was highlighted during the SLN IV.  However, it was also realised that for youth to influence political change there is a need to be more strategic in partnering with key-allies and more collaborative amongst ourselves. At this pivotal time of political transition youth need to make their voices heard and suggest approaches and mechanisms that they can support the government and donors with implementing youth rights within the new constitution. Not simply just saying our needs are not being met! It’s a careful balance –   we shouldn’t be so loud that possible partners have to shut their ears, and similarly not so soft that they can’t hear!

Samrat Katwal, Youth Participation Officer

Please click here to read the draft SLN 4 report.

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SLN 4 Uganda: Youth Led Monitoring & Evaluation

Posted on November 17, 2009. Filed under: Part 2: Case studies and Resources, Part 3: Our process |

It was on this day of 12th November 2009 when we held our last and fourth sharing and learning network, during which participants dug deep on the topic  “In what ways has including young people as participants in monitoring and evaluation added value to our work?” The out comes of this session gave a number of answers to how young people can be involved in M&E and the value added. DSCN1025

Therefore it is important to recognise that Monitoring and evaluation are tools that make it possible to identify and measure the results of projects, programs or policies. If I am to be specific monitoring provides regular information on how things are working. So whilst young people are beneficiaries of our projects, it’s also important that we are participating in M&E processes. This provides empowerment and experience, but also makes us appreciate the work being done. During an evaluation we get the opportunity to objectively measure the results of a program or a policy; enabling us to asses its relevance, coherence, effectiveness, as well as sustainability.

Participants at the SLN were a mix of Donors and CSOs who had experience of M&E as professionals and also working with young people. I was able to learn how different institutions have involved young people in Monitoring and Evaluation processes by either leading the process or working with them as partners. The following are some of the key lessons learnt:

  • Youth need sufficient training on the tools to be used
  • It is important to use youth friendly tools and local languages
  • Appreciation packages such as certificates need to be considered, this is important for young people because it makes them feel part of the process.
  • It was also noted that involvement of young people in this process can be cost effective compared to using professionals.
  • It leads to getting the right data since it is more likely that youth will share sensitive information with their fellow peers rather than adults

The discussions were sparked off by a key note presentation from SPW Uganda on how they have been able to involve young people in M&E processes. During this session we were able to break down some of the challenges faced whilst involving young people and how they can be overcome.  We also discussed some of the successes achieved and how working with youth has added value to organisations’ work.

This fourth SLN on YGP ended with a very important session of reviewing some of the parts of the draft guide. We considered specific parts of the case studies and next steps. Participants where taken through a series of case studies on how to use the guide.

Sammy

Ugandan Youth Participation Officer

Please click here for the Draft – SLN 4 Ug report 17-11-09.

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Some YPO Reflections

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: Part 3: Our process, Reflections and Questions |

It’s over 9 months since we began work on the Youth Guidance project and there has been an immense amount to learn; numerous meetings, phone calls, emails and late nights writing case studies have brought us this far. With a first draft completed and plans underway for the final version and its launch we are somewhere around three quarters of the way through the pilot process. This provides another opportunity to reflect on learning drawn from the experience to date.

Challenges & pleasant surprises include:

  • It has sometimes been difficult to locate thorough, balanced information once you scratch beneath the surface and marketing gloss, and probe for substantial evidence.
  • Sometimes our existing network from (youth participation circles) has proved useful, but the most rewarding contact has been with helpful people all over the world taking a few minutes to support the process and share the information we need. This reinforces the feeling of being part of something bigger internationally and broadens the scope of the project.
  • As a part time consultant to the project it has occasionally been difficult to keep up with the requirements of the project schedule, and to respond to strategic imperatives, particularly with so many important perspectives and ideas to consider from different stakeholders (for example colleagues, committee members, external NGOs and individuals).

Its certainly been an interesting experience and a fantastic opportunity to learn more about youth participation at an international level….

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Advertisement – Evaluator Required

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: Updates and News |

Project Background: The DFID/CSO Youth Guidance Project

Students Partnership Worldwide (SPW) is seeking to recruit an Evaluator to conduct a small evaluation on the process of producing the Donor Youth Participation Guide to date. This is an important aspect of the Youth Guidance Project which aims to develop, pilot and disseminate guidance and resources to Donor Agency country offices on how to meaningfully engage young people in their work alongside the implementation of core plans and strategies (for example, DFID’s Social Exclusion policy). The project is a collaboration between DFID and a range of civil society partners, also seeking to engage a number of other Donor Agencies (e.g., World Bank, UNICEF, UNFPA, etc.), with project management being led by SPW through the Project Manager. It represents a strategic opportunity to engage with and support major institutional donors in developing a more effective approach to working with and for young people in development.

The Evaluator’s role will be a full time position for 12 days mid December 2009. The Evaluator will need to have a significant amount of experience in writing evaluation reports and contacting and interviewing individuals. In addition, s/he will need to be committed to working with young people in the area of youth participation.

Job Description: Evaluator

The evaluator will be responsible for gathering feedback & exploring the answers to the following questions:

1.      How effective was the institutional set up i.e. team hosted within SPW, steering committee, YPOs in allowing the voices of young people to be heard & to influence the project & the guide?

2.      What could have been done differently to make (1) even better?

3.      What are the lessons learned about trying to get time-bound product (the guide) produced through this fairly complex arrangement?

4.      Did the work in the two pilot countries (the SLNs) add value to the process?  In what ways?  What could have been done differently to enhance work in the pilot countries?

5.      How useful where the SLN meetings in a) identifying important lessons learned, b) engaging a  wide range of donors on an issue, c) bringing youth voice and agency into the dialogue

6.      Where the three major ‘sectors’ identified for the Guide’s focus appropriate?

7.      Are donors (other than DFID) engaged with the guide?   What was their role?  How do they see the guide being utilized in their organizations when it’s finalized?

8.      What has DFID learned during the process of this project?  Should the project have been set up differently?  What aspects of the process would they change if doing it again?

9.      How did engaging young people throughout the process improve/benefit the end product i.e. what was their value added?

Based on the questions above, the evaluator will be responsible for writing an evaluation report (maximum 20 pages) on the process of producing the Guide in line with the Project matrix (log frame) and monitoring guidelines. This will include:

a.      Designing & interviewing (via phone/email) a selection of members of the UK Project Committee, & UK Youth Participation officers (in discussion with the Project Manager). Based on earlier feedback, to include: meeting minutes & YPO expectation sheets. Anticipated to be 3 days work.

b.      Designing & interviewing a selection of members from the Uganda and Nepal Sharing & Learning Networks & country based youth participation officers (and DFID & SPW staff as appropriate). Based on earlier feedback/expectations, to include: SLN 3 forms, SLN 4 review & YPO expectation sheets. Anticipated to be 4 days work.

c.   Structuring & writing the evaluation report (in discussion with the Project     Manager). Key areas, which relate to Part 3 of the Guide include: YPO learning’s       & donor future recommendations for implementation. Expected to be 5 days      work.

Personal Requirements

The Evaluator will need:

·         Be an enthusiastic, pro-active advocate for Youth Participation & Youth led development

·         Have a significant amount of practical experience in evaluations and writing youth focused development reports.

Time frame & location of job

·         The Evaluator will start on 7 December 2009 and work until 20 December 2009 (covering a period of 12 days).

·         The physical location of work for the evaluator will be discussed and agreed at the outset of the consultancy. It is assumed that the evaluator will visit SPW offices to be debriefed on all tasks, and combine a mixture of working from the SPW offices with working from their place of choosing.

Payment for Services

·         The Evaluator will be employed as a consultant to SPW, and will receive payment for successful consulting services at the end of December for £1440 (for 12 days full time work £120/day).

Application process

Please email your CV (no more than 2 pages) with a one page cover letter, which explains your suitability for the job (to include the name, email address & telephone number of 2 references). Please email to the Project Manager, Sarah Huxley at: youthguidanceproject@spw.org

Closing date: 10am Tuesday 17th November 2008.

Interviews: Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at SPW in Westminster, London on 20 November 2009. The successful candidate will start on Monday 7 December 2009.

 

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Peer Education and SRH Approaches…

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: Part 2: Case studies and Resources, Post-Conflict Transitions, SRH & HIV |

One of our case studies is of YEAH (Young Empowered and Healthy) Uganda, a youth orientated SRH organisation working on a regional and national level. This document is the current campaign strategy for the ‘True Manhood’ Campaign launched earlier this year. It provides an insight into YEAH’s approach across its work as well as to the specific context and objectives of this specific initiative.

True_Manhood_Strategy

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