Since 1999, when the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, International Youth Day (@inter_youth day) has been celebrated on 12 August each year.
This year’s IYD theme is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ which seeks to highlight the ways in which engaging young people at the local, national and global levels are enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well drawing lessons on how getting young people represented and formally engaged in institutional politics can be enhanced.
More broadly, IYD forms part of the UN’s #31DaysOfYOUth social media campaign to celebrate young people throughout the month of August leading up to and following IYD. The campaign aims to spread the word and to strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action. In 2020, the focus is one engaging young people at three levels:
- grass roots, in local communities
- nationally, in formulating and implementing laws and policies
Recognising and appreciating the achievements, skills and expertise of young people is important to us in our work at ARTD. IYD’s theme and our approach to engaging and working with young people aligns with our vision of ‘a more thoughtful world, in which citizens and decision-makers use evaluative tools to design and refine action for the public good.’
We value the unique insights and perspectives that young people can contribute to our program and policy evaluations across the diverse sectors we work in. Capacity building and developing the skills and confidence of young people to improve outcomes related to, for example, education or health (physical and mental health) is often a key aspect of our work.
Our Indigenous Internship program is another way in which we seek to empower young people. Holly Kovac, a current Research Assistant who began her career at ARTD in 2018, notes how the internship opened her eyes to the evaluation profession, and supported her development in it.
Coming into ARTD, I didn’t have much support or career trajectory outside of starting my nursing degree at the same time as starting here. The mentoring I received from Simon Jordan and later Ruby Leahy Gatfield really helped me shape my future. Combine this mentoring with the overall encouragement and support from other colleagues, I was really given a kick start into my career as an evaluator.
We look forward to working with young people from different communities, backgrounds and sectors. We’re particularly interested in learning about new or innovative ways of engaging in the context of COVID-19. Reach out to continue the conversation: we’d love to hear from you!