RESULTS OF YOUTH-LED ACTIVISM 2018 Photo: Gustavo Garcia Solares/ActionAid
CONTENTS 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PAGE 3 2 GLOBAL PLATFORMS AND THEIR CONTEXTS PAGE 4 3 METHODOLOGY PAGE 8 4 KEY RESULTS PAGE 10 5 CHANGES THE GLOBAL PLATFORMS CONTRIBUTED TO PAGE 12 6 KEY FACTORS ENABLING CHANGE PAGE 18 7 CONCLUSION PAGE 24
Global Platforms was initiated by ActionAid in 2009. ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty.
Photo: Bladimir Nolasco/ActionAid
This aim of this report is to share the ActionAidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Global Platforms key results, contributions to change and enabling factors to youth-led activism. The report is the result of a collaboration between the Global Platforms (GPs) and Youth Organizing and Activism team (YOA) and Accountability Unit at ActionAid Denmark. It is based on the analysis of quantitative and qualitative including narrative reports, outcomes, and indicators gathered by eight Global Platforms in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Palestine, Uganda and Zambia. The data was analyzed comparatively guided by the questions: Who have the GPs influenced? What types of changes have the GPs contributed to? What enabling factors contributed to influence change? The findings show that the Global Platform trained 5,721 people in and engaged 35,456 people through youth hub activities. Out of the people trained, 49.5% decided to take action in their community on socio-political issues. Those who were influenced the most by GP activities were citizens (mostly young people), followed by the local communities, civil society organizations, local authorities, and social movements. GPs have contributed to different types of change processes mostly at the local level and in some cases at the national level. The GPs have contributed to build youth individual and collective power by inspiring and developing youth leadership, strengthening young groups, networks, and movements and influencing social norms. GPs contributed also, though to a lesser extent, to influence agendas and polices and improve access to rights, services and resources. The key factors enabling change were mostly GP trainings, which transformed young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knowledge, skills and attitude by inspiring them to lead and take action against injustice. Particularly significant to youth-led change were the trainings on governance and accountability, campaigning and creative activism, as well as youth leadership or feminist leadership. The GP action-oriented learning methodologies and post-training support contributed to change by creating an enabling environment for young people to plan and implement of their actions and initiatives to address injustice. The GP youth-friendly and non-hieratical spaces created contributed to make room to practice youth leadership and form communities. The GPs innovative tools for organizing and creative activism made youth campaigns more effective in engaging young people, attracting media attention, and promoting collaboration with strategic partners. The facilitation of convening and solidarity actions by the GPs contributed to alliance building across groups and organisations and coordination of actions on common issues. By providing concrete examples and cases, the report shows the how the GPs are contributing to change with innovative and flexible approaches and provide insights in possible future developments in GP activities and partnerships.
GLOBAL PLATFORMS AND THEIR CONTEXTS
We live in a world where more than 40% of the world’s population are under 25 years and almost nine out of ten young people live in developing countries. Despite this, young people are often denied positions of power and responsibility. Younger generations are faced with rising global inequality, high unemployment rates, poor access to public services and in many countries a shrinking space for political involvement and influence. But there is another, much more exciting story to tell. Around the world is evidence of young people being prepared and organised to respond to the big challenges the world throws at them. Inspiring examples of young people and youth-led movements creatively working within and outside the system to challenge the political status quo. Global Platforms (GPs) are ActionAid’s network for youth-led activism. ActionAid is a global justice federation working with more than 15 million people in 45 countries to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication by working with people living in poverty and exclusion, their communities, people’s organisations, activists, social movements and supporters. The GPs contribute to that mission by strengthening the capacity and agency young people, organisations and movements to assert their rights and fight for social justice. All over the world the GPs support youth-led spaces for building collective power: Spaces for participatory and action-oriented learning. The GPs deliver participatory and action-oriented capacity development where participants are actively engaged in shaping the learning process and defining problems and solutions based on their own experiences. Spaces for creative activism and organising for social justice. The GPs support the creation of Youth Hubs – spaces where young people take the lead, where they can think freely and develop their ideas and connect with other young activists, youth networks and movements. Spaces for connecting people, organisations and movements. The GPs facilitate shared learning, collective action and convenings between the various initiatives, partners and allies. A Global Platform can either be a space for capacity development where young people live and learn together or a Youth Hub for creative activism and organising where all activities are led and planned entirely by young people. This report focuses on Global Platforms in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Palestine, Uganda and Zambia.
Bangladesh Uganda Ghana
Each GP is unique in terms of structural setup and historical, cultural and political context, focus areas, strategies and best practices that enables them to drive change. GP BANGLADESH is located in the capital, Dhaka near the ActionAid Bangladesh country office. In 2018 it focused on addressing issues affecting young people, particularly young women such as sexual harassment and child marriage, political participation, employment and decent work, access to youth and gender responsive public services. Its strategies include developing young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skills and capacity, facilitating youth representation in political and decision-making, and strengthening social movements and youth networks such as the Young Feminist Network to challenge unequal gender and social norms.
GP EL SALVADOR is located in Suchitoto, a town on mountains at the north of the capital of El Salvador. In 2018 it focused on the issue of violence (gang violence, sexual harassment, homicides, and structural violence), safe spaces for youth, youth participation in decision-making spaces, as well as the gap between urban-rural youth in terms of employment and education. GP El Salvador was able to create spaces for youth to be at the forefront of advocacy on the right to water, minimum wage, and access to quality public services. Its strategies included creative activism, strategic partnership and alliance building, and joint campaigning. GP El Salvador is a regional youth hub supporting youth-led activism in Central America and reaching out to marginalized communities with their mobile platform (mini bus) that was launched in 2018.
GP GHANA in 2018 moved from Tamale in Northern Ghana to the capital city Accra located in the ActionAid Ghana country office. GP Ghana focused on youth participation in governance and decision-making, on inspiring young people to take leadership positions, and strengthening youth movements like Activista and the Young Urban Women Movements to mobilize and advocate for justice. It also worked as a regional hub for West African youth groups and movements to develop their capacity in organizing, governance, and advocacy including on the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
GP KENYA consists of three youth spaces in Nairobi and Nanyuki, including a Youth hub providing creative, open and safe spaces for young people to convene, share, organize, and develop their capacity. In 2018 GP Kenya focused on the issues of youth political participation in policy making, youth unemployment and decent work, LGBITQ rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Its strategies included working closely with the ActionAid Kenya Country office in engaging young people in influencing the national youth policy, strengthening social movements, supporting young women and men running for leadership positions, and building alliances with actors working with social entrepreneurship. As regional hub in East Africa it offered capacity development for ActionAid country programs and partners in the region and young people from East Africa, Southern Africa, and the Global North. 6
GP MYANMAR is part of the ActionAid Myanmar country office located in Yangon. In 2018 it focused on advocating safe spaces for young people and participation in policy decisions in a country emerging from more than 50 years of repressive rule and undergoing a significant reform processes. Its strategies include contributing to develop the capacity of young people in leadership, governance and understating the national youth policy and as well as facilitating community engagement in holding government authorities accountable in the delivery of gender and youth responsive public services.
GP PALESTINE is located in Bethlehem in the West Bank. In 2018 it focused on youth democratic participation in formal governance mechanisms/structures in a context characterized by the occupation, limited political spaces for citizens to influence governance, high polarization and political intolerance. GP Palestine strategies are to offer a safe space for young people youth from different communities across the West Bank to convene, connect and collaborate, and to develop the capacity and confidence of young people, particularly of young women, to engage in civic and political life and be represented in decision-making spaces, and advocate on human rights and access to quality public service provision.
GP UGANDA was launched in 2018 located in Apac in the North of Uganda to address the issues of shrinking political spaces for civil society to advocate, the harassment of human rights defenders, and the violation of key democratic principles such as the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. GP Uganda trains young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, especially young women on feminist leadership, creative activism and youth-led research to promote their participation in democratic spaces and enhance their collective power in for fight for tax justice, anti-corruption, and gender responsive public services.
GP ZAMBIA is located in Lusaka close to the university and it is frequented by hundreds of young people who organize and participate in youth hub activities. In 2018 it focused on the issues of youth participation in democratic decision-making as well as on teenage pregnancy, early marriages, and unsafe abortions. Its strategies include providing a safe space for young people, especially young women, to convene to discuss sensitive issues, inspire them to take lead in political processes and lobby for youth friendly policies, practices and spaces. GPZ is a regional hub for to develop the capacity of youth groups, movements, and organizations in Southern Africa, and supporting youth organizing and leadership particularly Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The report is the result of a collaboration between the Global Platforms (GPs) and Youth Organizing and Activism team (YOA) and Accountability Unit at ActionAid Denmark. This report is based on a comparative analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from eight GPs for the year 2018. Data collection methods included documentation of GP activities and participants through our online system Podio, yearly narrative reports developed at each GPs with staff and key partners, and Outcome Harvesting1. Data collected included eight narrative reports, 56 outcomes, and quantitative data from the documentation of GP trainings and youth hub activities. The data was then analyzed comparatively guided by the following questions: • Who have the GPs influenced? Which people, groups, or organizations have changed? • What types of changes have the GPs contributed to? • What were the enabling factors of the GPs that contributed to influence change processes? The types of change were defined guided by a model (Chart 1 on the next page) adapted by Duncan Green2 inspired from activists working on women’s rights and empowerment. 1
Outcome Harvesting is a participatory evaluation method that measures progress by collecting evidence of achievements and working backward to determine whether and how the GPs contributed to the change. It enables to analyze change in complex contexts, where plans and strategies are adjusted during the implementation. An outcome is defined as a change in the behavior — actions, activities, relationships, policies or practices - of one or more social actors. 2
Green, D. (2016). How change happens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.242.
Chart 1. Types of change
SYSTEMIC The model outlines domains of social change on a scale ranging from informal to formal and from individual to systemic level. • Individual-Informal: Changes in people’s consciousness and capabilities, in people’s ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. (top-left quadrant) • Individual-Formal: Change in people’s access to rights and resources, such as education, health, jobs, leadership positions (top-right quadrant) • Systemic-informal: Changes in social norms and practices of a group or a community (bottom-left quadrant) • Systemic-formal: Changes at a systemic level to laws, policies, and structures (bottom-right quadrant) The 56 outcomes were categorized along the two dimensions of the model based on the type of change they reflected the extent to which it referred to individual or systemic changes, informal or formal changes. The types of changes were also categorized according to geographical level (local, national international), and according to how “significant” the change was in the context (minor, moderate, major). The identification and formulation of the outcomes as well as decisions on the categorizations on the were done in a collaborative process starting with Outcome Harvesting workshops or meetings organized at the GPs which included GP staff and representatives of key partners. At the workshops the outcomes were collectively identified, formulated and went through a preliminary analysis. The outcome descriptions were shared on a digital platform (Podio) and quality assured and further analyzed in dialogue with the MEL and research coordinator at AADK Youth Organizing and Activism team and the AADK PME coordinator at the Accountability Unit. Validation of data and findings was done through triangulation and consultation. Data was compared across sources and between reports and data coming from the digital platform (Podio). Validation of findings was done through online validation meetings and via with staff from the GPs and ActionAid Denmark used to gather feedback and adjust the analysis. The findings in this report are not comprehensive and cannot describe the complexity and dynamism of change processes as they were based on only on what was reported by the GP, yet they may offer some insights and examples of the kind of changes the GPs have contributed and show some patterns that can inform further development of the GP activities. 9
Photo: Bladimir Nolasco/ActionAid
TOTAL PEOPLE TRAINED
5.721 PEOPLE ENGAGES IN YOUTH-HUB ACTIVITES
35.456 ACTIONS AFTER TRAINING
Chart 2. Map of people trained by the GPs
In 2018 the Global Platform trained 5,721 people in and engaged 35,456 people through Youth Hub activities as shown by quantitative indicators (Chart 2). Participants were mostly young people from ActionAid partners including youth organizations, networks, alliances and movements at local, national and international levels such as Activista, Young Urban Women Movement, Africans Rising, Solidarity Uganda, Universities student bodies, Oxfam, Restless development, Wateraid, and UN institutions. On average 49.5% of former participants have taken action on socio-political issues after participating in GP trainings (GPZ 70%, GPU 60%, GPP 67%, GPK 30%, GPG 30%, GPES 40%, GPB 50%, GPM not reported). Among the actions participants took there were step down trainings, community sensitizations, advocacy campaigns, media or social media actions, or starting a new group, network, initiative, or enterprise. Political contexts affected the ability of young people to take action, in some case shrinking political spaces limited young people freedom of expression and agency.
CHANGES THE GPs CONTRIBUTED TO
From an analysis of the outcomes it emerges that the GPs contributed to different types of change processes. The graphs below visualize at what level the changes took place - local, national, international (Chart 3), the level of significance of the changes - minor, moderate, major (Chart 4), and the extent to which the GPs contributed to those changes - minor, moderate and major (Chart 5). Chart 3. Outcome level
Chart 5. GP contribution
Chart 4. Outcome significance
From the graphs it can be observed that most of the changes were at the local level, some at the national level and only one at the international level. In the majority of the cases the changes were perceived of “moderate” significance in 34 cases, “major” in 13 cases, and “minor” in 9 cases. The contribution of the GP to these changes was rated as “moderate” in 35 the cases, “major” in 12 cases, and “minor” in 9 cases. From an examination of which social actor was influenced the most as a result of GP activities (Chart 6), it can be observed that in most cases it was citizens (mostly to young people, in 23 cases), followed by the local communities (11), Civil society organizations (9), Local Authorities (7), Social movements (4), and National Authorities (2). None of the outcomes influenced social actors at the international level, except for international CSOs. Chart 6. Social actors who changed
Citizens Local community Civil Society Organisations Local authority Social movement National authority 0
The 56 GP outcomes were categorized according to the types of change they contributed to using the model introduced in the methodology (Chart 7). Each outcome is represented by a colored dot and is placed in the graph based on the extent to which it refers to individual vs systemic changes, informal or informal changes. Not all dots are visible as some overlap. The text bubbles show some examples of outcomes in the different categories of change. Chart 7. Outcomes categorized by type of change
GP EL SALVADOR
Based on the analysis of the outcomes and building on previous reports , the following six overall change categories can be identified that reflect the types of changes the GPs contribute to (Chart 8). The color coded reflects the level of the GP contribution to those changes (orange-minor, red-moderate or blue-major). Chart 8. Changes the GPs contributed to
Inspiring leadership Strenghtening networks Influencing norms Claiming rights Access to services and resources Influencing laws and policies 14
Here are some examples of GP outcomes that describes each of the change categories:
INSPIRING AND DEVELOPING YOUTH LEADERSHIP This category refers to changes in the individual power of young people, in their way of thinking, feeling, and acting, in their consciousness, and develop the capability to lead change. An example of the GPs contributing to inspire young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capability to lead is that of eight young people from Palestine who were elected in the Youth Council elections in Hebron in February 2018. Eight out of 15 elected members of the Youth Council were active trainees, volunteers and associate trainers of the GP Palestine, who were trained in public speaking, outreach and advocacy, and were given the space to lead youth activities, widen their network among young people in Hebron and share their agenda. Hebron is the biggest Palestinian city and having a local governance
STRENGTHENING NETWORKS, GROUPS AND MOVEMENTS The category refers to changes in the collective power of young people, in the ability of groups, networks, and movements to organize and act together effectively to influence change. An example of the GPs contributing to build collective power is the creation of Young Feminist Network in Bangladesh to challenge patriarchal gender norms through community mobilization and campaigns. The network was formed by former participants of the Young Feminist Leadership training at GP Bangladesh, and strengthen their collective power by meeting monthly at GP Bangladesh for capacity development, knowledge sharing and strategic planning. The network supported advocacy to fight gender discrimination in the Pora informal settlements in Dhaka, where women are deprived of their most basics rights such as education, access to employment, and freedom of movement.
INFLUENCING SOCIAL NORMS This category refers to changes in the social and cultural environment, in influencing social norms and practices that devalue and discriminate against the most marginalized populations in society. An example is GP Kenya challenging the discrimination of LGBTQ people. In December 2018 a group of 250 influential Religious and political Leaders in Kenya committed to use their influence to challenge stigma, discrimination and negative attitudes that persist in Kenyan societies towards the LGBTQ persons. The commitments were taken during dialogues organized by GP Kenya between LGBTQ Activists and progressive community leaders (political, religious and media) who developed joint advocacy plans to build a critical mass of advocates that would demand laws of non-discrimination, protection and true equality for LGBTQ people in Kenya. The dialogues contributed to shift the perception that LGBTQ rights are not special rights, they are human rights, and they should be protected by the constitutions, international treaties and covenants, and regional treaties such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights. 15
INFLUENCING AGENDAS This category refers to changes in the political environment and system, by enabling young people to influencing political agendas, decisions and holding duty bearers accountable. An example of this is GP Uganda enabling young people to fight corruption in institutions. In November 2018, a cooperative in the Pallisa District in Eastern Uganda dissolved their board for abuse of power and mismanagement of funds and held elections for a new board after a group of 23 young members of the cooperative raised issues of accountability, transparency and governance which were were confirmed by an audit investigation. One of the young embers of the cooperative who raised the issues participated in the Young Feminist Leadership training at GP Uganda and was mentored online to conduct a step-down training with the other members of the cooperative. The training strengthened their skills and confidence to challenge unjust power structures and hold decision makers accountable.
INFLUENCING LAWS AND POLICIES This category refers to changes in the political and legal system, such as influencing laws, policies, and structures. An example of the GPs contributing to influencing policies is GP Kenya support to young people’s participation in the review the Kenyan national youth policy. In May 2018, a group of young people from Kenya presented a charter of demands to the Kenyan Ministry of Gender and Youth Affairs detailing their key priority issues as input to the youth policy review process. GP Kenya supported ActionAid Kenya, Activista Kenya and strategic partners in facilitating alternative spaces for youth to engage in dialogue on the youth policy at local, county and national level. These alternative spaces connected youth from different parts of Kenya and enabled them to discuss, analyse, and gather their needs in a charter of demands prior to the official policy review process. Having developed a joint youth charter of demands enabled them to participate meaningfully and influence the official policy review process with the Kenyan Ministry of Gender and Youth Affairs.
ACCESS TO SERVICES AND RESOURCES This category refers to changes in the access and control over services and resources that ensure a dignified life for all such as rights and quality and gender responsive public services. An example is the campaign on the right to healthcare in El Salvador. In June 2018 in El Salvador the congress approved a loan for reconstructing and equipping the Rosales National Hospital in San Salvador, one of the oldest and under resourced public hospitals in the country. The decision was influenced by the advocacy of social movements and a youthled campaign titled “If we pay taxes, we must participate” which had very wide media coverage. The young people who organized the campaign were trained by GP El Salvador in the Global Change campaigning where they developed a public engagement and media strategy which included pre-campaign engagement activities and creative activism tactics as the stunt: “The sick leave the hospital” where young people were dressed like hospital patients in the streets. The campaign was able to raise public awareness on the issue and illustrate the need to deepen the debate on the state of public finances in the country. 16
Contribution to ActionAid Meta Theory of Change The six categories of change described above feed into the overall ActionAid Meta Theory of Change and its three main domains of change: • Building individual and collective power of people living in poverty and exclusion. Contributing to the individual empowerment of young people by inspiring and developing leadership, and strengthening their networks, groups, and movements to harness the collective power and their ability to influence through campaigning and global solidarity. • Creating the enabling environment: Contributing to influence unequal and unjust social norms that devalue and discriminate against the most marginalised populations in society, and influencing the agenda of formal institutions as well as laws and policies. • Greater access to and control over services and resources: Contributing to increase access to services like quality and gender responsive public services (rights) and resources that ensure a dignified life for all (redistribution). Chart 9 shows how the categories of GP change categories (red boxes) feed into ActionAid’s broad change domains (in grey boxes) in a continuum between individual to systemic changes. Examples of GP outcomes are shown in the chart on the categories of change they contribute to. This graph represents a simplified way of organizing the GP contributions to change as change process fall into more than one category. Chart 9. Change processes from individual to systemic
BUILDING INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE POWER
ACCESS TO SERVICES AND RESOURCES
CREATING THE ENABLING ENVIRONMENT
INFLUENCING SOCIAL NORMS
INFLUENCING THE AGENDA
INFLUENCING LAWS AND POLICIES
ACCESS TO SERVICES AND RESOURCES
GP EL SALVADOR
Generally, findings show that the GPs contributed to develop young people individual and collective power to lead change. 17
KEY FACTORS ENABLING CHANGE
By analyzing the outcomes and their relation to GPs interventions the enabling factors among GP activities and practices that contributed to change were identified. These findings were then combined with narrative reports that describe the GP activities to provide a clearer picture of the GP practices in different contexts.
CAPACITY BUILDING GP capacity development contributed to almost all reported outcomes by contribute to strenghten young people’s knowledge, skills and attitude and inspired them to lead and take action against injustice. When analyzing the GP’s contribution to the identified outcomes, the following three trainings where particularly highlighted: Governance and accountability: This area of training developed young people’s knowledge of their rights, of governance structures and electoral processes, and develop their skills to participate in political processes, analyze power and policies, and use tools to hold duty bearers accountable such as community score cards and social audits. Campaigning and creative activism: This training area developed young people’s ability to plan, carry out and evaluate advocacy campaigns. It included tools for campaign design, mobilization, creative audience engagement strategies, lobbying, and media strategy. A core component of this is planning and implementing a youth-led campaign on an issue that is relevant to their context. Youth leadership/Feminist leadership: This training area developed young people’s ability to lead groups in a transformative way. It includes content on feminist approaches to leadership, group dynamics, communication, training and facilitation, participatory decision-making and movement building.
AN EXAMPLE of a GP youth training on governance and accountability is one on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) facilitated by GP Ghana and GP Zambia as part of the ActionAid project “The African We Want”. In collaboration with the ActionAid country offices in eight countries in West, East and Southern Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) the GPs developed the capacity of about a thousand young people to mobilize and organize for the implementation of the ACDEG. The training included a strong public action component where the trainees mobilized other young people in non-violent advocacy actions. Some of the outcomes of this training included a number of campaigns, engagements with policy and decision-makers, the elections of some young people in leadership positions.
Public action against inequality part of youth activism training at GP Ghana.
LEARNING METHODOLOGY The GP learning methodology was also mentioned as key enabler contributing to inspire youth-led action with participatory, action-oriented, youth-friendly methods. The GP learning approach is based on the Learning Development Cycle which is a way to structure learning processes ensuring that trainings are designed and contextualized focusing on impact and participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; learning needs. GP training methodology is also centered around as learning principles represented in the illustration below.
PUBLIC ACTION LEARNING
Use society as a classroom
Analyse and change power structures
Challenge patriarchy and inequality
LEARNING BY DOING
TR AN SF OR M
Act, reflect, learn, apply
AT IO N
Be creative, seek alternatives
The methodology includes post training support such as mentorship by GPs trainers, inspirators, advisors, and partner organizations in implementing action plans and addressing possible challenges. In some cases it includes financial support to youth-led initiatives and the creation of peer-topeer support systems. The GP action-oriented learning methodologies and post-training support provided an enabling learning environment for youth to plan and implementation of their own actions and initiatives to address socio-political issues.
YOUTH-HUB ACTIVITIES In some cases, a key enabler was the GP space where young people have the possibility to carry out youth-led activities in informal and non-hierarchical environments open for people from outside to participate. The GP support youth hubs activities, such as meetings, debates, radio shows, where young people take lead to meet and organise around issues of interest to them. Youth hub activities contribute to build relationships, communities, and collective youth power. Some examples of youth hub activities are: Feminist Fridays: GP Zambia hosts monthly Feminist Fridays organized by a group of young activists to meet to discuss feminism, share experiences and address the causes and slowly gained momentum and reach more people, and an increasing number of men, emphasizing that feminism is relevant to everyone. Watch a video about the concept at: www.globalplatforms.org/stories
Volunteer-driven eco garden: At GP El Salvador a group of young volunteers from different parts of El Salvador created an organic garden/orchard as a space for agricultural production of diverse vegetables through permaculture and agro ecology. The GP El Salvador in partnership with two organisations (SERES and CORDES) contributed to design the space for the ecogarden and engaged a team of young volunteers in forming a community that collectively works on it and practices alternative solutions for sustainable food production.
Youth debates: GP Palestine hosts debate competitions and workshops focusing on political, social and legal debates and empower young people with the skills in research, expressing their beliefs clearly and concisely, public speaking and effective communication in a formal setting. Debates are open for young people from debate clubs and other contexts to participate and they enhance and political awareness among young people who attend. In April 2018 one of the young activists who participated in GP trainings and GP debates activities was selected as debate trainer by the Youth Voices Association and IREX Foundation to develop the skills of young people in the Arab region. The GP youth-friendly and non-hieratical spaces created with youth hub activities contributed to make room for youth leadership on issues that matter to them.
ORGANISING AND CREATIVE ACTIVISM Another enabler to change was GP support to youth organizing. Organizing is the continuous process of building people power through actions, on common problems, and building groups, organisation or movement that are democratically controlled by that constituency and develop the capacity to take on further problems. The use of digital tools by the GPs have contributed in some cases to support young people in organizing. For example a digital platform like Beautiful Trouble, which collects stories, tactics, principles, theories, methodologies of activists from the Global South was used by GP El Salvador to support activists in organizing and designing campaign strategies with non- violent tactics and by GPZ to design trainings on creative activism and campaigning. GP El Salvador also developed in partnership with Oxfam El Salvador a digital platform called AltavozES to promote youth participation in public discourses and decision-making, coordinate campaigns among actors, and broadcast young voices. In a number of outcomes, it emerged that a key enabler was the use of creative activism to carry out innovative and effective actions and campaigns for social justice. Creative activism involved using creative strategies that combine art and creativity to engage and stir emotions with campaigning strategies that have an impact. Festivals and music activism: The GPs combine campaigns with festivals and music to engage a variety of audiences. For examples GP El Salvador supported young campaigners to organize festivals and mobilize thousands of people where musicians sing about socio-political issues and motivate the audience to take action. GP El Salvador hosts a music lab for audio recording and editing where the young artists develop their capacity in producing songs, radio spots and jingles that are used for campaigns to mobilize different audiences.
Poetry Slam: At GP Zambia, volunteers and trainers organize poetry slam events titled “Word Smash”, where young poets, creatives and poetry lovers, meet to express themselves through poetry and share their pieces on contemporary political and social issues. Each month there is a different theme that links to current issues in the media, from gender issues, to youth participation. Poetry was use used as a way to give a voice to silenced activists in the country due to the current shrinking civic space. These innovative tools for organizing and creative activism made youth campaigns more effective in engaging young people, attracting media attention, and promoting collaboration with strategic partners.
YOUTH COVENING A GPs practice which has contributed to change is that of connecting young people from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and across geographical spaces by creative spaces to meet, discuss, network, organize, and plan their advocacy. The GPs organize convening events for youth groups and movements among with similar agendas to exchange experience, build capacity, collaborate, and build alliances. An example is GP Myanmar support to AAM in strengthening a Civil Society Network in Myanmar to collectively undertake evidence-based advocacy and campaigning work and monitor government implementation and spending. GP Myanmar facilitated meetings with key stakeholders of networks to review their vision, mission and strategic and action plans and to develop joint advocacy plans for seeking local governance and accountability.
SOLIDARITY ACTIONS A GP practice that contribute to strengthen young people’s collective power is promoting solidarity locally and internationally across struggles. At the local level for example GP Palestine organized solidarity visits with young activists to communities that are in a context of marginalization, oppression, poverty and human rights violations to listen to their stories and plan solidarity actions to raise awareness about the issues. At the international level, the GPs coordinate international solidarity actions offline and online on international issues like as women’s rights, gender-based violence (16 days of Activism), safe spaces for young people (international youth day), and much more. These international mobilizations coordinated online enabled young people to identify shared issues and carry out joint digital solidarity campaigns. The facilitation of youth convening and solidarity actions contributed to alliance building across groups and organisations and coordinate actions on common issues. 23
The GPs have contributed to further ActionAidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication by working with young people, their communities, organisations, and social movements to strengthen the capacity to lead, organise, connect and act on social injustices. The report shows the GPs key results, contributions to change processes and enabling factors to youth-led change. From the analysis of eight reports, 56 outcomes, and quantitative data it emerges that the GPs have contributed to a variety of social change processes building on young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s individual and collective power. The GPs created enabling environments for young people to take lead in influence unequal and unjust social norms, influence agendas and in some cases laws and policies. This in turn has in a few cases contributed to improve access to rights like quality and gender responsive public services and resources. Mostly changes took place the local level and influenced young citizens, local communities and organisations, and movements. Key enabling factors that contributed to youth-led changes were primarily GPs trainings which inspire and empower young people with the knowledge, skills and attitude to lead action against injustice with transformative contents, tools and methodologies on themes like governance and accountability, campaigning, creative activism, and youth leadership or feminist leadership. The GP contribution to build young people collective power by strengthening networks and alliances across groups and organisations included the creation of youth-friendly and non-hieratical spaces, offer innovative tools for organizing and creative activism, and facilitating youth convenings and solidarity actions. The key lessons learned from this report are that youth-led change is supported and enabled by activities that develop their capacity, engage them creatively, and create enabling environments for young people to be inspired, act and connect.
GLOBAL PLATFORMS ARE YOUTH-LED SPACES FOR BUILDING COLLECTIVE POWER. THROUGH CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT TO YOUTH-LED INITIATIVES, WE SEEK TO INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE TO ORGANISE AND ACT ON SOCIAL INJUSTICE AND TO CONNECT PEOPLE, ORGANISATIONS AND MOVEMENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. FIND THE NEAREST GLOBAL PLATFORM AT: WWW.GLOBALPLATFORMS.ORG OR GET IN TOUCH AT: CONTACT@GLOBALPLATFORMS.ORG