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What Works in Youth Engagement?. Presentation by Cathryn L. Thorup, Ph.D. at the Democracy and Governance Workshop U.S. Agency for International Development June 16, 2005. What is Youth Engagement?. Definitions and Objectives. Youth Civic Engagement Community Service Service Learning.

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what works in youth engagement

What Works in Youth Engagement?

Presentation by Cathryn L. Thorup, Ph.D.

at the

Democracy and Governance Workshop

U.S. Agency for International Development

June 16, 2005

what is youth engagement
What is Youth Engagement?

Definitions and Objectives

  • Youth
  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Service
  • Service Learning
promoting youth engagement
Promoting Youth Engagement

Two Approaches

Albania: Balkans Youth Link-Albania

promoting youth engagement4
Promoting Youth Engagement

Two Approaches

Romania: New Horizons Foundation

lessons learned6
Lessons Learned
  • Combining the development of life skills with social action
  • Creating a fun learning environment
  • Using non-formal education as a way to develop new skills
  • Creating social incubators
  • Listening to youth/Trusting youth
  • Recognizing youth
  • Appropriate level of challenge
  • Giving youth responsibility
  • Learning by doing
  • Building skills for the workplace
  • Inviting all youth to participate
lessons learned7
Lessons Learned
  • Serving both in-school and out-of-school youth
  • Building a positive enabling environment
  • Bridging societal divides through teamwork
  • Raising visibility/Building credibility
  • Opportunities to engage at all levels: Local to global
  • Strengthening the NGO sector
  • Inter-sectoral partnering
  • Context matters
  • Scaling up
key components of a successful youth engagement program9
Key Components of a SuccessfulYouth Engagement Program
  • Youth-driven
  • Needs-based
  • Offers a safe, neutral atmosphere
  • Engages parents, peers, teachers and others in the community
  • Develops critical life skills, including work skills
  • Provides up-to-date-information on issues critical to youth
  • Develops computer and language skills
  • Provides opportunities for civic advocacy and service projects
key components of a successful youth engagement program10
Key Components of a SuccessfulYouth Engagement Program
  • Engages youth in design, implementation and evaluation
  • Offers graduated levels of challenge
  • Builds connections among youth across societal divides
  • Provides opportunities for youth to take the lead
  • Combines learning and social action with fun activities
  • Builds skills and confidence
  • Fosters capacity-sharing through networks of like-minded NGOs
key components of a successful youth engagement program11
Key Components of a SuccessfulYouth Engagement Program
  • Pursues partnerships with business, government, and civil society actors
  • Works with public officials to create a positive enabling environment
  • Provides both volunteer and paid opportunities for employment
  • Raises the visibility of youth in the community and recognizes their contributions
  • Builds social capital