NewGen is not just a training
It’s a movement
What is NewGen?
The NewGen Asia Leadership short-course (NewGen) uses an interactive approach aimed at capacity building for young key populations (YKP) to strengthen and raise their voices, advocate for themselves and their communities, and meaningfully engage as leaders and agents of change in the HIV response. NewGen is a hallmark of participatory approach of YKP; the course was designed with leadership and direction from YKPs, who were involved in writing and constructing the curriculum and were involved as facilitators. NewGen draws on a strong adult-youth partnership, as this project has brought together UN agencies, academic practitioners, International NGOs, local partners, trainers and YKP.
The course was developed during an 11-month process of consultation, writing and piloting process. The process was led by a technical team from Youth LEAD in partnership with Associate Professor Helen Cahill, an expert in health education and participatory design curriculum design from University of Melbourne’s Youth Research Centre (YRC). It was along with UN partners UNICEF , UNESCO, UNFPA and UNAIDS.
NewGen was developed through an extensive consultative process with youth leaders and young people from key populations (YKP) from Youth LEAD. This process included a four day planning and scooping meeting in March 2011; a four day writing workshop in July 2011; a two day sampling of the course at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia–Pacific (ICAAP) in August 2011; and a pilot training of the New Gen Asia course in the Philippines in November 2011. After receiving feedback from the pilot, the short-course had its first training of trainers (TOT) in Bangkok in September 2012. It was hosted by Youth LEAD with the support of UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF. The TOT had rollouts in Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Based on feedback from the first set of rollouts, a revision process was commenced in June 2013, which led to the second TOT in November 2013. This revised program consisted of additional and more comprehensive components on HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and strategic information as identified by participants and trainers. The second TOT brought together YKP and youth leaders from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Nepal and Thailand, with rollouts planned throughout 2014. The participants of the second TOT came from within Youth LEAD’s extensive network of grassroots YKP organizations and community activists.
National rollouts are coordinated both at the local level and regionally involving Youth LEAD secretariat and national focal points as well as regional and country UN offices, and other NGO and civil society partners. The 10 full rollouts of NewGen so far – Bangladesh, Brunei , Cambodia , China, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka,Nepal and Mongolia – have been successfully implemented and yielded notable results.
The course empowers the participants with confidence and tangible skills in leadership, communications, and mobilization, which then reverberate through YKP communities and social networks reaching hundreds of other YKP and young people. The rollouts have led to the formation of working groups on YKP (for example, Fokus Muda in Indonesia and Myanmar Youth Stars in Myanmar , YKP Nepal and Youth LEAD Cambodia), which have gone on to highlight and bring visibility to YKP issues, advocate for YKP needs nationally, make recommendations to governments, hold multi-stakeholder and community consultations, and shape national HIV strategic plans and programming frameworks.
The working groups have also led to strengthened networks of YKP and activists nationally and regionally. All rollouts have received impressive reviews and many have had subsequent in-country rollouts for different cohorts and various regions adapted to local context and needs, highlighting sustainability without needing further support from regional offices or secretariats. NewGen has cultivated bonds and led to novel collaboration between different agencies, organizations, and working groups, fostering youth-adult cooperation. Time and time again NewGen has transformed timid young participants into national and regional leaders who have gone on to have significant impacts for their communities and peers.