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Theory of Change

Experiential Learning for Active Citizenship

How we contribute to change

Active citizenship requires young people to care about the world and people around them, have the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute to positive change, and have pathways for meaningful participation in collective action. Experiential learning offers a powerful modality for infusing youth with the knowledge, passion, skills and relationships to encourage active citizenship. By encouraging students to reach beyond their comfort zones, experiential has transformative potential.

Theory of Change Framework

One way to achieve these three, interconnected, pathways is through experiential learning programs that are guided by these essential qualities. Our approach to learning for active citizenship involves:

  1. Identify and build relationships with host/partner communities: We begin with people rather than projects. We identify host communities and partners that are seeking support to bring about positive change and then determine how we can best facilitate this change.
  2. Identify community priorities and track change: We work with communities and partners to identify their priorities and our contributing role. We then develop a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework to track project impacts against these priorities.
  3. Develop learning framework: Once partners and projects have been identified we develop a learning framework to provide experiential learning and education for equitable and sustainable development.
  4. Identify and build relationships with relevant organisations: To facilitate collective action, we identify and facilitate pathways for student engagement with project-relevant organisations post project delivery.
  5. Engage schools and students: Having established a strong foundation for youth active citizenship, learning, and meaningful service delivery, we engage schools and students in programming.
  6. Undertake service and experiential learning activities: Participating students engage in pre-departure, travel and service, and post-departure experiential learning experiences.
  7. Connect young people with relevant organisations/coalitions for change: Students are provided the opportunity to engage with wider stakeholders to participate in ongoing collective action.

DEFINITIONS

Active Citizenship – Active Citizens are people who feel inspired. They are people who feel motivated and empowered to make a difference. People who have the drive and the know-how to make sure ideas don’t just remain ideas.

Youth Development – Youth development is a process that prepares a young person to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and achieve his or her full potential.

Youth for Development – Young people becoming participants and leaders in driving the SDGs and positive social change (aka active citizens). Youth participation is a process where young people, as active citizens, take part in, express views on, and have decision-making power about issues that affect them.

Coalition Building – A coalition is a group formed when two or more people or groups temporarily work together to achieve a common goal.

Leave No One Behind (LNOB) – LNOB “represents the unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and of humanity as a whole.”

Theory of Change – Theory of Change (ToC) is a way of thinking about how different things are connected and how they might affect each other. It’s a way of understanding how one thing might lead to another and how different actions can have different results. For example, a theory of change might be used to know how a person’s actions can lead to a change in their behavior or how a policy change can affect a community. Overall, a theory of change helps people think about how different factors can come together to create the desired outcome.

Contact us to see how we can support active citizenship at your school.