4Youth Annual Meeting and Count Me In Reflection Meeting: Press Release

Posted on Mar 3, 2020

#4YouthRCF, the Global Consortium working for Young Key Populations 

On the 26th - 28th February 2020, Youth LEAD, Y-PEER APC, Youth RISE and Y+, also known as 4Youth (the adopted consortium name under the RCF Grant for 2019 - 2021) came together for the Annual Meeting and Count Me In Reflection Meeting held in Pattaya, Thailand.  In total, 10 nationalities were present at the meeting, which include participants from Burundi, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Russia, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.

The annual meeting kicked off with presentations from consortium members that reflected on the achievements, challenges and areas for improvements of each network. This helped establish where progress was being made among 4Youth members, recognising more importantly, where other networks can provide additional support as we move into planning for 2020. In other sessions, an informal market place was held, giving the networks the opportunity to present a principal activity from 2019; using the RCF Theory of Change indicators to highlight how the activity was implemented and what were the outcomes. This activity reminded consortium members to consider the RCF Theory of Change in their programmatic evaluations to ensure that different indicators are being considered to achieve the best results. Sessions in the remainder of the day covered topics of risk assessment and risk management, which encouraged networks to identify risks that may be mitigated through effective planning.

On Day 2, 4Youth explored in more significant detail issues of communication and advocacy. Tinashe Rufurwadzo (Y+) opened the discussion on communications and ways to better shape 4Youth's communications strategic plan. The consortium agreed to collaborate and work jointly on a communications manual that would aid the communications objectives of each network. The manual will also serve to improve the communications outreach of each network and the consortium as a whole but to also provide guidance for the networks in creating their own communications strategic plan that align with their networks strategic priorities.

Later on, 4Youth welcomed Alicia Sanchez, Youth Programme Coordinator at UNAIDS who joined the meeting virtually to discuss global advocacy opportunities. Alicia highlighted how UNAIDS will work to meaningfully engage young people in all forms of decision-making processes and shared with the consortium programmes being created to promote youth leadership at UNAIDS and PACT. Alicia also helped identify areas where UNAIDS can provide assistance to 4Youth in other global advocacy opportunities. With HIV 2020 and AIDS 2020 conferences shortly approaching in Mexico City, Mexico and San Francisco, USA, respectively, 4Youth are looking to establish key partnerships with organising members to ensure meaningful engagement of young people across the conferences. Collectively, 4Youth has mobilised USD 50,000 to support the involvement of young key populations at the conferences with full and partial scholarships. Likewise, the consortium has expressed a keen interest in organising a dedicated YKP Forum, which will be held a day before the HIV 2020 conference. 4Youth are taking the initiative to organise the YKP Forum to provide greater support in the involvement of YKPs across the conference and to provide a platform for key populations organisations/networks to share best practices in programming.

Youth LEAD, Y+ and Youth RISE used the last day to convene a reflection meeting for the Count Me In, a project funded by The Global Fund CRG-Strategic Initiative. The three networks reflected on 2019 challenges and achievements with the grant, which was followed by discussions concerning the management of The Global Fund grant. Gaj Gurung (Youth LEAD) facilitated and navigated through these discussions and invited Missael Hotman (Inti Muda) and Vu Dung Tran (VYKAP) to share their experience with being a sub-grantee for The Global Fund CRG-Strategic Initiative. Before concluding the meeting, the organisations were tasked with creating a work-plan with a new budget for 2020 and to identify areas for collaboration.

Moving forward, the networks have committed to strengthening the advocacy of 4Youth and to foster on-going cross-learning initiatives. The networks have pledged to support each other not only within the RCF grant or YKP programmes but with the development of crucial documents and manuals. Youth LEAD has committed to supporting the legal registration of YPEER APC, Youth RISE and Y+ by allowing the networks to use Youth LEAD’s finance, governance and work-place manuals as a template to help with the legal registration processes. The HIV 2020 conference will also mark the first global joint advocacy activity that will be lead by 4Youth as a consortium.

Edited by: Eddy Rudram, Communications Officer at Youth LEAD