Launching a new guide in partnership with The Pact

08 Jul 15
International UK

We are launching a new guide in partnership with The Pact, and supported by UNAIDS – Strategising with your youth constituency: learning from The PACT experience.

Building upon a long history of young people’s activism and leadership in the HIV response, the establishment of the PACT for Social Transformation is a stand-out success. This collaboration framework was co-created at a kick-off meeting in May 2013, convened by UNAIDS and youth organisations. Its implementation is driven by The PACT – a coalition of youth-led and youth-serving organisations – and aims to build solidarity among such organisations in the HIV response and support them to work collaboratively and strategically towards ensuring the health, well-being and human rights of all young people. The framework articulates priority areas for joint action both among youth organisations and between them and UNAIDS.

It is good to have this example of what the youth movement could be if we melt away from political nonsense and competition and share resources.

- Member of The PACT, December 2014.

In a relatively short period of time and with minimal resources, The PACT successfully launched a range of initiatives in their first 18 months in line with their five goals and ten guiding priorities. For example, the Resources team of The PACT developed a youth participation tool – Making the Money Work for Young People: A youth participation tool for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – with support from UNAIDS and the Global Fund Secretariat. The tool aims to guide young activists active in the AIDS response to get more involved with the Global Fund structures and decision-making at the national level. However, The PACT has also faced challenges. In response they have refined their strategy and developed their structure, decision-making and membership criteria to enhance representation, transparency and accountability.

Restless Development has been working with The PACT and UNAIDS to co-develop Strategising with your youth constituency: learning from The PACT experience: A guide for institutions and others working with youth, which we are launching on the sidelines of the 36th session of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board in Geneva. Based on a series of interviews with members of The PACT and staff from the UNAIDS Youth Programme, this guide aims to document the lessons they have learned – including both the successes and the challenges – and in doing so hopes to provide practical considerations on how different institutions can enhance collaboration with their youth constituency.

You can download the guide here: Strategising with your youth constituency: Learning from The PACT experience

The PACT has changed the paradigm for how the UN works with youth organisations, shifting from tokenised participation to youth-driven collaboration. They are strategic and politically mobilised with a shared vision for social change. Together, we will end the AIDS epidemic and support young people to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

- Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director