New Advocacy Toolkit empowers the next generation of youth advocates for better health
Every policy starts with an idea, a vision about something that could be improved or changed.
Insights and perspectives from young people are all-to-often neglected in key decision-making which impacts their future lives. The purpose of advocacy is to empower people to achieve specific policy changes that benefit the population involved.
By equipping young people with resources to unite and empower themselves, they can speak up, and draw a community’s attention to an issue of importance, thereby directing the course of change. CO-CREATE’s Toolkit allows young people to develop impactful ideas (e.g. on improving food systems, health education, tackling harmful corporate behaviour on a community’s health), and collaborate ways to make a positive difference.
This Toolkit is developed by youth for youth to learn about policy ideas through engaging activities. Its goal is for participants to find issues in their community and develop ideas on how to change them.
The Toolkit’s method is comprised of three engaging activities to elaborate, examine, and get broader perspectives on the idea.
The first activity is Visual Voice, where you go out in your community and take photos of objects or situations to find out which problems exist in your community.
The second activity is Systems Mapping. This is a way of looking at an issue by focusing on it as a whole, with its relationship to other advanced elements, and how it affects society, our culture and policies.
Lastly, participants hold a Dialogue Forum to explore the idea further and to include different perspectives and insights from a group of youth, adults, policymakers, or experts in a relevant field. This can be completed in under two hours, either using the downloadable digital pack, or a printable canvas. Young people should be at least 50% of the group to ensure a balance between young person-adult voices, and to ensure youth opinions on the topic are heard.
The Toolkit was launched on 21 June during a live webinar event which brought together CO-CREATE's researchers, youth advocates, policy experts and civil society organisations. Speakers explored the project’s research, the theory of systems thinking, pressures faced by young people today, and the user journey within the Toolkit.
You can download and find further info on the Youth-Led Change: A Systems Thinking Activity toolkit resource on this Healthy Voices page. There is also a link to download the accompanying Activity Sheet.
More information on the Toolkit
The toolkit is a free tool that has been developed through the EU Horizon 2020 project, CO-CREATE. The Toolkit has been developed by Press – Save the Children Youth Norway and designed by the World Obesity Federation.