How to identify and outline Issues and Problems in a Youth Advocacy Project?

Once we have learned the significance of youths in carrying out advocacy campaigns and understanding the concept of ‘advocacy’, we now move on to developing the actual project for youth advocacy.

The first step in planning out the youth advocacy project is to identify the problems and issues for which you would like to implement your project.

As you look around in your project area, start by first noting down all problems and issues. For example, you may notice that there is a widespread problem of youth unemployment within your community. Now if you ask the question to yourself as to why there is so much youth employment, you can get answers from yourself or from some basic community research.

You will come to know that it could because of poor education and low skills of the youths or lack of businesses in the area because of which the youth are not able to get appropriate jobs or a complete absence of government-supported schemes to encourage youth training and skill-building.

When you analyze a problem and try to find its causes, this is often referred to as the ’cause-and-effect’ relationship. This is an important process that helps in removing the confusion about what the problem is and what are its effects.

This relationship is usually explored through a tool called ‘Problem Tree.’ In the ‘Problem Tree,’ you draw a picture of the tree and list out the causes of the problems as the roots of the tree, the problems as the trunk of the tree and the branches and leaves are the effects of the problem.

According to the UNICEF Advocacy Toolkit,