USAID/Zambia Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Office - Youth Lead Project

Youth leaders work together to plan their youth led initiative/advocacy campaigns.
The Youth Lead activity aims to support, network, and elevate outstanding young leaders to amplify the impact of their work, inspire civic innovation, and promote a culture of sustained citizen-responsive leadership.
Photo Courtesy of FHI 360

The political system in Zambia has real potential to hold those in leadership to account, and to promote citizen responsive governance. USAID’s Youth Lead project aims to support, network, and elevate outstanding young leaders to amplify the impact of their work, inspire civic innovation, and promote a culture of sustained citizen-responsive leadership.

YOUTH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

The Youth Lead activity builds youth’s civic engagement skills through training and internship programs which culminate in grant-funded, youth-led projects addressing women’s rights, health, and good governance. Youth Lead trains youth in leadership, advocacy, and civic action skills that are most likely to lead to increased and more effective civic engagement.

Youth have a potentially powerful role to play in shaping Zambia’s democratic future, yet youth rates of civic and political participation are low when compared with other groups.  This is particularly true of urban youth, who participate in much lower numbers than their rural peers. Through the Youth Lead activity, young people will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to design and implement community projects within and outside their communities.

  • Life of Project: 2018 - 2021
  • Location: National
  • Implementing Partner: FHI 360
  • Chief of Party: Travis Gartner
  • USAID Investment (Life of Project): $2,800,000

Youth Lead has developed a three-stage, integrated leadership-development program that supports youth through a series of activities that help them learn, practice, and apply leadership and civic education skills. These include:

  • Learn: An experiential youth leadership training program;
  • Practice: An internship program to enable youth to practice skills in a workplace setting and expand their knowledge and exposure to leadership and civic action; and

  • Apply: An opportunity to apply the skills learned by designing and implementing a youth-led initiative and/or advocacy campaign.INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING OF LOCAL ACTORS

Youth Lead establishes structures and systems for engaging youth as leaders in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private businesses. Additionally, the opportunity to scale up community-based, youth-led projects and advocacy campaigns that promote youth civic engagement will sustainably prepare youth to become the next generation of leaders in their communities. With this approach, Youth Lead strengthens the capacity of local partners to implement all Youth Lead activities through organizational and technical support.

JOURNEY TO SELF-RELIANCE

USAID believes every person, every community, and every country wants to be empowered to lead their own future. We support self-reliance by walking alongside our friends on their development journey, as evolving but enduring partners.  As partners on this journey, we are empowering host country governments and our partners to achieve locally-sustained results, helping countries mobilize public and private revenues, strengthening local capacities, and accelerating enterprise-driven development.  This approach fosters stable, resilient, and prosperous countries that are more self-reliant, and prioritizes enduring partnerships.

Last updated: July 07, 2020

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