Institutionalising structured dialogue between youth and municipalities
I Dare for Sustainable Development started with a four months’ pilot project (2014) for testing the concept at Ein-Albasha municipality and the title of the project was “institutionalising structured dialogue between youth and municipalities” and after that we did a one-year project (2015-2016) with six more municipalities in Great Tafileh, Qadissyeh, Great Ajloun, Kufranjeh, Great Salt and Shouneh and the title of the project was “establishing structured dialogue between youth and municipalities”. The youth we are targeting fall under the age group of 18-30 years old.
What we have done is that we tried and tested a model for how to establish a structured dialogue between youth and municipalities. When we started working on decentralization in Jordan, the decentralization law was still under formulation and there was huge lack of knowledge (and still even until today) about what decentralization means and how we can have practical measurements for that and how it will be reflected on the overall sustainable development.
We designed a capacity building that is built on main learning blocks that would fall under three main categories of competencies; knowledge, skills, and attitudes;
- Identity and active citizenship concepts
- Understanding of Sustainable development model
- Reading and critical look at the decentralization law
- Evaluating and understanding the current structure and bylaw of the municipality
- Macro environmental analysis and mapping of resources for each community/municipality
- Identifying problems and solutions for the current issue within each community/municipality
- Action plan for participants in order to have a practical active citizenship approach
- Coming up with long-term (5-10 years) strategy plan for municipalities
Both youth and municipality staff were targeted with the same capacity building. That was necessary to help in laying the foundation for the same basic knowledge and also to give understanding to the whole approach and how we all can be a partner in this and to be able to see how this would lead to the actual benefit of the whole community from the perspective of holistic sustainable development.
I Dare approach is A.C.T which is Acquire, Create, and Transform. The Acquire part is through providing technical and informative capacity building, the Creation part is where youth are required to look at the needs of their local community and to come up with ideas for initiatives that they could implement with coaching by I Dare, and finally, the Transformation part is when youth is able to make positive social transformation within their local communities.
I Dare for Sustainable Development is about positive community behavioral change and to enable this to happen, our projects are designed with a long-term perspective and it takes into consideration very specific details in order to ensure having long-term and tangible impact.
At the end of the project, the first phase, we succeeded in establishing two Youth Unities within the structure of the municipalities of Ajloun and Kufranjeh and with a dedicated budget. The challenge with this stage is that we need to have more tailored programs for the youth who will be running the Youth Units. I Dare is still working on this stage.