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Updates and Highlights on the NextGen RH CoP Design Framework

In a July 2022 post about the NextGen RH Community of Practice (CoP), the authors announced the structure of the platform, its advisory committee members, and its new design process. This blog post will cover major structural advancements the team is making to ensure the successful recruitment and retention of future members.

NextGen RH is dedicated to serving as an interactive platform for collaboration, innovation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge management within the adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) sphere. The CoP is headed by two co-chairs in collaboration with 13 advisory committee members based in Asia and Africa.

The advisory committee members have met once every month since April 2022 to co-design a collaborative Community of Practice led by young people.

The design meetings feature interactive discussions and exercises to foster trust, vulnerability, and open conversation about critical issues facing the field of AYSRH. Furthermore, the Advisory Committee recognizes its role in fostering the learning of its members, and organizes mini skill shot workshops to increase cross-learning skills and collaboration. Workshops focused on topics such as public speaking, building strategies, and content creation, among others.

Throughout the process of establishing an effective and diverse working model for a youth-led CoP, the team has done the following:

  • Developed an adapted social-ecological model focused on knowledge management needs and gaps from an AYSRH professional’s perspective. The social-ecological model exercise helped members reflect on challenges that professionals, as well as young people, face in their homes and communities in accessing and exchanging knowledge on AYSRH topics. Members also discussed how knowledge sharing functions across multiple contexts (within organizations, among communities, and at the national level).
  • Conducted a needs-gap analysis: A gap analysis assessed the ground realities to ensure the CoP’s objectives would support the work of AYSRH professionals. Through the exercise, five prominent gaps were identified and refined into objectives:
    1. Knowledge sharing
    2. Advocating for AYSRH needs
    3. Inter-organizational youth networks
    4. Capacity building for AYSRH professionals
    5. Reporting the needs of young people
  • Built objectives for the CoP. Across several meetings, members shared challenges, gaps, and priorities to shape NextGen RH moving forward.
This photo depicts an exercise done on the Mural platform, a need-gap analysis. Using a socio-ecological model, Advisory Committee members reflected on knowledge sharing and knowledge needs in their experiences and context.
This photo depicts an exercise done on the Mural platform, a need-gap analysis. Using a socio-ecological model, Advisory Committee members reflected on knowledge sharing and knowledge needs in their experiences and context.

CoP Objectives:

Objective 1: AYSRH Research and Documentation

  • Create capacity-building opportunities for AYSRH research, including data collection, analysis, and presentation.

Objective 2: Advocacy

  • Improve AYSRH professionals’ capacity to advocate for AYSRH and engage civil society organizations and other stakeholders through local and national coalitions
  • Encourage capacity building, knowledge exchange, and resource mobilization to share best practices and build accountability.

Objective 3: Partnership and Engagement

  • Building partnerships between AYSRH professionals and existing mechanisms for engaging communities in SRH programming, especially unconventional gatekeepers (including union/political leaders, influencers, and religious leaders) as well as strengthening healthcare information and systems.

Objective 4: Knowledge Sharing

  • Use knowledge platforms to assist young people working on designing and implementing AYSRH programs as well as share information and tools on power dynamics and gender-transformative approaches

Engaging Advisory Committee Members to Foster Dialogue

  • During design meetings, co-chairs used reflective exercises to create intentional space, allowing Advisory Committee members to get to know one another, form connections, and develop trust.
  • Skill Shot Mini Workshops: In August 2022, NextGen RH introduced skill shots to increase cross-learning skills and collaboration. Each month, members conducted these workshops during design meetings to share experiences and expertise and learn from others.
  • Drafted Terms of Reference (ToR) for the CoP structure and an engagement strategy to expand the CoP, making it more accessible and inclusive by inviting young and older professionals to contribute. The ToR outlines the CoP structure, roles and responsibilities, and accountability mechanisms. These arose from critical discussions on the connection between the structure and the CoP’s objectives, values, and commitment to diverse and inclusive voices.

Interested in learning more about the Advisory Committee members? Check out their profiles and a recap and recording of the World Contraception Day Twitter Spaces Dialogue hosted in September 2022!

In the coming months, NextGen RH will look to formalize its structure and engage a broader member base. The CoP is looking for members based in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Members will include professionals from ages 18-35, as well as older professionals working within the AYSRH sector, to engage at various levels. Interest forms for membership will be available beginning in March 2023. If you’d like to be the first to get updates on NextGen RH, subscribe to the Knowledge SUCCESS newsletter.

Blessed Peter-Akinloye

Founder, Blessed Health Spring (BHS) Initiative

Blessed Chetachi Peter-Akinloye is a Public Health Professional with about 8 years of experience in the field of Public Health. She has a Masters degree in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is the founder of Blessed Health Spring(BHS) Initiative, a Non-Profit, non-governmental organisation based in Ibadan, Nigeria, that works to prevent diseases, promote health and impact the lives of young people. As an advocate for sexual and reproductive health, she is a member of the of the NextGen CoP Advisory Board, Knowledge Success, where she contributes to the advancement of SRHR.

Pooja Kapahi

Digital Communications and Campaigns, UNI Global Asia & Pacific

Pooja is a passionate youth activist working to amplify the voices of young people in India. In her role as senior program officer for USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership program, she handles the youth portfolio of the project in India. Previously, as the communications and advocacy consultant with International Growth Centre, Jhpiego India, and South Asian Workers Gender Platform, she was involved in providing technical support for youth-centric, youth-led advocacy programs; and creating youth-centric videos, case studies, graphics, training materials, and campaigns. In her previous work with Restless Development as a youth power global leader and Women Deliver young leader (2018) she has coordinated sustainable development goals (SDG) campaigns and pushed for youth policy and meaningful youth participation at the national and international levels. In 2017, she coordinated the Speak campaign by CIVICUS “No Means No, Consent Matters,” which brought awareness towards gender-based violence and early and forced child marriages. In recognition of her work in these areas, she was selected as a 2018–2019 young leader for Women Deliver. She was also selected to speak at the Youth Zone session titled “Young Leaders Speak: Harnessing Creativity to Move the Needle for Girls and Women” during the Women Deliver Conference in June 2019 in Canada and as a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2018 global goalkeeper. As a powerful advocate for strengthening youth participation in national and international decision-making forums, she has attended the 2019 National Conclave on SDGs in India, 2018 Partners Forum (PMNCH), Commonwealth Youth Forum in 2018, the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018 (CSW62), and the High-Level Political Forum in 2017 as a youth advocate.