YouthPower Learning Webinar: Engaging Hard-to-Reach Youth in Research and Evaluation

When: Wednesday, May 17, 09:30 am - 11:00 am ET

The YouthPower Learning Youth Engagement Community of Practice (CoP) and the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Youth-Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group (YFE-TIG) co-hosted the webinar "Engaging Hard-to-Reach Youth in Research and Evaluation" on May 17 at 9:30 am ET.

This webinar included presentations from three organizations that have engaged hard-to-reach youth in research and evaluation. Search for Common Ground shared its experiences working with youth as data collectors in crisis and conflict contexts, while ADD International discussed engaging youth with disabilities in research. Communities in Collaboration spoke about working with immigrant youth on evaluation activities. This was the second webinar in a series that the YouthPower Learning Youth Engagement Community of Practice is co-hosting with the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Youth-Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group (YFE-TIG).

Presentation: application/pdf YE engaging hard to reach youth in research final.pdf (5.74 MB)

About the speakers:

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Mike Sweigart is the Program Officer for Youth Participation at the National Democratic Institute and Co-Champion of the Youth Engagement Community of Practice. Mike is an international development specialist with a focus on youth political and civic participation and inclusive and human security. In addition to coordinating NDI's youth participation portfolio, he has supported democracy assistance programs in Eastern Europe and North Africa.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Rachel Walsh Taza is the program coordinator for Search for Common Ground’s Children & Youth division. She supports the organization’s work to empower children and youth to be true agents of conflict transformation in their communities, through programs ranging in topic from peace education, youth-focused TV and radio shows, to leadership training, and violent extremism. Rachel is responsible for facilitating knowledge sharing within the organization on effective practices and lessons learned from programs engaging young people. She recently worked with the organization’s Institutional Learning Team to produce guidance on designing and implementing youth-led research projects, based on Search’s experience in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Burundi, and Tanzania.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Abigail Stevens Yavana is a program officer at the Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities, where she coordinates programs on human rights, justice, and rule of law with a focus on children, youth, and women. Abigail was the lead young researcher in Sierra Leone for the regional project “Engaging Children and Youth as Partners in Preventing Violence against Children,” led by Search for Common Ground and funded by the European Commission. The young researchers used a Listening & Learning research and interview methodology to conduct over 660 conversations with young people, then shared findings with child protection actors and the community. The project took place during the worst Ebola crisis in history.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Joseph Walugembe is the Country Director for ADD International, Uganda. He was the Country Development Manager for Sense International (Uganda) from 2005-2010; Advocacy Program Coordinator of the African Union of the Blind from 2002-2004; and Projects Coordinator of Uganda national Association of the Blind from 2001-2002. In addition, Joseph Walugembe represents Persons with Disabilities on the district service commission of Wakiso District and has served on boards of various non-governmental organizations in Uganda. Combining personal experience with disability and 15 years of development practice at grassroots, national, and international level, he has solidified experiences in strategy development, implementation, and communication, organizational leadership, partnership/networking, and effective representation of interests of persons with disabilities. Having overcome the challenges of visual impairment, Joseph aspires to contribute towards making the world more equitable, sensitive, and tolerant of diversity.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Josephine Alidri is a development management professional with 12 years’ experience of working with the NGO sector to design and deliver holistic community development program in partnership and collaboration with grassroots communities, government, and civil society. Josephine currently works at ADD International Uganda as the Senior Research Coordinator for Market-Based Solutions for the Extreme Poor research and acting Manager Programme. Her role is to coordinate field implementation of the Global research in Uganda. Prior to this assignment, Josephine worked with Plan International as Programme Unit Manager (2010-2015), World Vision International as Programme Coordinator and Manager (2007 – 2010), and Uganda Society for Disabled Children as Field Coordinator (2004 – 2007), International Food Policy Research Institute (2001-2003) and the Center for Creative Research (2003-2004) as Research Assistant. Josephine’s aspiration is to contribute to creating lasting improvements and realization of the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in societies. 

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Susana Morales is the principal and co-founder of Communities in Collaboration (Comunidades en Colaboración), a participatory evaluation and community engagement consultancy firm in Oakland California. Susana was born in rural Mexico and migrated to the United States as a young girl. Her commitment to equity and social justice for diverse communities is the core of her work. She has over 15 years of experience in participatory evaluation and supporting youth-led and community-led participatory research projects. She has been a leader in securing national and regional funding to hire youth and to train them as social agents of change and lead YPAR projects. 


About the YouthPower Learning Youth Engagement CoP:

YouthPower Learning's Youth Engagement Community of Practice aims to:

  • Contribute and disseminate a shared definition of ‘meaningful youth engagement’;
  • Support the development of youth engagement measurement indicators;
  • Create a space for the sharing of youth engagement experiences and group problem solving;
  • Develop a clearinghouse of evidence, resources, and tools on youth engagement hosted on

Become a member of YouthPower Learning Youth Engagement Community of Practice now by clicking here.


About the American Evaluation Association Youth-Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group:

The American Evaluation Association Youth-Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group supports youth and adult researchers and evaluators to build best practices and methods related to:

  • Research;
  • Enhanced program quality;
  • Youth/adult professional development, participation, and voice;
  • Improved measurement;
  • Research ethics education;
  • Youth participation in the AEA and YFE-TIG;
  • Co-creation of a knowledge exchange (online) community.


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