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Engaging Youth in Program Planning

Engaging Youth in Program Planning

By ETR | June 18, 2019

It makes sense to engage young people in planning and implementing programs focused on youth. These steps can benefit organizations and communities as well as young people themselves. So…what do you do if you’re a believer, you want to see more youth engagement in your organization, but you’re under-resourced? Or your leadership isn’t on the same page? Or you’re just not sure how to proceed?

There are some fine resources that can offer guidance, but we’d like to suggest you start by watching this video from ETR Project Coordinator Alda Santana. She not only reviews some of the benefits of youth involvement, she offers a range of practical steps that just about any organization could take to boost the presence of young people in program planning and implementation.


When we offer young people this kind of opportunity to engage, we recognize and show respect for the fact that they are the true experts on their lives. We support them in building autonomy, we help create chances for them to gain meaningful experience as advocates and activists in their communities, and we open channels for our own understanding of their lives. If we pursue research on youth, we can share data with them and invite their thoughts and reflections. In ETR’s experience, youth reflections about the patterns in some of our data have been helpful and illuminating.

You can find additional resources on youth involvement at the website. Here at ETR, we are excited about the ways our recent merger with YTH enriches our opportunity to integrate more youth expertise and perspective in our work.

Thank you, Alda, for offering this helpful roadmap for us all.


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