Hype Policy tank looks at completely policy level discussions and to generate sort of an interest in young people and social activists about being active in top level youth empowerment
As an example we can find lot of women empowerment projects and environmental projects, but there is a lack of projects on digital literacy on children and the harm they would experience
Government authorities involved in youth empowerment think that youth in the country have similar needs but we have to understand the fact that it’s different
Hype Sri Lanka is the Youth Empowerment Incubator in the country and the organization is celebrating its first year anniversary on January 25. Currently, the organization is involved in formulating a suitable Youth Policy for Sri Lanka which would highlight practical measures the government could take to design inclusive and fair recovery measures that leave no one behind.
The COVID-19 worldwide wellbeing crisis and its financial and social effects have essentially disturbed all parts of life for all gatherings in the public arena. Individuals of various ages, nonetheless, are encountering its belongings in an unexpected way.
For youngsters, and particularly, vulnerable youth, the COVID-19 emergency presents extensive dangers in the fields of training, business, emotional wellness and extra cash. And while youth and people in the future will bear a significant part of the drawn out financial and social outcomes of the emergency, their prosperity might be supplanted by momentary monetary and value contemplations.
To try not to worsen intergenerational imbalances and to include youngsters in building cultural versatility, governments need to envision the effect of alleviation and recuperation measures across various age groups, by applying powerful administration systems. In this situation Hype Sri Lanka shared some thoughts and views with Daily Mirror ‘Insight’ on how to formulate Sri Lanka’s Youth Policy and the current measures taken by the organization to revise the policy.
Strategies and objectives for Sri Lanka’s youth advocacy
Sharing some important facts, Hype Sri Lanka Founder Chiranthi Senanayake said when it comes to youth empowerment the government and the relevant authorities have to base their thinking on micro and national level processes, because without either the society will not have an efficient development of young people in the country.
During the launch of the organization we had worked on a model working paper for a youth policy for Sri Lanka
She said when forming Hype Sri Lanka youth empowerment incubation they had focused on two objectives.
“The first objective is increasing youth participation in top level youth empowerment. As an example of a project that we are conducting currently for this objective is our Hype Policy Tank. It is a think tank run solely by volunteers. They are independent policy thinkers and they run a think tank to facilitate the youth policy in the country,” Ms. Senanayake said.
She said think tank volunteers directly engaged in thinking and formulating in the line of how the organization could help youth participate in top level policy guidance and how the organization could encourage young people to speak about the issues they rarely spoke about.
“During the launch of the organization we had worked on a model working paper for a youth policy for Sri Lanka. Working paper is the first stage of a policy formulation process and we had focused on six areas in this working paper regarding the Youth Policy of the country,” Ms. Senanayake said.
She said the organization had conducted several research programmes and one of the key research programmes is on whether or not the education system of Sri Lanka is ready to face unprecedented of circumstances like COVID-19 or some sort of national level crisis.
“Using these surveys we actually focused on outcome reports and as a key report I can mention about online ragging and cyber bullying. Currently we are focusing on a report on the statues of persons with disabilities. We are trying to map out how far inclusivity has come into the Sri Lanka, what are the key millstones and in relation to the South Asian experience how far we have to go,” Ms. Senanayake said.
She said Hype Policy tank looks at completely policy level discussions and to generate sort of an interest in young people and social activists about being active in top level youth empowerment.
Explaining the second objective of the organization she said it was focused on fostering sustainable partnerships and the stakeholders of the youth development network.
“It is important because if we take a look at the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda, what we noticed is goal number 17, a partnership for development, is the most unappreciated goal. This goal is overshadowed by other goals. So if you do not have sustainable partnerships in a system what happens is the stakeholders have to work isolation,” Ms. Senanayake said.
She said the organization had found that youth organizations were hesitant to collaborate with other youth organizations. Due to the lack of collaboration and networking, projects tend to get repeated and also most of the repeated projects are in popular areas.
“As an example we can find lot of women empowerment projects and environmental projects, but there is a lack of projects on digital literacy on children and the harm they would experience. Only popular area of advocacy is focused and as a result projects are being repeated,” Ms. Senanayake said.
Speaking about the public authorities that are in charge of the youth empowerment in Sri Lanka she said they are quite focused on working in the public only and they do not engage with other youth sources enough, for their work to be coordinated. “That is why the organization is currently formulating strategies on fostering sustainable youth organizations,” Ms. Senanayake said.
Importance of collaboration among stakeholders of local youth development framework
Explaining several ongoing projects acting President of Hype Sri Lanka and Director of Youth Advocacy and Activism of the organization, Niroshini Nugawela said the key three projects namely Project Nexus, Hype Policy Tank and the Hype Academy for Human Capital Development are not set for specific time period but it will continue for a long period.
“All these projects are interconnected and these projects are focusing on connecting youth in different areas in the country,” she said.
Explaining the Project Nexus Ms. Nugawela said the project is mainly focussed on connecting all the stakeholders of youth empowerment and will include all the youth organizations.
All these projects are interconnected and these projects are focusing on connecting youth in different areas in the country
“Currently we have 65 youth organizations registered. After registering the organizations we cluster them based on their areas of expertise and their area of focuss. The whole point of clustering is to minimize the rate of duplication of similar work and projects,” she said.
In this situation the organization could use the resources such as finance and work they have in an efficient manner and to do a productive outcome.
Ms. Nugawela highlighted an important fact that there were many youth organizations in the main districts of the country such as Colombo, Kandy and Galle but there were other youth organizations beyond these areas which were trying to do a good work.
“There is lack of national level coordination in youth infrastructure. So what we do here is districts coordinators from each districts have to connect our organization to youth organizations in that particular area,” she said and added that youth in different areas in the country have different aspects and the modules the organization was preparing was formulating by considering such variations youth have from different parts of the country.
“Government authorities involved in youth empowerment think that youth in the country have similar needs but we have to understand the fact that it’s different. District to district there are variations of needs that youth have and we have to focus on that,” Ms. Nugawela said.
Internal Management System for Voluntary Social Service Organizations (VSSOs) and Youth Organizations (YOs)
Speaking about the upcoming innovations from the organization Miyuru Dharmage, Director of Research and Innovations of Hype Sri Lanka said he was essentially covering the digital aspects of Hype.
He said lack of a centralized system for most youth movements to manage all of their daily documentation was an issue when it came to handling several organizations.
Most youth movements do not have a proper internal structure which facilitates to manage their own structure
“Most youth movements do not have a proper internal structure which facilitates to manage their own structure. Most upcoming youth movements they have a vision, they have a goal but they also have to focus on how to manage their stakeholders and their responsibilities towards sponsors,” Mr. Dharmage said.
He said in this economy the youth also have to focus on their career, little bit of social life and back on to these kinds of social movements that they are part of as well. “This is going to be the third priority in a youth’s life and what we are trying to do is to assist the organizations with their documentation process,” he said.