Enable adolescents and young people to be agents of positive transformation
Individual Commitments (1)
- Commitment Type
- Core Responsibility
Reach Out To Asia commits to establish a regional capacity building initiative to catalyze local youth-led humanitarian action and to generate evidence on appropriate methodologies for helping young people gain the necessary capabilities to act effectively.
- Leave No One Behind
1. Highlight the concrete actions taken between 1 January – 31 December 2017 to implement the commitments which contribute to achieving this transformation. Be as specific as possible and include any relevant data/figures.
In 2017, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) launched the Middle East and North Africa Youth Capacity Building in Humanitarian Action (MYCHA) Initiative with the support of regional partners including OCHA, UNHCR, Qatar Red Crescent, and United Muslim Relief. The MYCHA Initiative has six interrelated components, each of which is designed to increase capacity among youth from crisis-affected contexts and to provide platforms for them to demonstrate their ability to contribute in positive ways. The development, refinement, and delivery of youth focused training content forms the core of the initiative. Also at the core of MYCHA is a series of three regional trainings being held annually in Doha as platforms for learning, networking and knowledge sharing. The first such training was hosted in November 2017 by Reach Out To Asia, with the support of the aforementioned partners.
The 2017 training brought together 116 youth between the ages of 18-30, representing 15 different nationalities. The training delivered practical learning that is now being applied by youth in their local contexts. Ninety-six percent of participants reported increased level of overall knowledge and skills related to humanitarian action. Once participants returned to their home countries, they began receiving six months of ongoing support and mentorship by local NGOs to help them deliver youth-led humanitarian actions at the local level which they planned themselves. Beyond annual regional trainings, field work, and follow-up, youth are also being engaged in key activities throughout the year; further strengthening their practical skills through a rolling capacity building approach.
2. A. How are you measuring progress toward achieving your commitments? Only the categories selected by the organisation will be seen below.
- Through existing, internal systems or frameworks for monitoring, reporting and/or evaluation.
- Through multi-stakeholder processes or initiatives (e.g. IASC, Grand Bargain, Charter for Change, etc).
B. How are you assessing whether progress on commitments is leading toward change in the direction of the transformation?
In addition to measuring training outcomes, a process is underway to maintain contact with the participants for six months post-training. The aim of this follow-up phase is to determine how well the learning outcomes of the training translate into stronger and more effective youth-led humanitarian initiatives at the local level.
3. A. Please select no more than 3 key challenges faced in implementing the commitments related to this transformation. Only the categories selected by the organisation will be seen below.
- Field conditions, including insecurity and access
- Gender and/or vulnerable group inclusion
B. How are these challenges impacting achievement of this transformation?
Refugee youth are a particularly vulnerable group. Their refugee status hinders their inclusion in regional level capacity building activities if these require cross-border/ international travel. Additionally, in complex emergency situations, safety and security challenges limit the types activities youth can lead themselves and can hinder their overall level of engagement.
4. Highlight actions planned for 2018 to advance implementation of your commitments in order to achieve this transformation.
Throughout 2018, the content for the capacity building module will continue to be refined. Reach Out to Asia will continue the development of tools and processes for replicating trainings at the regional, national, and local levels. The first national-level training is expected to occur in Amman, Jordan in mid-2018 (to be hosted by United Muslim Relief). A youth advisory group is being established to ensure youth have an active role in shaping the initiative.
5. What steps or actions are needed to make collective progress to achieve this transformation?
More investigation is needed into the nature of actions already being taken by youth in humanitarian contexts and the types of skills required for them to be more involved. Additional evidence will further strengthen the underpinnings of this and other capacity building initiatives. Findings may also inform advocacy efforts to encourage further inclusion and engagement of youth to take on more prominent roles. It is also necessary to better engage agencies already working with youth.
6. List any good practice or examples of innovation undertaken individually or in cooperation with others to advance this transformation.
Reach Out To Asia’s vision is that each component of the MENA Youth Capacity Building in Humanitarian Action Initiative (MYCHA) will be synthesized into open source tools and resources which are replicable and adaptable by other agencies to meet their needs for strengthening engagement of youth at the local level.