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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.

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Presentation on theme: "What Works in Youth Engagement? Presentation by Cathryn L. Thorup, Ph.D. at the Democracy and Governance Workshop U.S. Agency for International Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 What is Youth Engagement? Youth Youth Civic Engagement Civic Engagement Community Service Community Service Service Learning Service Learning Definitions and Objectives

3 Promoting Youth Engagement Albania: Balkans Youth Link-Albania Two Approaches

4 Promoting Youth Engagement Two Approaches Romania: New Horizons Foundation

5 Lessons Learned

6 Combining the development of life skills with social action Combining the development of life skills with social action Creating a fun learning environment Creating a fun learning environment Using non-formal education as a way to develop new skills Using non-formal education as a way to develop new skills Creating social incubators Creating social incubators Listening to youth/Trusting youth Listening to youth/Trusting youth Recognizing youth Recognizing youth Appropriate level of challenge Appropriate level of challenge Giving youth responsibility Giving youth responsibility Learning by doing Learning by doing Building skills for the workplace Building skills for the workplace Inviting all youth to participate Inviting all youth to participate

7 Lessons Learned Serving both in-school and out- of-school youth Serving both in-school and out- of-school youth Building a positive enabling environment Building a positive enabling environment Bridging societal divides through teamwork Bridging societal divides through teamwork Raising visibility/Building credibility Raising visibility/Building credibility Opportunities to engage at all levels: Local to global Opportunities to engage at all levels: Local to global Strengthening the NGO sector Strengthening the NGO sector Inter-sectoral partnering Inter-sectoral partnering Context matters Context matters Scaling up Scaling up

8 Key Components of a Successful Youth Engagement Program

9 Youth-driven Youth-driven Needs-based Needs-based Offers a safe, neutral atmosphere Offers a safe, neutral atmosphere Engages parents, peers, teachers and others in the community Engages parents, peers, teachers and others in the community Develops critical life skills, including work skills Develops critical life skills, including work skills Provides up-to-date-information on issues critical to youth Provides up-to-date-information on issues critical to youth Develops computer and language skills Develops computer and language skills Provides opportunities for civic advocacy and service projects Provides opportunities for civic advocacy and service projects

10 Key Components of a Successful Youth Engagement Program Engages youth in design, implementation and evaluation Engages youth in design, implementation and evaluation Offers graduated levels of challenge Offers graduated levels of challenge Builds connections among youth across societal divides Builds connections among youth across societal divides Provides opportunities for youth to take the lead Provides opportunities for youth to take the lead Combines learning and social action with fun activities Combines learning and social action with fun activities Builds skills and confidence Builds skills and confidence Fosters capacity-sharing through networks of like-minded NGOs Fosters capacity-sharing through networks of like-minded NGOs

11 Key Components of a Successful Youth Engagement Program Pursues partnerships with business, government, and civil society actors Pursues partnerships with business, government, and civil society actors Works with public officials to create a positive enabling environment Works with public officials to create a positive enabling environment Provides both volunteer and paid opportunities for employment Provides both volunteer and paid opportunities for employment Raises the visibility of youth in the community and recognizes their contributions Raises the visibility of youth in the community and recognizes their contributions Builds social capital Builds social capital


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