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Revitalizing Engagement in the YouthPower Learning Network

As part of USAID’s YouthPower 2 Learning & Evaluation (YP2LE) program, the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) embarked on an assessment and redesign of the YouthPower Learning Network (YPLN) to enhance its effectiveness in supporting the needs of its members worldwide. Partnering with Making Cents International, GKI aimed to transform this global community of over 5,000 youth practitioners into a more vibrant and impactful platform for exploring, evaluating, and strengthening youth engagement in development. 

GKI’s human-centered approach began with a comprehensive network assessment, uncovering key challenges in member engagement, collaboration, and youth leadership. To address these issues, GKI initiated a co-creation process, engaging stakeholders in a series of workshops to brainstorm solutions and develop a shared vision for the network’s future. This collaborative effort led to a significant redesign of the YPLN, focusing on empowering youth voices and fostering a more inclusive and dynamic online community.

Key Accomplishments

  • Community Listening: Conducted 30 interviews and two surveys across the YouthPower community to gather feedback on their experiences and reflect on what was working and what could be improved.
  • Co-creation Workshops: Facilitated a series of five virtual workshops with diverse stakeholders to gather input on the structure, format, and processes of the Network, as well as to brainstorm solutions and develop a shared vision for the network’s future. 
  • Network Redesign: Implemented structural changes that enhanced collaboration and provided structured spaces for members to connect, share knowledge, and collaborate on projects, including the creation of six Communities of Practice (CoPs) and two working groups focused on specific thematic areas, a mentorship program, and a new governance structure with greater youth representation. 
  • Increased Engagement: Increased active participation in the network by 35%, and significantly improved member satisfaction.
  • Stronger Youth Leadership: Youth members were empowered to take on leadership roles within the CoPs and the overall network, which resulted in greater ownership and a more vibrant community. In the first year of the CoPs, champions hosted over 35 events in multiple languages featuring more than 40 guest speakers and captured learnings through practical resources.
  • Positive Feedback: Members reported feeling more connected to the network, finding value in the resources and opportunities provided, and feeling optimistic about the network’s future.

GKI’s expertise in network assessment and redesign, combined with its commitment to youth-led solutions, enabled the successful revitalization of the YouthPower Learning Network. Additionally, GKI’s creation of key network management resources, including a CoP facilitation handbook and numerous templates for member onboarding and engagement, has supported the network in operating sustainably and adaptively. Today, the redesigned YPLN is better positioned to fulfill its mission of supporting young people in achieving their full potential and contributing to positive change in their communities and the world.

Disclaimer: The information provided here was synthesized using Google’s AI, Gemini, from written materials produced by GKI and Making Cents International.

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