A Free Guide on ‘How to Plan and Develop Your Youth Advocacy Project’

The number of youths living on this planet at this time is considered to be the largest youth population ever recorded in history.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the article, 10 Things you didn’t know about the world’s population, there are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 and many of them reside in developing countries.

“In fact, in the world’s 48 least developed countries, children or adolescents make up a majority of the population.”

This underlines the potential youths can play in bringing about change in the society. Youths not only occupy a substantial portion of today’s population, but they are expected to play a significant role in leading the world. It becomes critical to empower them and increase their participation in policy development, decision-making, and governance.

According to Advocates for Youth, “Young people are a tremendous resource for an advocacy campaign.” It further states:

  • Young People Can Do All This—And More!
  • Plan the strategy
  • Do interviews with the media
  • Plan a program
  • Design educational materials
  • Educate the community, other youth, etc.
  • Write letters to newspapers
  • Represent youth support for program funders
  • Keep the network in touch with the trends and challenges of youth in the community
  • Plan and conduct a conference
  • Speak to community leaders
  • Evaluate a program
  • Get other young people involved
  • Conduct community interviews, research, or needs assessment
  • Be a spokesperson for the network
  • Help represent the network to funders
  • Evaluate the friendliness of information and clinical services programs for youth


In this free guide on ‘How to Plan and Develop a Youth Advocacy Project‘, we will look at various steps required for youth organizations for developing a youth-led and youth-based advocacy project.

This process will not only help you in planning an effective project for youth empowerment and youth development in your area, it will also assist you in raising funds for your organization in a more strategic manner.

You can take this project to develop your proposal and seek funding from grant-making foundations around the world.

What is Advocacy?

Before we can set out to develop a youth advocacy project, we need to understand what advocacy is.

However, there is no single and accepted definition of ‘advocacy,’ and it can mean differently in different countries and regions around the world.

According to the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) toolkit, Want to change the world? Here’s how…,

“Basically, advocacy is about calling for change and guiding decision makers towards solutions.

It refers to the different ways we can build political, financial or public support to bring about action for change. It involves influencing leaders and decision makers to address the root causes of problems and to generate long-term sustainable solutions.”

A Free Guide on 'How to Plan and Develop Your Youth Advocacy Project'


ECPAT Global Youth Partnership Programme’s manual on youth-led advocacy says

“There are a few important common features that all advocacy projects.”

These features are:

  • My project aims to make change benefiting groups of children in need.
  • My project seeks to achieve these goals by influencing someone who has the power to make decisions or take action that will help achieve these goals
  • The action I am recommending will have a long-term impact. It will not just be a one-time response to a particular case but will change a policy or law so that the benefits will continue to grow over time.

A Free Guide on 'How to Plan and Develop Your Youth Advocacy Project'


The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group (CYSDP) in Sport for Development and Peace Youth Advocacy Toolkit defines advocacy as

“a process of trying to effect change in policies, practices, attitudes, beliefs or actions through influencing people and/or organisations who are in positions of power.”

We can conclude from the above definitions that although there is no fixed definition about advocacy, in most circumstances, it is agreed that advocacy is about influencing people in power to bring about an overall positive change.

To learn more about how you can identify youth problems and issues in your area, how to develop project goals and objectives, how to plan activities and outline results, click on the ‘next’ link below.