Call for Proposals
“Supporting Youth-Led Protection”
UNHCR Youth Initiative Fund – 2019
With the Global Compact on Refugees, States and partners will develop and adopt a new “whole-of-society approach” to working with refugees through the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. The whole-of-society approach, which closely aligns with that of the Youth Initiative Fund (YIF), further embeds UNHCR’s unique community based and participatory models of working with refugee, asylum-seeker, returnee, IDP and the stateless populations. The young people from these populations are diverse, creative and dynamic. Over the last six years, the Youth Initiative Fund has highlighted time and again – through its unique approach of youth-led protection projects – that when provided with support, training and resources, young people can be creative problem solvers, and are able to design, lead and implement successful projects that benefit, not only themselves, but their entire communities.
What is the Youth Initiative Fund?
In 2019, the YIF enters its seventh year. The YIF was initiated by the Division of International Protection in Geneva to support community based protection projects imagined, designed and led by young people. Since 2014, the YIF has supported more than 100 youth led projects globally that have addressed protection challenges including sexual and gender-based violence, peaceful coexistence, child protection and psychosocial wellbeing.
The YIF is unique in that it targets and builds upon the existing capacities and capabilities of young people, rather than focussing on vulnerabilities. The YIF creates an enabling environment that provides young people with the space and support necessary to become active protection actors within their communities and helps them build life skills that strengthen resilience. This is achieved through the realisation of three main objectives:
1. Participation:Young people have genuine opportunities for community participation and opportunities to effect decision making processes, especially in the area of protection;
2. Empowerment: Young people learn about project management, use their initiative, evaluate options, learn to make informed decisions and choices, developing and enhancing leadership skills;
3. Innovation: Young people develop innovative, youth-appropriate protection solutions to addressing personal, group and community challenges.
Community-Based Protection and Capacity Development:
- Young people should be encouraged and supported to imagine, research, design and implement projects based on protection concerns they identify within their communities.
- Projects should be community based, and should incorporate a learning component that helps to further develop young people’s capacities in areas such as life skills, business or community work.
- Capacity development should be sustainable so that acquired skills and knowledge remain in communities after the project.
- Projects may also wish to support young people to develop relationships with host community groups and groups from their own or other communities to promote peaceful coexistence and address discrimination and xenophobia.
What have we learned so far?
Please consider the following when developing your proposals:
- Funding allocations should be allocated directly to project activities where possible, rather than capital expenditure unless directly linked to achieving the project objectives.
- Consult the programme team in your location to ensure there is clear understanding of procurement procedures and processes, and how this may affect the timeline of the project.
- Projects that concentrate on a single issue and demonstrate effectively how this will be addressed, whilst building capacity, are more likely to be funded.
- Past YIF project practices and common enabling factors are summarized in the report YIF summary report “On their Own Terms”. Consider the Core Actions for Refugee Youth developed
Reporting and Visibility
Reporting will be completed through the use of participatory assessment tools designed to highlight the process and measure changes for the group leading the initiative. A Focus Group Discussion, a ‘most significant change’ exercise and a short online final report capturing the processes and potential impact on the young people involved will be required. Each group will be asked to join the online collaborative platform – Slack (youth-initiativefund.slack.com) - so that the group can post captioned photo-updates of the project on a regular basis. Guidance on all reporting tools is provided. All reporting is due by 15th January 2020.
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