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January, 2023
Good Practices on Youth Engagement and Youth Leadership in COVID-19 response

The good practice case studies on youth engagement and leadership in COVID-19 response showcase how young people and youth-led organizations worldwide have been at the forefront of responding to the needs of their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These case studies from Micronesia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Australia, and the Asia South-Pacific region, demonstrate good practices by youth-oriented organizations and networks in risk communication and community engagement (RCCE). The meaningful engagement of young people at their community level and the promotion of their leadership for their sustained engagement are two key and distinct actions that were witnessed when tackling issues in communities.

As examples, they aim to be a resource for organizations to implement good practices when working with young people. This includes youth engagement and youth empowerment as essential parts of coordination that contribute to the prevention, preparedness, and response to future public health emergencies.

The good practices include Case Study 1: UNICEF Pacific supports Micronesia Red Cross Society (MRCS) youths in the fight against COVID-19 in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) – Micronesia Red Cross Society and UNICEF Pacific, Federated States of Micronesia; Case Study 2: Young Women Raise-Awareness and Generate Income in Combating COVID-19 – BINDU Women Development / BINDU Nari Unnayan Sangatha and UN WOMEN Bangladesh; Case Study 3: Youth-Led Risk Communication and Outreach for Rural Communities – Young Urban Women’s Movement, Ghana; Case Study 4: Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Leading to Outreach for COVID-19 Awareness – UNICEF Guinea-Bissau; Case Study 5: Youth Leadership Skills and Economic Empowerment Amidst the COVID Crisis – Dar Abu Abdallah (DAA) and UNICEF Jordan, Jordan; Case Study 6: ‘Day in the Life’ Video Series of Young People During the Pandemic – Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN), Australia; Case Study 7: Youth-led Action Research on the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Marginalized Youth, Asia South-Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE).

The design of the interventions emphasized participation, skills building, and local-level partnerships. Training on COVID-19 health information as well as on appropriate communication and outreach strategies, contributed to the effective implementation of RCCE. This, in turn, contributed to the personal and professional development of the youth and allowed for their recognition by the community.  

These case studies demonstrate the importance of stakeholder engagement and building partnerships as key strategies, and they showcase a wide variety of risk communication activities such as the production and dissemination of materials, interpersonal communication at te community level such as house-to-house awareness-raising, demonstrations, and community dialogues, and the use of radio and online communication channels. The case studies offer useful insights into RCCE methods, such as the importance of encouraging community participation in awareness-raising efforts and in utilizing social listening and localized approaches. They also show the linkages between Social and Behavior Change (SBC) approaches driven by youth leadership and engagement that include community mobilization, policy influence, systems strengthening, and improving service access.  

The case studies have been selected by the Youth Engagement Subgroup YES! of the Collective Service (UNICEF, WHO, IFRC, GOARN) as an initiative of UNICEF, UNAIDS, and the Collective Helpdesk with the support of UN WOMEN and the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action, as part of an open call for good practices to document, analyze, and promote youth engagement and youth leadership across countries and regions. 

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