Organizing an Issue-Driven Youth Development Programme: Lessons for Youth Development Advocates

Organizing an Issue-Driven Youth Development Programme: Lessons for Youth Development Advocates

As a youth development advocate, I have always aligned with the school of thought that believes that youth development programmes should be built around issues affecting them and solutions proffered around that as well. So, commencing a six-month youth development programme for youths drawn from different parts of  Osun state. This piece is about the lessons learnt in the process of conceiving and organizing the first month of the five months. Tag along.

#Data Driven Approach.We are in 2020 and activities organised around development work should be data driven. It is data that would indicate the enormity of the problems and how to handle them. A specific example of this in my recent experience on the issues of entrepreneurship among youths in Osun. My observation was that those young entrepreneurs in the state do not have the right information on accessing funding. It tallies with the statistics earlier quoted in one of my previous articles. To be on top of any issue, there is a need to know the numbers very well.

#Social Capital. It is described as the goodwill gathered over the time by a person from others who have had a cause to trust such individuals. This makes people to key into whatever the person with the credible social capital brings. This reflected in my attempt to put the first meet up together. From the facilitators to the venue used and even the chairs and refreshment, people were willing to  donate to the cause. Integrity and clear intentions are ingredients of a robust social capital. To get the facilitators and other donors for the Skillup, social capital was at work.

Panelists at the Panel Session

#Team Spirit. For every development worker, working in teams is a special asset. For youth development advocates, the need to build a team cannot be over emphasized. For the Osun MeetUp SkillUp, it was indeed a team work. Young men and women who saw the benefits were willing to volunteer. The convener was equally open to such mechanism. Resources maximization was utilized to the fullest. A good example was in the selection of the participants. The convener and the two facilitators were involved in the selection process. We had 54 applicants and 30 was selected to take part.

#Networking. It is important to network. It is good to know those who are fully involved in the aspect of the development work you are involved in. It makes execution easier. It also assists in getting those who you need for your programme. For a programme to be run on crowd sourcing, you need the networks that give your work some credibility.

#Crowdsourcing. This term used to have a meaning that is very abstract to me. I once believed it could only be achieved online. But, in the course of organizing the SkillUp MeetUp, I have learnt we could have a hybrid of online and offline crowd sourcing. It could do wonders. People would get you recommendations. And you would get your needs in minimum time possible. There is absolutely nothing you could not crowd source.

I am sure as we progress on this six-month journey to create a sustainable path for young entrepreneurs in my state, there are still many more lessons to learn. We are certain that successes and failures would be recorded. But, we are already developing a mindset to leverage on both of them to come out stronger.

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