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Youth Advisory Group better equipped to advance the UN’s work in Barbados & OECS


The UNESCO Office for the Caribbean has provided technical and methodological guidance since 2021 to the Barbados and OECS Resident Coordinator’s Office on meaningful youth engagement, including through the establishment of its Youth Advisory Group (YAG), which was created to provide an opportunity for youth to play an active and meaningful role in the development of the sub-region, working in close partnership with the UNST. Within this framework to ensure adequate understanding of the expectations and key programmatic areas for meaningful youth engagement an orientation and capacity development workshop was organized on April 3-4 for the 2023 Youth Advisory Group as well as for other youth leaders.

Based on tools and methodologies developed by UNESCO, including its Meaningfully engaging with youth: guidance and training on UNESCO’s work within the Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021) - UNESCO Digital Library, the Office for the Caribbean facilitated sessions on meaningful youth engagement for the young participants. The sessions were co-delivered in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Topics covered included levels of youth engagement and youth engagement principles, conditions for meaningful youth engagement, tools for MYE throughout the programme and project cycle, as well as types of interventions, youth groups and monitoring MYE.

The sessions allowed youth to reflect on how they have been engaged in different projects/programmes, and to identify mechanisms and recommendations for enhancing youth engagement. One exercise “Pitch for Youth” included the design of a sustainable development activity whereby youth would be engaged throughout the whole project cycle, and which allowed the participants to put into practice the different learnings of the workshop. The YAG proposed initiatives linked to civic engagement and education, disaster resilience and mentoring.

In addition to strengthening the capacities of the YAG on MYE tools and principles, the workshop also aimed at giving the YAG the space to exchange with different UN agencies and to develop the workplan for 2023. As a result of the workshop the YAG will have strengthened capacities to better contribute through a youth perspective to the work of the UN in Barbados & OECS.

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