Status of meaningful adolescent and youth engagement (MAYE)

The year 2020 saw the re-emergence of the black liberation movement, political transition and the COVID-19 pandemic. These events have sparked conversations at all levels on systemic inequalities affecting people globally, and on how existing development paradigms and ways of working help to perpetuate them.

In this context, the meaningful engagement of young people becomes even more critical. Young people are disproportionately affected by existing inequalities, and ensuring their engagement is a matter of social justice. At the same time, they are a fantastic source of innovation and action for the changes we all want to see.

The Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement (MAYE) sets out an agreed definition of MAYE that has been endorsed by approximately 250 organizations working in global health and development worldwide. The Global Consensus Statement is a starting point for promoting and enhancing MAYE to achieve equity, dismantle power dynamics, address the inequitable access to financial resources, professional opportunities, build trust and promote the inclusion of perspectives from young people across the world. The 250 endorsing organizations are working together to enhance MAYE, and are committed to sharing their learnings and experiences in the process.

The idea for this report stems from numerous conversations about translating the definition and principles introduced by the Global Consensus Statement into actions, and finding ways of sharing progress with our community.

This report is based on analysis of over 90 responses to a survey of organizations which have endorsed the Global Consensus Statement. Of the organizations that agreed to share their efforts to enhance MAYE, approximately half of them completed the survey in full. We hope that future exercises will achieve broader participation.

The data and analysis presented in the following pages present the responses of endorsing organizations that responded to the survey, and are not intended to reflect the general status of MAYE around the world. It is instead a snapshot of a portion of those working with and for young people.

This Summary Report is part of the accountability system of the Global Consensus Statement. It serves as an initial building block for other efforts to implement the Statement in the following months. It describes the progress achieved, challenges and the needs of those working with and for young people.