Part 3: Our process
In 2007 DFID commissioned an international situational assessment of their work with and for youth. This was the catalyst for the Youth Guidacne Project. Please click here to view the DFID Youth-Mapping Study_Oct 2007.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
As this project has been rather unusual – in its participatory approach to producing a Guide - it was crucial that the YGP Team and partners were given the opportunity to reflect and learn from the process. Parts of the evaluation will be acknowledged in Part 3 of the Guide.
We also hope that this will be a useful resource for colleagues hoping to develop national guides, conduct Sharing and Learning Networks and use/ adapt any aspect of the project.
The report was written by a young development Masters student over a period of 12 days, and thus offers initial insight.
Please click here for the YGP Evaluation Report Final 6-1-10 MK.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
In December 2009 and January 2010 the YGP Team (led by our Youth Participation Officers) conducted small focus groups in Nepal, Uganda and the UK.
The aims being to:
- Raise awareness of the guide
- Elicit feedback on format and content from a youth perspective
- Generate ideas for next steps in maximising value of guide (uptake and use)
We hope that the reports will be useful for wider initiatives working with young people, as there are many useful reflections from across the three countries. Thank you to those that participated!
SarahRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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 OfficerRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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.
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.
Ugandan Youth Participation Officer
Please click here for the Draft – SLN 4 Ug report 17-11-09.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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….Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
One of the key challenges of the future for Uganda’s youth is youth unemployment. Reversing this trend is a major challenge for any developing country, more so for Uganda which has an upright population pyramid with a high dependency ratio. According to the state of Uganda population report 2006, over the past two decades, youth have continued to form a broad base of the population. In 2003 World Bank statistics where showing that Uganda’s overall unemployment rate stood at 3.2 percent, whilst that of youth (15-24) stood at a whopping 22.3 percent.
During this third session of the Sharing and Learning Network (SLN) we have been able to discuss this topic at length with youth activists from CSOs and Donor agencies who have a diverse knowledge and experience in working with youth, particularly in creating entrepreneurship opportunities.
After this session I wish to note that I have personally come to understand that investing in young people is not only a social obligation, but makes economic sense. Young people’s involvement in planning and in all processes of policy formulation is therefore paramount.
Unlike other sessions, we did not only structure questions around the theme for the group to follow, but allowed the participants to generate their own questions for the working groups. This was intended to enable the audience to discuss the key issues for them in relation to engaging youth in improving employment policies and practices.
The questions generated were:. 1) “How should the young people be involved in policy formulation and implementation”; 2) “What are the gaps and issues in Uganda’s draft employment policy’; and 3) To identify initiatives that engage youth in improving their employment opportunities (for both mini discussion groups).
We where also informed by one of the participants that in 2005 Uganda became a lead country of the ILO/UN/World Bank Youth Employment Network, which has contributed towards the development of the National Action Plan for Youth Employment. A comprehensive draft National Employment Policy is currently before the cabinet waiting to be adopted. With ILO support Uganda is pursuing an integrated policy on youth employment which addresses three key priority areas: poverty reduction, elimination of child labour and mitigating the socio-economic impact of HIV/AIDS at the work place.
Please click here to see the report on Draft SLN 3 Report Ug 14-10-09.
Sammy Kavuma, Youth Participation OfficerRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The world has realized the potential inherent in youth. Meaningful youth participation in development has been recognized as something indispensable. Any development project rests upon the foundation of a strong research, and is incomplete without monitoring and evaluation. The third Sharing and Learning Session (SLN III) on “In what ways has an including young people as participants and protagonists in research, monitoring or evaluation added value to our work?” hosted at GTZ Health Sector Support Programme and aimed at:
- Identifying work that relates to research and M&E involving young people.
- Identifying how youth have been involved in the process and its effect on the research and M&E?
- The challenges/successes faced whilst working with youth in research, monitoring and evaluation?
- The lesson learnt while involving youth in research and M&E?
The session started with a presentation on how youth were involved in the research titled “Assessment of Status of Youth in Nepal” jointly carried out by Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nepal Planning Commission, Save the Children and AYON. Following the presentation, the participants were divided into two groups. Group I comprised of the younger participants while the other group of adults. The most interesting part of this workshop was to see the perspectives on youth that each group presented. It is anticipated that the mapping exercise on “who is doing what” will create effective collaboration among agencies and decrease duplicity. The participants’ feedback on the SLN also reflected that the network building for future collaboration was one reason for attending the SLNs.
The findings based on experience that participants shared whilst working with youth in research, monitoring and evaluation included:
- While implementing youth related projects it is essential to involve young people as young people have better understanding of youth issues and youth open-up to youth more easily.
- Youth always look forward to working in a team, but it is also necessary that the job responsibility be clearly divided.
- Once hired young people might have expectations to be rehired as a staff. Therefore organizational policies should be made clear.
- Youth are highly mobile, and contracts for only a few working days which span a long period of time risk facing a turn over of young consultants.
Definitely, there is a long way to go in terms of involving youth as protagonists in research, monitoring and evaluation. But, with the learning that each of us have gathered, all future works will be made smoother. Like it is said “Learn from the mistakes of other, we do not live long enough to make them all ourselves”. I am sure the SLNs are serving as a forum to help us move more smoothly in achieving our organizational goals.
Please click here, to see the Draft SLN_III_Report 13-10-09.
Samrat Katwal, Youth Participation OfficerRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
One of Nepal’s greatest post conflict challenges is how to provide for and engage with its young labour force. In a country where 46% of young people aged 20-24 are ‘highly underutilized’ (according to the Nepal Labour Force Survey, 2008) much more needs to be done by the government and all development partners to halt a growing number of disaffected youth.
As a young Nepali, I believe one of the major obstacles to creating & maintaining jobs is the numerous numbers of bandhs (strikes) that threaten industries and the economy in Nepal. Every year it is estimated that 300,000 people enter the job market, and yet many questions remain: Are these youth ready to face the challenges that the market will be imposing on them? Are educated youth capable of writing a CV and confident in facing an interview? Are the less educated young people equipped with vocational skills?
The DFID-CSO Youth Guidance Project, in a small way aimed to unpack some of these difficult questions surrounding youth, and the lack of their participation towards employment policy and programming. The second ‘Sharing & Learning Network’ (SLN) session was hosted by DFID Nepal on 20 August and the participants (from a range of donor organizations and CSOs) focused on garnering information on these three questions:
- Do employment policies in Nepal make specific reference to youth and were they involved in the process?
- What initiatives (programmes) have government Ministries, donors and CSOs been implementing in order to engage youth in improving their employment opportunities and what can we learn from them?
- How has engaging youth improved policy/practice outcomes and influenced decision makers?
Yet, there are windows of opportunity. One of the participants at the SLN II, Basanti Pariyar (an intern at DFID) informed me that her internship has helped her understand how policies affect development, and how she is also learning office skills for her future employment. Basanti comes from Chitwan and she recently joined DFID Nepal at the beginning of August, and she is eager to learn more. With hundreds of youth leaving their homes in search for jobs Basanti feels privileged to find herself at DFID Nepal. She believes that the experience will help her future career, and encourages more organizations to offer such opportunities.
Basanti shared with me that “before the ‘Sharing and Learning Network’ I didn’t understand the youth employment scenario in Nepal, I now have a good insight into their situation through the experiences shared by development organizations trying to improve the situation of youth in Nepal”. She also wonders what the youth themselves think of the employment scenario that affects them, and encourages a national study to be undertaken.
So, the SLN enabled us to begin to examine the challenges and potential solutions regarding youth and employment. Key lessons learnt form the SLN included:
- The need to reinvigorate values of dignity and pride relating to types of labor among youth.
- The importance of designing comprehensive interventions that provide not just vocational skill training, but also life skills, and business and marketing skills.
- Designing employment programmes in a way that does not cause conflict is crucial. For example through the involvement of youth themselves in designing the projects and reviewing them.
- Employment policy should directly acknowledge the youth cohort and directly address their needs through a sector wide approach.
- Focusing on specific youth target groups, such as conflict affected youth or internally displaced young people.
These were some of the common lessons that the participants felt could improve the youth employment scenario in Nepal. Definitely, there is a lot still to do on creating youth employment opportunities and employability in order to sustain peace in Nepal. It’s up to us as to whether we make a mountain of it – or a mole hill.
For the report please click here: Draft SLN 2 Nepal Report (Updated 04/09/09)
Nepal Youth Participation OfficerRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Uganda Sharing and Learning Network (SLN) on “How to reach out to Marginalised Youth” was the first out of four sessions (to be held by the end of November 2009) by the DFID – CSO Youth Guidance Project Team. SLN 1 was held on the 30th July 2009 at the World Bank offices in Kampala, during which we had a number of representatives from different organisations (both Institutional donors and CSOs) who reflected upon and shared their expertise and experience on the topic at hand.
During this session we began the process of unpacking how marginalised youth are defined in Uganda, as well as listing challenges encountered whilst working with marginalised youth, and how they can be solved or proposed solutions. After a key note presentation aimed at getting the participants reflective powers engaged, we then broke up into three smaller groups to discuss 3 key areas:
1) How to define marginalised youth in the Ugandan context
2) An overview of organisations work which reaches out to marginalised youth groups
3) A discussion of challenges and solutions to improve outreach to marginalised youth sub groups
Each group presented back on one of the topics above, which was then wrapped up with key learning’s, such as the importance of involving young marginalised people in the design of programmes and interventions aimed at them. My personal learning’s from the session were:
- That outreach to marginalised youth groups can be improved, particularly in relation to groups of young people in the North of Uganda in the Karamoja region who are unemployed or out of school.
- It also became clear to me that amongst this new working group or ‘community of practice’ that there are solutions amongst us all towards the challenges we face working with youth: one clear solution is to make sure that we engage with local communities when working with youth. Youth should not be treated as an isolated target group, otherwise we may continue to reinforce stigma for the groups we are trying to support!
Finally, by bringing different organisations together who have expertise in working with youth I was inspired. It gave me increased confidence in taking forward and leading the remaining sessions.
Uganda Youth Participation OfficerRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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