LMG Project Launches a Global Search for Youth Leadership Programs

Reshma Trasi

Director, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research

“Young people are the next generation of leaders” – how many times do we say this or some version of it? Yet, do we examine the rhetoric behind it? What does it mean to strengthen youth leaders and what do programs that embody this mantra look like?

Today, with support from USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, we proudly launch www.YouthLeadGlobal.org – a community for youth leaders that also aims to gather information on programs that are developing youth leaders around the world with an online survey. With our collaborating networks, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) and Youth Health and Rights Coalition (YHRC), we are initiating a global search for promising youth leadership programs and approaches.

When we looked at existing research, we found very little on youth leadership and how it’s done. We found plenty on youth participation, but we believe that youth leadership is distinct. It is not just about meaningfully engaging youth in planning, implementing or evaluating a program and having peer-led activities. We believe that youth leadership is about strengthening the knowledge, skills, capacities and competencies of young people while deliberately, programmatically, and systematically creating an environment where young people can apply these leadership skills. The outcomes of youth leadership programs can be experienced by the youth, their families, their communities or within the organization itself.

If you are strengthening youth leaders, we ask for 30 minutes of your time to take our survey. This global survey is our attempt to showcase and highlight programs that are quietly, humbly, and devotedly strengthening youth leaders in communities around the world. By sharing your approaches, you could help to shape programmatic guidance for future investments in youth leadership programs.

With our youth network collaborators, we will identify the five most promising models to showcase on the website and in a global publication on youth leadership. Thank you, in advance, for sharing your wisdom and experiences with us.

Is your program what we are looking for? Please take the youth leadership survey here. Or maybe you know of others. Please forward this link to organizations and youth networks and help us to get the word out.  

 

Photo Credit: Mark Tuschman