What is youth engagement?
Too often, youth are excluded from the processes that shape their future, treated by development interventions as passive recipients of programs rather than the assets and leaders they are. Meaningful youth engagement upholds youth as partners in program design, implementation, and evaluation and allows them to:
- Make choices about how they participate in activities
- Give meaningful input about programs
- Influence how programs are run
- Share in the leadership of and responsibility for programs
At IYF we believe youth engagement is vital to success. It amplifies youth voice and helps adults better understand those they seek to serve; increases youth enjoyment and retention; identifies strategies practitioners may not have considered; and makes programs and staff more accountable to the youth involved.
How are we engaging youth for Via: Jiandalie Ajira?
Carried out in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, Via: Jiandalie Ajira applies systems thinking to improve economic opportunities for underserved youth in Tanzania. Via’s goal is to influence the collective behaviors of TVET system actors (inclusive of government, employers, civil society, and youth), so that they are more responsive to the needs of young people and industry.
To amplify youth voice, help training providers offer more youth-friendly services, and enhance our program strategies, we are engaging youth from both Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) and Tanzania Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness Center (TECC) centers in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Mtwara.
The goal of this engagement is to generate more data and information—from youth, by youth— that can provide a deeper understanding of the challenges, hopes, and aspirations of youth, as well as their trajectories and transformations.
Using an appreciative inquiry approach and a combination of creative, youth-friendly methodologies, we are providing platforms for youth contribution and openly listening to their perspectives. These methodologies include video diaries, youth-driven television programming, focus groups discussions (FGDs), surveys, and validation workshops.
Who are we engaging?
As the youth engagement component of the Via program, these activities targeted and supported unemployed, under-employed, economically disadvantaged, in- and out-of-school young women and men between the ages of 16 and 24 who live in urban and peri-urban areas of Tanzania.