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The policy learning weekend was opened by an introductory session with Mr. Paul Onapa, National Programme Manager of the Youth Livelihood Programme, presenting on the National Youth Policy which tries to “unlock[…] Youth Potential for Sustainable Wealth Creation and Development”. Mr. Onapa moreover shared his experiences in the field of policy-making with the Youth4Policy Fellows and encouraged them to take a closer look at various policy options before adopting a policy and translating it into work.
Further, Lilian Aber, Chairperson of the National Youth Council, shared valuable insights on the capacities, objectives and structure of the National Youth Council which was established in 1993 by an Act of Parliament. “The National Youth Council is an umbrella organisation and is mandated to organise, mobilise and engage Youth in development activities as well as protect the youth from any kind of manipulation”(brief about the NYC). She answered the Fellow’s detailed questions about the implementation of the National Youth Policy and limitations of the national youth council’s work openly.
The interactions with experienced policy-makers helped the fellows to get a firmer grasp on the topics of youth involvement in government. Fellows noticed that policy-makers’ hands are often tied when it comes to addressing critical issues, as approval is needed at every stage of decision-making.
The rest of the workshop circled around the design of a policy brief and fellows were able to develop their policy briefs further as well as to seek experts’ advice on how to present their ideas in a professional way. “Professional Writing is the key to successful Policy Work”, highlighted Annet Mbabazi, a Youth4Policy alumna. Katrin Hartmann further mentioned that “policy-makers only have limited time to read a policy proposal; [thus] it is essential to make a policy brief concise and descriptive.” stated Katrin Hartmann. Therefore, she expounded how results from data research can be presented convincingly in graphs.
Written by Sophie Brandt