How can we put youth voices at the driving seat of programmes and policies for dignified work across Africa?
In 2018, Africa’s Voices joined forces with the Mastercard Foundation to pilot an SMS-based two-way feedback and engagement platform to amplify the voices of African youth and place them at the heart of Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works programme. Perspectives that the youth share through the channel provide a timely source of evidence which Africa’s Voices analyses and interprets to support programme decision-makers at all levels.
For the first part of the pilot, Africa’s Voices worked with Spatial Collective, to co-create a youth employment-focused event in Nairobi – a proxy-project to test the platform’s viability. Young people across the city – project participants – collaborated on the event’s development, using the SMS platform to provide feedback on their experience with the event and its outcomes.
The learning from the proxy project laid the basis for the second phase of the pilot – a live larger-scale deployment of the platform. Africa’s Voices collaborated with a Mastercard Foundation partner, CAP-Youth Empowerment Institute across 14 counties in Kenya. CAP-YEI sought to understand the value of an alternative method for open-ended SMS engagement with students to inform programme decision.
The pilot has demonstrated that open-ended, two-way and dynamic modes of engagement have a great potential for including young people in the design and implementation of programmes that aim to benefit them.
See how the pilot unfolded and how we make the case for embedding youth voice in the design and implementation of youth employment programmes by clicking “Enter” below. You can also explore our Learning Report which outlines how AVF designed and tested a prototype of this channel, and some of the insights that were learnt.