Youth-led projects: From ideas to actions

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For the first time in its 12-year history, the outcomes of the 8th Youth Forum to be presented to the 37th session of the General Conference (5-20 November 2013) will include, besides strategic recommendations, 15 youth-led action projects (3 projects per each of the 5 UNESCO regions).

 

The 15 action projects will be selected by the young Forum delegates and will receive the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label”. The label is a guarantee of quality and excellence of the projects, which will have to be in line with UNESCO’s priorities. It will provide their initiators with opportunities to mobilize funds, partnerships and international visibility, also recognizing grass-roots action and engagement by young women and men across the world. More concretely, the label will be the starting point of the projects implementation process over a period of up to two years, thereby constituting a key outcome for the Forum’s follow-up.

WHAT SHOULD THE ACTION PROJECTS FOCUS ON?

The submitted action projects should propose innovative and feasible action for development, by and for youth, tackling youth-related issues. They should contribute to the general theme of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, under which they should address one of the following seven specific themes, stemming from the youth consultations conducted by UNESCO from February to April 2013:

1.     Social Inclusion

2.     Civic Engagement and Participation

3.     Intercultural Dialogue

4.     Social Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation

5.     Violence and Conflict Prevention, and Consolidation of Peace

6.     Democracy

7.     Skills Development

See also: Working definitions for each of these themes [PDF]

It would be desirable that one specific theme is privileged as a common thread in each proposed project.

All action projects must aim at promoting several fundamental principles that lie at the core of UNESCO’s mission, namely: human rights, gender equality, culture of peace and sustainable development.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE ACTION PROJECTS?

The proposed projects should focus on the three axes of the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021) [PDF], aiming to reach one of the following 3 long-term objectives:

1.     Address the policy environment that can impact policy formulation or implementation affecting youth – the objective is to strengthen and encourage meaningful youth participation in the formulation, revision or implementation of public policies and programmes affecting youth;

 

2.     Focus on capacity development of young women and men, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized, strengthening their inherent competences and skills thus providing them with diversified learning opportunities to ensure their integration in social, economic and political life; or

3. Support or further enable youth engagement as citizens and social actors, particularly by vulnerable or marginalized young women and men or by youth that do not have the opportunities to engage in and lead constructive action in their communities, with a view to encouraging innovative action, particularly by exercising their rights and assuming their responsibilities.

WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?

  • The proposed projects should address one of the 7 specific themes mentioned above;
  •  They should focus on one of the 3 long-term objectives elaborated above;
  • The projects should be youth-led;
  •  They should be planned to be implemented over a period of up to 2 years;
  •  Their scope could be local, national, sub-regional, regional or inter-regional;
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches are encouraged.

BUDGET

Each project proposal should be submitted with an estimated budget for the project which can range from 10,000 USD to 500,000 USD.

Having a project selected by the Forum and receiving the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label does not mean that the project will be funded by UNESCO. The quality of the projects and the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label” will serve as a basis for the mobilization of funds by the project initiators/applicants, with the support of UNESCO, the Youth Forum delegates and other partners that may be identified during or after the Forum.

WHO CAN PROPOSE PROJECTS?

  •  Youth-led organizations, associations or entities;
  •  Young members of youth-focused organizations (18-35 years of age), on behalf of these organizations;
  • Young entrepreneurs with an established NGO or enterprise, in particular social enterprises.

HOW WILL THE SELECTION PROCESS TAKE PLACE?

  • 15 July - 12 August 2013: Submission of action projects
  • 13 - 31 August 2013: - Verification by UNESCO’s Secretariat that the projects meet the established criteria
  •  2 - 30 September 2013: Pre-selection and shortlisting of 45 projects (9 projects per region) by an International independent jury composed of youth and experts in the relevant fields.
  •  1 - 28 October 2013: Online posting of the shortlisted 45 projects which are made available to the youth delegates of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum who can further debate on them online.
  •  29 - 31 October 2013: Examination and debate on the 45 projects during the Forum to select 15 projects (3 per region) that will receive the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum Label”.
  • 5-20 November 2013: Presentation of the 15 projects to the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference alongside with the strategic recommendations

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE PROJECTS THAT WILL NOT RECEIVE THE LABEL?

Those projects that would have been pre-selected by the International independent jury but are not among the 15 that receive the label, will not lead to naught. They will be kept in a pool of projects by UNESCO’s Secretariat, with a view drawing upon their potential and, if and when possible, integrating them in future activities in the framework of the Organization’s Youth Programme.

 

 

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