Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana) has trained a group of young people in action research for development. The four-day training workshop, organised in Koforidua, brought on board youth leaders from all ten regions of Ghana. The Youth-led Research Training Workshop forms part of activities under YES-Ghana’s ‘Voices of Youth: Improving Youth Participation in Public Policy Decision-Making’ project. The three-year project, being implemented with support from the Commonwealth Foundation, seeks to build the capacity of youth leaders to place them in pole position to initiate and champion youth-led initiatives to strengthen youth participation and development in Ghana.
The 28 participants at the workshop learned new skills for action research, developing research plans for immediate implementation and now constitute a team of youth researchers who will conduct a review of progress in the implementation of the Ghana Youth Manifesto. This process includes data collection and analysis, as well as participation in at least two other subsequent workshops. The youth research team is also responsible for preparing a ‘People’s National Youth Policy’ document that captures the findings and recommended actions from the research project.
YES-Ghana, through this project, is working through youth-led, youth-focused organisations under the umbrella of the national Voices of Youth Coalition, to strengthen youth mobilisation, develop an online directory of youth organisations, conduct youth action research to form the basis for a ‘People’s National Youth Policy’, which will form the basis for evidence-based advocacy campaigns and stakeholder engagement. Young people, through these activities, are expected to play meaningful roles in influencing government’s policy direction on youth, particularly in the development and implementation of a new National Youth Policy post-2015.
The workshop was facilitated by Emmanuel Edudzie, Executive Director, YES-Ghana, and Kimberley Green, Training and Capacity Building Manager, YES-Ghana, with support from Roland Adatuu, National Focal Person, Voices of Youth Coalition, Mutawukilu Mahama, Voices of Youth Eastern Regional Focal Person and Emmanuel Nomafo from YES-Ghana’s YIEDIE project team.
At the post workshop stage, young researchers, up to the end of June, 2016, will undertake their planned in-field activities to collect inputs from youth and other relevant stakeholders. The data collected will then be analysed and presented at the next workshop, where they will also share their field experiences and challenges at the data collection stage. A writing and coordination taskforce, to be constituted by YES-Ghana, will prepare a preliminary draft of the People’s National Youth Policy based on the inputs received. An online consultation of the preliminary draft will be organised and a review workshop involving youth leaders from the Voices of Youth Coalition held to consider the final draft Policy before finalisation of the actual People’s National Youth Policy.