Anticipated to launch in January 2021, Power to You(th) is a five-year, consortium effort funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project will be implemented in seven districts of Amhara and Afar Regional States, led by a consortium of three organizations: Amref Health Africa, Youth Network for Sustainable Development, and Hiwot Ethiopia. The Power to You(th) project will centre youth and harness the power of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in achieving change to harmful practices (HPs), sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes, including unintended pregnancy.
The project envisions more adolescent girls and young women from underserved communities making informed choices, enjoying their sexuality, and being free from harmful practices in a gender-equitable society.
This vision will be materialized through the achievement of the following ambitions of four interlinked pathways:
Pathway 1: Strengthening young people to claim civic space
We aim for young people to actively demand accountability and responsiveness on the key issues from societal and state actors. Through young people, we want to accelerate the inclusion of AGYW from underserved communities in decision-making processes. To realize this, the consortium will enable young people to gradually strengthen their voice, role, and position in society, enabling them to address the key issues and claim the civic space to do so.
Pathway 2: Strengthening Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
We aim for CSOs to claim, protect, and expand the civic space at the (sub) national level, with connections to the global level. To achieve this, the consortium will strengthen CSO’s capacity including their lobby and advocacy (L&A) capacity, and create opportunities to apply innovative and inclusive L&A methods (e.g. intergenerational dialogues), and to network with each other.
Pathway 3: Changing social norms
We aim for influential societal actors (reformists) to support and promote youth rights and progressive equal social norms concerning the key issues identified. When harmful social norms are broken down, young people are liberated to increase their voice and agency in the public arena. To achieve this we will train societal actors so they have the knowledge and skills to act, engage media to play an important role in raising awareness and influencing debates. Social debate will contribute to societal actors having more positive attitudes towards young people’s rights and increased willingness to involve young people as equal partners in decision-making.
Pathway 4: Improving policies and policy implementation
To protect AGYW from the detrimental effects of HPs, SGBV, and unintended pregnancies, we aim to improve policymaking and implementation at the local, national, regional, and global levels. To achieve this, this pathway will strengthen state actors’ skills and knowledge on duty bearers’ responsibility to respect, promote and realise human rights, and willingness to create an enabling environment for citizen voices throughout policy processes.