The idea of establishing a proactive youth network come after a thorough discussion of four youth-led organization leaders who attended in the National Family Planning Symposium in Bahir Dar in November 2012. It is emanated from the deep aspiration of putting youth development agenda into the decision making table. Youth issues are either inadequately addressed or totally been neglected with the fact that there were no any proactive youth networks that are pushing the agenda forward. Youth participation is found to be one of the key areas which need public policy priority in the coming five to ten years’ time according the country assessment report on the implementation of the international conference on population and development Programme of action for the year 2009-2013. This is in spite of the fact that Ethiopian youth policy that clearly stipulates that youth need to actively participate in matters that affect their lives. It was even more surprising since Ethiopia is a signatory to various international protocols and agreements which affirm the government’s commitment to ensure meaningful participation of youth in the overall development process of the country. The type of participation that has been seen so far is more of supply sided. Youth do participate on the rare occasions when they have been invited. There now needs to be a paradigm shift on this with participation being demand driven! For this to happen there needs to be a strong youth network that will work towards finding and demanding arenas for meaningful youth participation.
As a result of poor connectedness and lack of networking, youth led organizations are characterized by a poor resource base, a lack of access to information, an inability to utilize opportunities, stuck in piecemeal and micro projects and, above all, unable to put youth development issues in the decision making table.
COYDOE envisioned seeing self-directed, proactive, development oriented youth that are free of social, economic, environmental vices in the Horn of Africa.
Enhance the coordination and partnership for meaningful participation of young people in their own development interventions and their role for sustained development of their country through strengthening the capacity of youth organizations and creating an enabling environment in addressing adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health, girls and young women empowerment, employment and environment programs.
Create conducive environment and coordinated response to meet young people’s sexual reproductive health, education, employment and participation needs.
- Transparency and Accountability
- Develop capacity of its secretariat, member organizations, for the effective implementation of adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health, adolescent and youth empowerment, environment, and youth participation programs.
- Develop a mechanism for an improved coordination among youth serving and youth led organizations in their efforts towards meeting the country specific goals related to meeting adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health, adolescent and youth empowerment and environment programs.
- To create conducive working environment for member organizations through working in close partnership with the government and the media to improve their contribution to development programs.
- To facilitate the meaningful participation of young people in their own development and country policy and program development related to adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health, adolescent and youth empowerment and environment.
- To mobilize adequate and sustainable resources for member organizations and the secretariat for effective implementation of adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health, adolescent and youth empowerment, environment and youth participation programs.
COYDOE will create a strong organizational system with functional structures for the smooth operation of its activities. As role of the consortium remains coordination and facilitation, more effort will be directed towards creating platforms for member organizations to be represented in various forums depending on their fields of expertise. With this in view the secretariat will have few key staff. It will develop a sound financial system, communication strategy and resource mobilization plan. COYDOE will have the following organogram
Strategic Intervention Areas
The following are the strategic Intervention Areas for COYDOE:
Communication and Networking
Communication and networking seeks to:
a) Support member organizations to contribute to the body of knowledge on overall youth development
b) Enhance their capacities to access relevant information and data to inform their interventions;
c) Facilitate membership experience sharing and the dissemination of information across the 4priority areas of engagement.
COYDOE will facilitate collaboration between members and other stakeholders to share and utilize knowledge, skills, best practice and lessons learned. Communication is essential for collective organizing, transfer of skills and knowledge, movement building and mobilizing a large constituency to speak out on issues affecting youth.
This intervention area seeks to identify innovative ideas, opportunities and strategies that can be used by member organizations and COYDOE partners to advance youth development issues at national, regional and international levels. COYDOE will be intervening in creating enabling environment through innovative approaches in all its five priority areas.
Institutional Capacity Building
COYDOE seeks to enhance the institutional and organizational capacities of youth organizations to effectively engage in the development processes of the country. The capacity building will aim towards enabling member organizations to become center of excellence for specific thematic area (ASRH, education, girls and young women empowerment, environmental protection, employment). COYDOE focuses on movement building as a strategy for increasing the number of youth organizations working towards achieving the desired change in the short, medium and long-term period. Technical support in areas of documenting best experiences, effective communication skills, etc. will be provided. COYDOE will provide needs based training for member organizations, solicit funds for members, provide technical support for member organizations, conduct informative research, and a secretariat for COYDOE (web-site, staffing, etc.).
Resource mobilization is identified to be one of the key issues that COYDOE needs to focus on during the strategic planning process. Young people and their organizations are currently operating with meager resources. Though youth organizations are playing a pivotal role they are poorly resourced. COYDOE will work extensively in resource mobilization including internal income generating schemes so as to generating adequate and sustained resources.
The leadership approach focuses on assisting youth in the development of a concrete skill base that orients young people towards personal health, and enabling them to be effective leaders in their schools & communities. A wide range of structured programs will be designed to build trust, facilitate effective communication, promote wellness, self-respect, and personal insight and to develop leadership skills to promote innovation and creativity in the works of member organizations.