Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities

Youth Compass: Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities

The Youth Compass is a first-of-kind guide has been developed by YouthPower Action to increase implementers’ abilities to achieve intended results of a youth activity (also referred to as a youth project or youth program), bring those results to scale and sustain them.  The compass, a timeless instrument for navigation and orientation, both represents and operationalizes the Youth Compass’ strategic process.
The Youth Compass has been pilot-tested in two USAID youth activities, one in Jordan and the other in Indonesia.  The outcomes and resulting feedback from these pilots were used to refine and strengthen the guide.

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Specifically, the Youth Compass can be used by implementers to strengthen the design or on-going efforts of a youth-focused or youth-included activity. 

More than an analytical tool, the Youth Compass is a three-step, seven task strategic process for analyzing a youth activity’s weaknesses, opportunities or gaps; identifying and prioritizing actions to strengthen the activity; and incorporating the “strengthening actions” into the activity. 

Click on the image or here to see an interactive graphic for the steps and tasks. 
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Informed by the key development approaches of positive youth development, cross-sectoral coordination, and gender equality, the Youth Compass’ conceptual framework consists of four areas:  Beneficiaries; Enabling Environment; Youth Participation and Empowerment; and Gender Equality. These serve as standards that a youth activity is both measured against and strives to attain.  
The tool is highly adaptable and also provides guidance on use in distinct development scenarios, which include:  post-conflict; preventing/countering violent extremism; and, humanitarian assistance.
Youth Compass: A Strategic Guide to Strengthen Youth Activities is organized into three chapters:
  • CHAPTER 1. Putting the Youth Compass into Action 

    Contains a detailed explanation of the three-step, seven-task process. The tasks consist of exercises to assess the current state of the activity; identify and prioritize strengthening actions; and integrate the actions into the youth activity and act upon them. As needed, Youth Compass users can tailor each task exercise to best suit the needs and realities of the youth activity in-focus.  

  • CHAPTER 2. Conclusions and Follow Up 

    Summarizes important points and provides final considerations for follow up once the Youth Compass has been completed.  

  • CHAPTER 3. Youth Compass Case Study

    Presents a sample case study to demonstrate the Youth Compass in action. Its illustrative responses can guide a Compass team in making decisions under each task. The fictional youth-focused activity has cross-sectoral, positive youth development and gender elements. It is recommended that the Compass team review the case study before beginning the Youth Compass effort.  

Download the Youth Compass, a one-page summary, and its electronic template:


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