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UNICEF and Innovations in Civic Participation release new publication on adolescent participation

Panama City, Panama/Washington, D.C, USA - 6 July 2010 - The Adolescent Development and Participation Unit of UNICEF´s Regional Office in the Latin America and the Caribbean and Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) are pleased to announce the publication of a joint initiative: What Works: Adolescent Participation in Latin America and the Caribbean.


ICP and UNICEF have developed this handbook which addresses the link between participation and citizenship and serves as a guide to some of the most promising practices in the field to assist practitioners to engage adolescents through participation.


Adolescence is a crucial period of development, and adolescent participation, as described in the handbook, can lead to increased feelings of efficacy, understanding of one's role in society, and greater attainment of one's rights. While there are multiple ways to approach the design of effective adolescent participation programs, the handbook focuses on three approaches with particular promise: volunteering, service-learning, and advocacy and policy influencing. 


The handbook discusses strengths and weaknesses of each approach, identifies key criteria and examples of promising practices for engaging adolescents in participation.  It recognizes the need to adapt effective practices in each of these areas to the context and culture of the community and to have a specific approach when working with adolescents in vulnerable situations.


The publication is available in English and Spanish on UNICEF and ICP's websites. 


For the past decade, UNICEF has developed its own internal capacity to provide advice and leadership to countries around the world for a wide spectrum of activities to ensure that young people have a voice in the places where they live and grow. UNICEF has also supported the formation of policy and effective programmes around adolescent participation and engagement. Consequently, this partnership with ICP is even more powerful and enriching for UNICEF and for readers of this particular publication.


"UNICEF views adolescent participation as a key strategy for the promotion of adolescent rights," said Christine Norton, Senior Advisor on Adolescent Development and Gender Equality at UNICEF´s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. "Our collaboration with ICP has allowed us to enrich ongoing UNICEF experiences from the field and to broaden the menu of approaches to participation for the benefit of adolescents."


"ICP is pleased to partner with UNICEF on adolescent participation," said Susan Stroud, Executive Director of ICP. "We commend UNICEF for its foresight in providing necessary guidance and insight to meet the needs of the youth development field."


ICP has conducted research on youth participation policy and practice in many regions of the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Eastern Europe. For additional global examples, ICP maintains an online searchable database of youth civic engagement programs and policies as well as an extensive library of ICP and non-ICP publications.  More information can be found at http://www.icicp.org/


ICP supports the development of innovative high-quality youth civic engagement policies and programs the US and around the world. ICP embraces a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities. ICP has global, multi-faceted experience working with governments, institutions of higher education, as well as philanthropic and non-profit organizations.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean will continue to gather examples in the field and make them available on www.unicef.org/lac through its What Works Series.


For further information, please contact:

Jean Manney +1-202-775-0290, manney@icicp.org, ICP

Trang Ho, tho@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean, Tel: +507-301-7447

Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean



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