Count Me In supported the meaningful engagement of young key populations (YKPs) in the Global Fund (GF) processes at the national and global levels. With this purpose, regional and global initiatives were created to enable and empower young people to comprehend and engage in the GF process.
CMI indicates that despite the need, young people are not meaningfully engaged in the GF process. There were limited activists and efforts to educate and engage young people in the GF process. Besides that, young people were hesitant to engage due to the GF complex process. Hence, we formed the consortium to reach out to young people in other regions and populations.
In the year I and II, the consortium focused on building capacity and refining the tools to support the engagement and engaged with networks and partners to make allies. It also sought to create a platform for more engagement. While on year III, most of the trained networks/organizations geared towards engaging with the CCMs and country dialogues or organized their own activities. Thus, the learning curves were different for the countries.
As a result, it increased the number of young people as champions and activists in the international Global Fund structure and the country coordinating mechanisms. Also, some countries integrated the issues of the young key populations in the national strategic plan and Global Fund concept note. The project was implemented in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
Activities & Achievements
The consortium revised and updated the existing GF training manual for young people, and it is adopted to the country contexts. In most African and EECA countries, the GF training for young people was organized for the first time. Y+ Global organized the training in Burundi, Zambia, South Africa, and Nigeria, while Youth RISE organized in Pakistan, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan.
Youth LEAD developed Programming Guideline for YKPs co-funded by UNFPA APRO, CRG SI, CRG-TA fund, and the Robert Carr Fund. The guideline was rolled out in Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste, with the GF multi-country grant support. As a result, both countries had new YKP-led networks. The new networks engaged in the country dialogues and submitted the written recommendations to the CCM and GF team.
Moreover, the country partners engaged and, in some cases, influenced the process and successfully integrated the YKP programs and interventions. The approaches differentiated across countries, and thus they organized various country dialogues for YKPs. For example, in Mongolia and Nepal YKP team organized a separate country dialogue for YKPs endorsed by the CCM. In Burundi, after the training, the Burundi CCM invited a representative of the Burundian network of YPLHIV, RNJ+, to actively participate in the funding request process as a representative of YPLHIV. In Zambia, ZNYP+ engaged in the funding request for the GF funding cycle 2021-2023.
In Pakistan, the “Alliance for the rights of YKPs,” renamed “Y-plus Pakistan,” organized a dialogue with YKPs, youth activists, human rights defenders, government officials, and legislators to share the issues of YKPs and discuss possible policies to protect their rights. As a result, legislators promised to discuss the issues, needs, and recommendations of young people in the upcoming constitutional assembly sessions. In addition, they will work to ensure they are included in policies.
To advocate for increased investment and community-led, rights-based, and gender-responsive programming, the Indonesia YKPs network, Inti-Muda, carried out a watchdog mechanism through a community-led informal study on the GF grants by targeting the adolescents and key populations. The result of the study was presented to CCM and the Minister of Health, which provided a solid commitment to increasing the government’s investment through the GF grant.
Overall, the Youth Consortium itself has become an excellent achievement and platform for sharing peer knowledge and good practices amongst each other. Annual reflection meetings were organized to share each network's achievements, challenges, and recommendations. In addition to day-to-day and project-related sharing, the consortium jointly organized activities that fostered cross-learning between the regions.