Funded by: the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and implemented in partnership with Al-Thoria Center for Studies, Consultancies, and Training. Term: December 2021 – September 2023 (Phase II).
Search for Common Ground (Search) is implementing a 20-month initiative with the overall goal of strengthening youth-centered participatory approaches to local governance in Jordan. This goal is informed by two specific objectives: (1) equip local authorities and youth with the skills to effectively, durably, and inclusively engage their communities in local governance; and (2) enable local authorities and youth to leverage participatory approaches and strategic communication to address local communities’ governance demands.
Working with civil society, youth, women, we forge trust and empathy with local communities, authorities, and key decision-makers to ensure responsive governance that meets the needs of every citizen. This model ultimately fosters positive relations between youth and local authorities, while providing a non-violent channel through which youth can collaboratively address their grievances.
Search will equip authorities at the local and national levels with the tools and opportunities to build their capacities, develop strategic communication, and increase and sustain youth and community participation, while also ensuring the sustainable engagement of Local Youth Leadership Platforms (LYLPs). Search will target the following five governorates: Amman, Irbid, Madaba,Tafileh, and Zarqa.
Theory of Change: IF members of local, municipal, governorate, and executive councils in target governorates are better equipped and supported to implement youth-centered participatory approaches to local governance, IF local male and female youth leaders are empowered to leverage sustainable youth-led platforms for constructive and meaningful long-term engagement in local governance, AND IF the two groups are supported to jointly address shared community needs, THEN local governance will better reflect and address the needs and perspectives of youth and their wider communities BECAUSE local authorities and youth will better understand how to engage,and collaborate with each other and with their wider communities and will recognise the value of these collaborative relationships and interactions.
Search will achieve the expected outcomes and outputs through a programmatic approach which:
- Supports local authorities to take on additional responsibilities in line with the decentralization process and be more effective and accountable actors engaging local communities;
- Leverages our experience supporting youth leaders to expand and deepen youth-government collaboration to ensure local communities needs and grievances are addressed in an inclusive and participatory way; and
- Supports this process reflecting on entry points related to the electoral cycle and political practice and norms.
This will be achieved through the implementation of the following key activities:
- Research and baseline assessment of local authorities’ capacity building needs.
- Development of transformative engagement of youth curriculum to support local authorities in being more effective, inclusive and supportive of youth in local governance.
- Training of trainers so that a cohort of local governance experts can cascade the training curriculum among local authorities.
- National Actors Awareness Workshop for senior-level government officials who might be pertinent to community grievances, particularly that of the youth.
- Cascade of expert-led training for 15 local authorities in the targeted governorates for transformative youth engagement.
- Sustainable Youth Leadership Training that leverages Search’s existing training curriculum to support youth’s long-term participation in local governance.
- Media for Social Change workshops with youth leaders based on Search’s Media for Social Change, strengthening their capacities to leverage media, and transform communities perspectives.
- Youth-led Dialogue sessions with the local community to identify the most pressing issues and to inform local action plans.
- Coordination Workshop for Youth Inclusion Plans to ensure local authorities constructively engage youth to identify local communities needs.
- Media campaigns to disseminate co-designed messaging that features the strengthened partnership and collaboration between authorities and youth.
- Participation of youth leaders as Junior Council Members to represent youth needs and grievances during the governorate council meetings.
- Conference on Best Practices in Youth-Centered Approaches for Local Governance to take stock of their initiatives, share lessons learned, and identify possible actions.